How did you come up with the idea for the Touch series?
I definitely wanted to do another series – I like growing my characters over a series of books. For the first novel, Deadly Little Secret, I wanted to write a story where the main character has to struggle with the idea of falling in love with someone who could potentially be dangerous. I tinkered with this concept in the first three books of my Blue is for Nightmares Series [(Blue is for Nightmares (Llewellyn 2003), White is for Magic (Llewellyn 2004), and Silver is for Secrets (Llewellyn 2005), as well as in Bleed (Hyperion 2006)]. In Bleed, in particular, there’s a young male character who was convicted for the murder of his girlfriend. His next relationship consists of pen pal letters he exchanges with a young girl while he’s in prison. Without giving too much away, the relationship is briefly pursued once he is released, but I wanted to bring this concept to another level.
Additionally, I wanted to continue experimenting with the supernatural (which I also use in my Blue is for Nightmares Series as well as in Project 17), showing how we all have our own inner senses and intuition, and how with work we can tap into those senses and make them stronger.
I started researching different types of supernatural powers and discovered the power of psychometry (the ability to sense things through touch). The concept fascinated me, and so I wanted to bring it out in a character, showing how sometimes even the most extraordinary powers can also be a curse.
So far there will be five books.
How did the idea of pottery come up as a hobby for Camelia's character?
I love pottery myself, and feel that the art of pottery lends itself well to touch. There are all sorts of textures with pottery, depending on what it is you’re sculpting – from hard metals to wood. Camelia’s pottery is very much a part of her life, but she’d been trying for so long to create pieces that fit some artificial ideal. As Camelia begins to grow and gain more confidence in herself, she’s able to let go of those expectations, create more meaningful pieces, and become more aware of her own inner senses.
Has becoming an author changed your life in any way? If so, how?
I’m able to work at home, which is a huge advantage. I have two small children, and this time at home with them is invaluable. I feel very grateful to have a flexible schedule. Being an author also enables me to connect with young people at schools, libraries, and bookstore events. I love meeting my readers and inspiring young people to pursue their dreams. I always pledge the importance of perseverance, and share my path to publication.
Have you always wanted to become an author?
Yes, but I never imagined that I could. This really is a dream come true for me. As a child, I was making up stories before I could even write them down. I’d tell them to whomever was willing to listen, often passing them off as truth to elicit more of a dramatic effect. Then, when I could write, I’d create scripts for my dolls and make them act out the storylines. Telling stories – and then later writing them down – has always been a part of who I am.
What can we see in the future coming from you?
Deadly Little Game is the third book in the Touch Series and will be released in the fall of 2010. I’m also working on the third book in the Amanda Project (www.theamandaproject.com). That should be out around winter 2010.