My first short story publication came when I was 15, in Glimmer Train, after I placed second in their Short Story Award for New Writers. I’ve known since then that I wanted to be a writer, and the first book I wanted to write would be a grown-up version of the books I loved so much as a kid, about a world like ours – populated by good people and children who see more deeply and clearly than any of us – but steeped in magic, something golden, and probably a little weirdness.

I’m rather fond of desserts at any time of the day, especially if they’re of the interesting, unusual variety, like cereal milk ice cream or red velvet pudding or spekuloos waffles (thanks, Shirley!). Growing up, my family had a golden retriever named Thor, after the Norse god of thunder and lightning, although he was afraid of both thunder and lightning.