How do you write the Mallory books?
I’m constantly thinking about Mallory. What she might say or do, where she’s going, and what will happen to her in future stories. I especially like thinking about things she might do that could get her into trouble (that seemed to happen a lot to me when I was her age).
When I write the Mallory books, I start with one big thing that is happening in her life. I like to write the beginning and the ending of the book, and then I go back and fill in all the stuff in the middle. Here’s a secret about me: I’m a huge fan of happy endings.
How long does it take you to write a Mallory book?
Usually about 3-4 months. Some books I write a little faster, but if I have a lot going on in my life (like recently, I got a new puppy and I have been trying to train him to go to the bathroom outside, which has taken much more time than I thought it would!), the books take a little longer.
What do you and Mallory have in common?
We both love to paint our toenails and we’re crazy about the color purple. We also like it when people do what we want them to do (even though we both feel like sometimes that is not the case).
What is your favorite thing about Mallory?
There are a lot of things I like about her, but I’d have to say that my favorite thing is that she’s a letter writer. I love writing letters. I have so much fun making up the letters that Mallory and Mary Ann write to each other.
How did you pick the name Mallory?
I picked Mallory’s last name first. When I was a little girl, I always wanted my last name to be McDonald (like the restaurant). I like the sound of Mallory McDonald.
Are the other characters based on people that you know?
Absolutely! Sometimes when I create characters, I take bits and pieces of personalities from different people I know and roll them into one. Mary Ann is a combination of two best friends that I had when I was growing up. Other times, I base characters on one person. Winnie is exactly like a girl I went to school with (and never really liked). Max is the spitting image of a boy who lived on my street. Fortunately, he was my neighbor, not my brother!
Why did Mallory name her cat Cheeseburger?
Because cinnamon roll and coffee ice cream don’t sound like very good names for a cat.