1. My favorite author of all time is J.D. Salinger who wrote The Catcher in the Rye, Franny & Zooey, Ten Stories, and Raise High the Roofbeams, Carpenters. I think the man was a genius with words, characters, plot, all of it. He inspired me to begin writing.
2. If Patron Saint became a movie, I would faint! When I came to again, (and if they gave me the choice), I would cast Holly Hunter or Maggie Gyllenhaal as Lillian, Meryl Streep as Nana Pete, and two unknowns as Agnes and Honey, because I seriously can't think of any teen actresses out there right now! Suggestions??
3. My favorite again and again read would have to be Catcher in the Rye. You know, I taught this novel one year to my ninth graders and the majority of them hated it. They thought the main character, Holden Caulfield, was too depressing and weird and freaked out. I was devastated. I mean, I found myself taking their opinions of this kid personally, because I have, for so many years, just LOVED Holden. From the moment he first stepped off the page for me, I found myself relating to him in just about every way possible. Of course, that may very well mean that I am depressing or weird or freaky, but I think that all of us, if we are honest with ourselves, are in some way like this kid. It's not comfortable to see that, but it's the truth. And that's why I go back to this book, year after year, and lose myself in it all over again.
4. I have two new middle-grade books coming out in 2009 and 2010 for Simon & Schuster. I have finished one of them about a girl named Lily Sinclair who becomes good friends with a man with Down's Syndrome. Together, they begin a search for Lily's missing father, with unexpected - and I hope - surprising results. The second one is still in the works, which means I can't talk about it yet, since it is still in that very tenuous, fragile state. I am also working on another young-adult novel about 3 girls who are best friends and find themselves one summer having to overcome an enormous challenge that might sever their ties completely. We'll see.
5. No other tours planned as of yet, although I do have several events for both Patron Saint and Hershey scheduled for the fall. And Patron Saint was just named The YA Book of the Year by the North Atlantic Independent Book Sellers Association, so maybe something will arrive out of that too!!