Where did you get the premise for Dirty Little Secrets?
I read a story in a magazine about a girl who had grown up in a home with a hoarder. That started me thinking about how that would affect a person and how you would deal with that. This was before the A&E show Hoarders – there wasn’t as much focus on the disorder as there is now.
What kind of research did you do for the book?
I have known a few hoarders so I had a little bit of experience in dealing with the disorder. Through research, I found the website Children of Hoarders (www.childrenofhoarders.com) and three of the women who are active on that website helped a lot. They told me stories of their own childhoods and read parts of the book as I went along to make sure I was getting the details right. I also watched the documentary My Mother’s Garden by Cynthia Lester (you can watch the trailer at: http://video.google.com/
What made you want to write about such a tough issue?
Mainly the fact that it hadn’t been done before. I like writing about things that are fresh and new.
Do you have anything in common with your main character, Lucy?
We both drink a lot of coffee. Although I can’t point to anything specific, I think that any character you write in the first person has to have some of you inside. It’s an intimate experience to live through someone else’s eyes for months at a time. I didn’t grow up like she did, so all of that is fictional.
Is there anything you have to have while writing?
Coffee. And silence. No music, no radio – I actually prefer it when everyone is gone or asleep. I tend to write a lot after midnight. I have to get up at 7, so I’m always a little sleepy. And that’s where the coffee comes in.
If you could have dinner with any 3 authors(dead or alive) who would they be and why?
What’s next for you?
I’m working on something totally different – not quite as heavy and more romance. I like writing about difficult issues (and I’m sure I will again) but I needed a break.
Big big THANK YOU! to C.J. for taking the time to do this! Remember Dirty Little Secrets is out on February 2nd!