Q. I finally read the answer to the question of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. But I didn't read this in any of your books. How come? Do you not like angels? Are you hostile to religion and/or the holy ghosties and cherubs who dwell in heaven?
A. If I had told you the answer to the angel question, would you have kept reading my books? Of course not. You would have been so astonished and amazed with this new piece of information, you would have wandered off to climb Mt. Olympus and listen to the gorgeous symphony of the natural world. Or gone to play a video game and listen to your iPod. So I have to look out for my own interests here. And, FYI, I am quite fond of angels and holy cherubim. I occasionally see one out the corner of my eye, which brings me no end of delight. You have to watch out for the cherubim, though, as they like to blow raspberries. It can be quite embarrassing if they do this while you're
standing with a group of people who can't see them.
Q. They say that the true subject of all poetry is death. Does this apply to YA fiction?
A. Yes. No.
Q. Can you explain your answer? It contains both a yes and a no. This is confusing.
A. Do we not breathe? Do we not, eventually, not breathe? Pay attention!
Q. There's no need to be rude. I have a friend from England who would call you "cheeky." Is this a good description of you?
A. No. Frankly, I think it's your friend who is "cheeky."
Q. On your bio page, I can't help but notice that your mother is quite pretty. Do you take after her in looks?
A. Furthermore, anyone who calls someone else "cheeky" deserves a smack on the cheeks. IMHO. Next?
Q. Why do you write for teenagers? You're really kind of old to be doing that, aren't you?
Q. OK, you're not that old.
A. I write for teenagers because they're just stepping out into the world. Some step early, some step later, but they're just beginning to negotiate the heartaches, pain, disappointments, crushing defeats, lay-me-down-on-the-railroad-track-and-drive-the-fricking-train-right-over-me despair, and anxiety attacks that come with adulthood. Also because lots of times teenagers are just plain happy, silly, joyous, and, for no good reason I can figure, full of hope.
Q. What a negative outlook on life! Can someone as grumpy as you are truly write to the heart of today's youth?
A. Hey, we're all in a bad mood eventually.
Q. Even your dark books have humor in them. Do you use humor to divert attention from the difficult and creepy stuff you often write about, in the hope that nobody will notice how twisted your books really are?
A. As an author struggling to survive in the current gestalt of right and wrong, the imagined universe of true and false, the mirrored images of good and bad, one can only try, in one's books, to--oops! Sorry! Out of time!