I wanted to answer some questions I’ve gotten over the past couple of months from readers about Chasing Fireflies. No major spoilers are addressed. You can also check out my interview on the Tattered Spine!
- What is your favorite scene?
My favorite scene was also the most difficult to write. It’s the scene when Liam comes home from the hospital and confronts his mother. This scene is an emotionally brutal moment when Liam is finally able to express his anger, frustration and heartbreak to the one person who should have been there to look after him. As a society, we expect parents to protect their children, but the sad truth is, some people just don’t have the capacity to care for anyone other than themselves, whether it be due to emotional or physical abuse, addiction, financial hardship or disability. And it’s a tragedy because these children then are left fending for themselves, fighting an uphill battle to succeed in life without any support, often in the face of insurmountable barriers.
2. How did you come up with the title?
I’ve had some people ask about the title, wondering about its connection to the story. While Chasing Fireflies is a dual narrative, equal parts Rainey and Liam, I felt Liam’s story, and his efforts to overcome his circumstances, was the greater conflict, particularly because it extends beyond the end of the novel. I wanted the title to reflect this, so I chose Chasing Fireflies to reflect not only his affection for Rainey whose eyes reminded him of glowing fireflies, but also to capture that elusory struggle of grasping for things that always seem just out of reach.
3. Which character is your favorite?
I love all my characters, but if I were to pick a favorite, I’d have to say Maverick. I love her spunk. She calls it as she sees it, and I think that’s brilliant. I also love her off-the-wall fashion sense. I’m not nearly as brave, but I do have a spectacular collection of colourful fuzzy socks that I enjoy wearing. I’ve always said that life it too short to have boring socks!
4. Which character do you relate to the most?
I think I relate most to Rainey. I wasn’t as shy as she was in school, but I wasn’t popular either; I fell comfortably into the ‘band geek’ group. I played the flute, much to my parents’ dismay (you think a recorder is shrill, wait till you try hitting a high B flat – it will make any dog within a five mile radius howl). I also grew up in a very comfortable home with an amazingly supportive and loving family. When my husband first visited my house, his reaction to my family was a lot like Liam’s when he met Rainey’s parents…
5. What is your favorite writing snack?
Tea and digestive biscuits. It’s the Brit in me. However, I have a sweet-tooth like a woolly mammoth, so anything remotely sweet in my pantry will work. I’m a fiend when it comes to plain M&Ms and Cadbury’s Mini Eggs.
6. How did you celebrate finishing your book?
Any time I finish a book, I pour myself a glass of whiskey straight. Preferably Macallan single malt.
7. What is your favorite time to write?
I’m an early bird, so I prefer to wake up and get to work before anyone else in the house stirs. Usually before six.
8. How do you deal with negative reviews and rejection?
I recently wrote a blog post about my writing journey, and anyone who has read it knows I am no stranger to rejection. I’ve received TONS of rejection, but that’s just a part of the writing game. I wouldn’t say have I have a thick skin – rejection and criticism can hurt like hell, but this is a subjective business, and some will hate what I write, and others will love it, and I’d rather focus on the good than the bad. Also, I tend to have a quick emotional recovery period, which has been my saving grace. Chocolate also helps.
9. What advice would you give other writers?
Write the book you want to write. If you are passionate about it, it will come through in the writing. It will also help you get through those dry spells.