How long have you been writing and when did you start?
I started writing when I was about 7 years old, after reading Peter Pan in summer camp. I was enthralled with the idea of creating stories and couldn't wait to make up my own.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
I love dreaming a great story and jumping up at 3 a.m. to write it all down. It seems I am my most creative and free when I am in a deep sleep. I come up with the craziest ideas!
What do you do when you aren't writing?
I love to read mystery novels, and stories set in other countries. I work out, go for long walks on local trails and explore the farmer's markets. But my favorite thing to do when I'm not writing is travel to other countries.
Do you have a favorite writing snack?
Sunflower seeds! I look and sound like a squirrel when I'm writing.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Read everything you can get your hands on because you will see how other writers play with language and sentence structure, and you will learn what works for readers and what doesn't. And don't give up! Writers usually hate what they write, so welcome to the club. But don't give up; you have a story to tell.
What character do you feel most similar to and why?
I feel closest to Ana in "Finding Ana Nelson" because I grew up in New York City, an afro-Latina who was too Latin for the African American kids and too black for the Hispanic kids. I understand her identity struggle, for sure.