1. Describe Breathing in 6 words. – romantic summer story about following dreams
2. I liked the interesting names for your characters (especially the story behind Savannah and Dog's name,) how did you come up with them? – these names just came to me. I closed my eyes and imagined the mom trying to come up with their names and the scenarios just appeared. I imagined her turning on the radio when Savannah was born and the idea of a tornado heading for Savannah, Georgia popped into my mind. Then I imagined Dog being born and Porsha being too afraid to turn on the radio, looking out her window instead. I imagined the trees in NC and remembered how beautiful the dogwoods are when they’re blooming, and then Dog had a name!
3. In what ways are you NOT like Savannah? – I hope she’s more stubborn and insistent than I am :)
4. Breathing is a great summer book. Do you have any favorite summer books? I love summer stories, especially when they have romance in them. Sarah Dessen has some good ones.
5. What is your favorite summer memory? – Summer was always my favorite time of year, mostly because I was so happy to go to my sleep-away camp or in later years to visit my long-distance boyfriend.
6. Can you remember the moment you decided to write this novel? Yep, it started in a writing group exercise. I wrote a scene from the first chapter. And as soon as I read it out to the group, I knew there was a kind of energy behind this character I had to follow.
7. What character was hardest for you to write? I think the mom’s boyfriend, DC.
8. How was it writing about Savannah's breathing/asthma? Did/do you have any personal experiences? My personal experience with asthma comes from two areas: working in a pediatric hospital unit in college and then seeing my husband and daughter struggle with mild asthma. Luckily, we’ve never had any extreme experiences like Savannah’s. But I researched it a lot and tried to imagine what it would feel like for her.
9. Are you good at art, like Jackson is, in the book? No :( But I so wish I was! That’s the great thing about writing – you get to pretend :D
10. What are your next book plans? I’m working on a new book. It’s very different from Breathing, but carries over the same hopeful feeling.
11. What is your favorite clothing store? Ambiance in San Francisco.
12. Mexican or Chinese food? Thai. But since that’s not an option I’ll go with Mexican.
13. What is your favorite 'feel good' song? I don’t know if I could limit it to one favorite. But 1,2,3,4 by the Plain White Tees is a fun “feel good” song.
14. Chocolate chip cookies or sugar cookies? Definitely chocolate chip!
15. What was the last movie you watched? Avatar