I don't think I tell stories of tragedy. I think I tell stories of love. Even though you're full of tears, I hope that you leave the theatre with your heart feeling like it's going to explode out of your chest. And yes, you've been through the tragedy, but it's ultimately hope that I think you're left with.
So, I guess motherhood and the threat of not being able to pay my rent inspired me to be a novelist. But as far as what inspired me to be a writer, it's the stories. It sounds very cliched, but the stories rise up and demand to be told. They always have done, long before I became a writer.
I wasn't one of those kids who grew up wanting to write or who read a particular book and thought: 'I want to do that!' I always told stories and wrote them down, but I never thought writing was a career path, even though, clearly, someone was writing the books and newspapers and magazines.
I think traveling made me who I am. When I was 16, I was an exchange student in England, and that was the year that I kind of feel like I was on the road going one direction in life, and it just kind of shifted me over, and I finished high school, and I went traveling for three more years instead of going to college.
In order that people who suffer from depression seek treatment without a second thought, the stigmas must further fall until we reach a point in time when that person with leukemia and that person with depression both receive the same level of sympathy and the same level of rigorous treatment. Both people deserve it.
After graduation, I wanted to work for 'Sassy', which I loved, but it had folded. So I wound up at 'Seventeen' for three years on staff and two as a contributor, and I wrote these great stories that nobody ever believes 'Seventeen' does. Serious stories for teens about social justice issues - gun control, migrant farm workers.