1. What was the inspiration for your novel?
I wanted to write a story about two completely mismatched characters who need to work together for
a common goal. I love a good “opposites attract” story—and so laid-back Silas and uptight Matilda were born.
2. When did you take up writing?
I’ve been writing my entire life—I used to scribble stories in my notebooks at school and I started countless short stories that I never finished. But, in my early twenties, I decided to take it seriously and write a novel.
3. How important is setting/place in your writing?
I created the fictional town of Messina, Connecticut in my second novel, Zoey & the Moment of Zen. That setting is especially important in Messing with Matilda since Matilda is not very fond of her hometown—it represents a past she doesn’t want to revisit. Unlike Matilda, I’m quite fond of Messina and look forward to setting more stories there.
4. Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current novel?
Definitely Silas. He’s quirky and adorable and I loved writing dialogue for him.
5. What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given?
Keep writing—everything will eventually fall into place.
6. Do you have a schedule for writing?
I have a hectic day job, so I write whenever I can. I try to get a lot of writing done during lunch breaks and weekends.
7. Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it?
I’m a plotter. I need to have a plan before I start writing, but if the story takes over and leads me in another direction, I’m willing to toss the plan.
8. Can you name three of four of your current favourite books?
In recent months, I’ve loved Tracie Banister’s latest, Izzy As Is, and The Royal Treatment by Melanie Summers. I also quite enjoyed The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn.
9. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now?
I’m in the early stages of plotting and doing research for my next novel. Even though I’m sad to leave Matilda and the gang behind, getting to know new characters is so much fun!
10. What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on their journey?
I’d tell them… believe in yourself and your story. Write the story you want to tell and don’t worry too much about what’s going to happen after “the end.” And, of course, keep writing!
I don’t want to go home. Facing an empty apartment—one I now know I’ll be living in for the foreseeable future—is too much to handle right now. But I can’t stand on the sidewalk forever while strangers walk around me giving me annoyed looks. I can’t be mad at them—if the situation were reversed, I’d be one of those strangers wondering why the idiot in the black cocktail dress isn’t moving.
So I start moving.
Since home isn’t an option, I decide to walk to Hart Your Space and partake in one of my favorite activities—ordering office supplies. My newest obsession is colorful paperclips and I feel like ordering two boxes today—look at me being all reckless with money. I also have a few follow-up appointments next week and I should look over my notes again just to make sure I’m adequately prepared. I could schedule a lunch date with Dr. Paxton too, but none of these things are urgent and just thinking of the word “date” makes me want to throw up what little dinner I ate.
I take out my phone and see a new voicemail from my mother and two emoji-filled texts from Evie with a series of hearts, keys, and question marks. It’s like she knows something’s going on. Ignoring my messages, I fish my headphones out of my bag and connect them to my phone. Inserting the tiny white buds into my ears, I open up the podcast app on my phone and find the episode I was listening to earlier. The smooth voice of the narrator blasts into my ears—blocking out most of the traffic noise and the random conversations of the people walking past me—and I sigh with relief.
“It was a gruesome crime scene, and I was the first police officer who responded to the call. Even twenty years later, I can still remember every single detail. They are etched into my memory, and I still become emotional when discussing the events of that day.”
You wouldn’t think that listening to Crime Stalker with Jake Deno—a podcast about an NYPD homicide detective and his most memorable cases—would have a calming effect on anyone, but I’m completely fascinated by it, downloading each episode onto my phone as soon as it’s released. I listen to it at the gym, during my commute when Evie isn’t with me, and when I need to become immersed in someone else’s gory reality to escape my own.
Forty-five minutes later, I’m a few steps away from my office, and I’ve already decided that I’m taking a cab home when I’m done here. My feet are killing me, and I can’t wait to collapse on my desk chair and kick off the uncomfortable shoes that are giving me blisters. If I had known I’d be storming out of my date with Arthur, I would have worn the orthopedic shoes he prescribed to me after diagnosing me with flat feet, or pes planus as they say in the foot business. The heel is so chunky, it would have been perfect to throw at Arthur’s head when he started talking about Fiona and Boston. I try to forget about those two idiots as I rip the buds out of my ears.