Q: What city inspired your writing?


The most random things inspire a new story. For SNOWED UNDER (formerly WOOD) I caught a news article about a tiny Alaskan town (Point Hope, I think) that got hit by a late Spring storm and hammered with ridiculous snow totals–like 108″ in a day–and their shipment of heating oil got delayed. I started thinking about what kind of characters would meet under those circumstances . . . and then the least likely combination of characters that would meet under the same circumstances. Talk about obstacles ;)

After a bit of drifty daydreaming I came up with the unlikely pair that you meet in the book, a logger and a hippie–two people at extreme opposite ends of the spectrum. Aaannnnd Teague’s already made the shift from college to the business world, where Cassidy’s still starry-eyed and taking on the world…so their views on a lot of things are shaded from their perspectives and knowledge pools.

My writing mentor once told me that if you start with setting your characters organically grow from that and the two weave together better than if you start with characters and try to stuff them into a certain place. Now that I’ve been able to try that a few times, I’ve found it’s much easier to see the conflicts from the very beginning.

Plus, it makes my bucket list a pretty interesting mix :)


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