My career has always seemed sort of accidental. I wrote a book that my agent said would sell well as a mystery. I hadn’t thought of it like that. It was just an interesting book. All of a sudden I was a “mystery writer” with a two-book deal, meaning I had to write another mystery. A few years later, I was fascinated by the idea of overseas bootcamps. The main character would have to be a teen, because of course adults don’t get sent to these book camps. So then I entered the world of YA writing.
When I first heard his question, I thought about writing the great American novel. But is that really what I want to do? I realized that I like writing thrillers (with mysteries a close second). And there’s a lot I like about writing YA.
The one book I said I would write if money was no object would be set in 1970. A 12-year-old girl who thinks she is an only child discovers she once had a sister. At first, she thinks her sister is dead – but then she figures out she is in Fairview (Oregon’s then home for the developmentally disabled). She finds her way to her sister and discovers she is actually deaf.
This story would probably be a risk for me because it’s nothing like anything I’ve written before. It wouldn’t fit with my “brand.” Still, it’s on my list to write.
What book would you write if you didn’t have to worry about it selling?