I am not a pill-popper. Several readers have asked me about how I researched Mia’s pill use in FOLLOW ME DOWN with a fair amount of suspicion, as if I sampled each prescription drug before adding it to the book. (Would this be called method-writing?) I mainly researched Mia’s pill addiction by lurking in online forums where people freely discussed their drug use. How it made them feel, what they recommended to one another and what one might want more of and why. And then there was my lovely Safeway pharmacist who, after establishing I did not need an ambulance, answered all of my sketchy questions.

Sherri Smith

Sherri Smith

My rescue dog, Reggie, wants a Tinder account. He is an odd mix of baby seal and Wookie and he’s finding it difficult to meet new female pooches in his later years. Of course, I can’t let him have one since I’d have to chaperone his milk-bone infused dates and who would want to chaperone that?

My four-year old daughter likes to give me HGTV-type tours of our own home. Sometimes she will re-arrange a few toys in her bedroom, then fling open the door and ask me how I feel about her ‘re-dektorating.’ I say I love it every time.

I like to tell obvious lies, like I’m a retired runway model when I’m barely grazing 5’5”. I think it suits the general un-truthiness of the times we’re currently living in.

I love to restore vintage furniture. My favorite piece is the bedroom vanity. I’m always surprised that they ever fell out of popularity. You get to have all of your make-up in one spot, a stool and mirror so you can sit and gaze at yourself (hey, they’re called vanities for a reason,) there’s room to enjoy a glass of wine or two (so you think you look better than you do.) You get to feel connected to all the other women who sat there before you, probably worrying about the same things. I love them; they’re such romantic pieces.

In university, I once took a temp job at a call-center in a one-level office building that hadn’t been updated since the 70’s. The campaign they were running at the time had been purchased by a fledging funeral home. I was supposed to cold-call people out of the phone book and ask if they’d purchased their headstone and/or burial plot yet and if not, inform them of a certain deal on both. My first call was to someone who’d just received some bad news from her doctor, and so I was taken as a cruel omen. I cried my eyes out and quit on the spot. I’ve never gotten over this and still think of that person on the other end and hope that that cold-call wasn’t a bad sign at all, just an annoyance that she never again considered.

In keeping with the phone theme, I do believe our phones are listening to us. I would say more on that, but y’know, my phone is right here, next to me.

I just started to play ice hockey again. I played when I was younger, but since having my daughter, I decided it was crucial to play sports again. It is so important to me that she views her body as capable and strong and not simply as something to decorate. I might look ridiculous on the ice, but I don’t care, one needs to model these things rather than just saying it. (Otherwise, next thing, she’ll be drinking too much at her vanity and lying about being a former runway model.)

Don’t even get me started on the politics of gender and onesies. Seriously. I have a seven-month old son and the difference in how gender is packaged right out of the ‘gate,’ is staggering. My daughter’s onesies were peppered with fruit, baked goods, non-biting insects and pleas to be PRETTY LIKE MOMMY, so basically passive, vacuous and inert. My son’s clothing is already stroking his ego with ‘LEGENDARY,’ scrawled across the front and highlighting his real-world capabilities with ‘FUTURE CEO’ and pictures of police officers or firefighters. When you slap these constructs on a baby, you’re forced to see how silly and hollow they really are.

I wrote two historical fiction novels before making the jump to the thriller genre. I’m exactly where I should be, and that’s a great feeling to have.