1. I garden. A lot. I spend hours in the garden during spring, and I’d spend more hours in summer if it wasn’t so brutally hot here. In winter, I read seed catalogs and watch re-runs of Gardener’s World with Monty Don. I have been known to make terrible noises of envy when he sticks his hands in all that gorgeous loose dirt in Longmeadow. My dirt is not like that.

T. Kingfisher/ Nettle and Bone

T. Kingfisher/ Nettle and Bone

2. I moved a lot in my youth—I think I worked out once that I had moved eighteen times before I turned eighteen. My father was in the Navy, and most of my childhood was spent in the Pacific Northwest, except for four years in Arizona. Those four years were apparently in some kind of critical imprinting window, because now I pine for the desert and saguaro cactus, which is ironic because…

3. …I currently live in a swamp. North Carolina is a wet, humid state that gets 45 inches of rain a year. In July, the humidity index is listed as “oppressive.” Sadly, this means I don’t garden much in summer. Being outside feels like walking into someone’s armpit. But we do have the distinction of being the home of the Venus Fly-trap, as well as a number of other cool plants, so we’ve got that going for us!

4. I love video games. Assassin’s Creed, Dragon Age, Civilization, Horizon Zero Dawn, Pokemon—you name it, I’ve probably at least tried it. Before I became a writer, I spent a year or two working at a small game company which, mercifully, folded. When the weather doesn’t allow me to garden, I’m usually gaming.

5. I have ADD. Actually, it feels too mild to say it like that. I have ADD like a dog at Squirrels R Us. I grew up in a period when girls weren’t supposed to get ADD, though, and so I had endless teacher conferences about how I was so bright and so creative and if I would just apply myself…well, you get the idea. It took me until I was 40 to ever get a proper diagnosis, which involved a slightly appalled therapist staring at me while I tried to explain about the mechanics of giraffe sex, and finally she just wrote “clinically significant markers” on a pad and then underlined it several times. Today, this mostly manifests as a tendency to write three or four books at once.

6. I’m married to a Disney Princess. My husband is a wonderful man who looks like a biker: heavily tattooed, shaved head, the whole deal. Small animals flock to him and go to sleep in his arms. Every pet in the house worships him. (They only notice me if he’s not available.) I keep threatening to make an onlyfans page that is just pictures of him holding baby chickens.

7. I do most of my writing at the coffee shop in town. This place is a Weirdness Vortex. Most of the regulars are lovely, but now and then someone will come in and begin earnestly telling the barista that, say, the local river is infested with vampires, to inform us all about gifts of divine prophecy, or demand that we compose a haiku to commemorate their visit.

I did once defuse a fight there by standing up in the middle of a near-shouting match and yelling “I am trying to write a sex scene and you are NOT HELPING!” I’m still kinda proud of that.