I'm a former inner-city chemistry teacher, a singer, a yoga enthusiast, a liberal Presbyterian who grew up Roman Catholic, and a mother through domestic open adoption. I am a Lupus patient, and I am the only white person living in my house. All of these things inform my work. For example, I like to create diverse casts of characters. I think it's important that people who look like my son and my students see people like them in popular culture. A lot of the imagery in She Dies at the End is influenced by my Catholic upbringing.
For me, a book really is all abut the characters. November started with the idea of a carnival fortune teller who was legitimately psychic and who knew that she would die young. Everything else grew from there. I wanted to create a girl who is attracted to the vampire but is smart enough to see the real danger. I also wanted to create someone strong enough to not accept controlling mistreatment, sort of the opposite of a certain other vampire novel protagonist.
Creatures are fun! It's fun to imagine powerful creatures with rules of their own, secretly walking among us. I enjoy escapism, but I want it to respect my intelligence. I wanted to do vampires cleverly, and in a modern, more realistic way, a way that communicates my own ethics and aesthetic.