GB: Thanks for agreeing to do this with me!
AT: Thanks for taking the time to interview me! I really do appreciate it.
GB: Who or what got you into reading?
AT: I didn’t get invested in reading until I was in the 3rd grade. I was reading the Goosebumps series and purposely finding books without pictures. My teacher, Mr. Lively, helped me find a suitable selection of books from my grade school’s library.
GB: If you were trapped on an island with one author and their books who would it be and why?
AT: Jo Ann Beard. She is a phenomenal writer. People have attributed my style to hers, which is one of the best compliments I have ever received. She has a dark humor to her writing that could entertain me for a very long time.
GB: When did you realize that you wanted to be a writer?
AT: When I was in the 5th grade. The girls read Nancy Drew books while the boys read The Hardy Boys. Then we were tasked with writing a mystery story of our own. I went home and fired up WordPad and started writing. I didn’t stop! I kept going and going and going—that was how I found out I wanted to be a writer.
GB: Your debut novel, Moon River, just came out in September. What can you tell us about your book without giving anything away?
AT: The book is a work of fiction inspired by true events in northern West Virginia. It documents the friendship between two young kids, Abigail and Ryan, as they face adolescent tribulations of self-discovery, sexuality, mental illness, poverty, and more.
GB: What does your writing process look like?? Do you need to be in a certain place? Do you have music you write to? Is there a drink you must have while writing?
AT: My writing process is quite dull compared to others. I can write anywhere, as long as I can sit and have a laptop in my lap. I prefer to listen to music that invigorates memories—Ai Maeda, The Veronicas, anything from Final Fantasy VII. And of course, I’m a coffee addict. All of these help me write in a comfortable manner.
GB: Which format do you prefer reading books in? Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook or eBook?
AT: Paperback or hardback. I love diving thrift store inventories for books. That does not mean I do not like to read on my Kindle. I just prefer to hold a book, feel the cover, smell the pages, that sort of thing.
GB: Are you currently writing any other stories that we can look forward to?
AT: I’m always writing! I actually consider myself a poet over a novelist. My work has been featured in tens of magazines and journals around the world. My website has a full list of publications, which include poems, essays, and short stories. In the meantime, I’m currently juggling two different novels. We’ll see which one makes the final cut.
GB: If you could have dinner with one author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
AT: Amanda Boyden. And she’s alive! She wrote my favorite book, Pretty Little Dirty. I would love to ask her how she found the inspiration to write such a telling, brutally honest book. I could relate to it on almost all levels. I have to know what she felt when she finished writing the book.
GB: Thanks for doing this interview!
AT: And thank you for asking me such lovely questions! I had fun!