Questions? It might already be answered here, but if not, please send me an email
—maybe I’ll add your question to my FAQs.
How old is Mercy?
Mercy’s birthday is October 22, 2012. You do the math!
Does writing books get stressful?
Yes, but it’s still one of my favorite things to do. If I get very stressed, the best thing for me to do is to work on something else for a while. (Sometimes the “something else” is another book!)
Do you ever get tired of going on a plane about every week?
I don’t really have to go on a plane every week (although sometimes it seems that way) but I do like to fly, so most of the time it’s fun for me. I like to sit in a seat by the window so I can see what I’m flying over, and, if it’s cloudy and I can’t see anything, I make up stories about the clouds.
If you can, would you put scary ghosts in a new story for us?
I will certainly think about it. Some of my readers like scary things, but others don’t, so I try to write pieces that everyone will like. I have to admit though, sometimes I like something good and scary!
Why do you write about lighthouses?
I love the night time, I love high places, and I love places that have lots of water (like Lake Superior, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean). I also like helping people. When you put all of those things together, it just makes sense that I’d also love writing about lighthouses. The other reason I write about lighthouses is that they almost always have an interesting history and it’s fun to learn about them.
How many days did it take you to get to Calumet from California?
Just one. I started in Santa Clara, my son drove me to the airport in San Francisco, I took an airplane to Chicago, and then took another airplane to Houghton-Hancock airport. My friend picked me up at the airport and took me to stay at her house in Laurium.
What sport do you play or like?
I love watching the San Francisco Giants play baseball and I like to walk–especially in beautiful places like Oak Island and Bete Grise Bay.
How much research do you do for each book?
You know, I actually do quite a bit of research for my books–it’s lots of fun. For example, for The Clue at Copper Harbor, I did research on the Copper Harbor Lighthouse, ice cream flavors, shipwrecks, copper ore, old riddles, and even outhouses!
What gave you the idea to write about Copper Harbor?
On my first visit to Copper Harbor, we went to the lighthouse. I kept thinking what a fun adventure this would be for a kid–at least most of it. At night, my bedroom looked out over the harbor at the lighthouse–it almost felt like an old friend. On my way back to California, I started working on the story in my head, and then I just started writing it down.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Finishing things. And starting things. And sometimes the middle part. That’s why I’m always working on several books at the same time. Like right now I’m working on two lighthouse books, a rhyming book about a funny teacher, a book about a magic map, and a book of fairy tales.