“For potboilers, nothing comes close to Temper. There’s violence here, but it’s not only physical; it’s emotional and psychological, even intellectual.”
–The New York Times Book Review
What is your book about?
Temper (Scout Press/Simon & Schuster, paperback April 2020) is a thriller about the psychosexual power struggle between a headstrong actress and an abusive director at a Chicago theater company.
Can you tell us about your path to publication?
I first tried my hand at writing a novel in 2012, for National Novel Writing Month. That manuscript, in various incarnations, accumulated over 100 agent rejections (and rightfully so; it was pretty awful!) but I ended up repurposing the main character, Kira, for the book that would eventually become Temper. I was a Pitch Wars mentee in 2017, but ended up signing with my agent shortly after that via good old-fashioned querying.
Where were you when you heard your book tour and/or launch party was cancelled and what did you do?
The news trickled in over a period of days, individual events cancelling one by one until there was nothing left on my schedule. I’m an introvert who’s more comfortable with doing digital outreach than in-person events anyway, so I’ve been concentrating on finding virtual ways to connect with readers (and boost my fellow authors who’ve also had events cancelled).
Are you and your publisher doing anything special/different instead of a book tour to promote your novel?
We’re going to do some social media giveaways, and I’m also putting together a special mailing for some of my favorite bookstagrammers with exclusive Temper-themed swag (and also ARCs of my next book, They Never Learn – assuming coronavirus precautions don’t delay the print date!).
On a lighter note, do you have any quirky writing rituals?
I have a playwriting background, so I like to draft my novels in script format first (just dialogue and action beats) before “adapting” them into prose.
What was the hardest cut you had to make from your novel, your favorite Dead Darling?
For many, many drafts, there was this angry masturbation scene… it was super sexy and I loved it, but it slowed the pace at a crucial point in the story, so it had to go. Maybe I’ll release it as a “deleted scene” someday!
Where can we buy your book?