How did you come up with the idea for The Night Tourist books?
I used to take the train into Grand Central when I was a kid. I am also an only child who grew up hanging out with a lot of old people who told stories about the past. Death and ghosts were a big part of my life.
Will there be a third book in The Night Tourist series?
My hope is to write a third book and make the series into a trilogy. I know what happens at the end of this third book to Jack and Euri. Unfortunately for you, my publisher has been keeping me busy with some fantastic but unrelated projects (see below).
So, want a third book? Send them an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or a letter (Disney/ Hyperion 114 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY 10011) telling them how much you love the series and demanding more!
What's up with The Night Tourist movie?
Universal Studios optioned The Night Tourist for a feature film but currently there are no plans to make it. We're hoping that the right team comes along to bring Jack and Euri's story to cinematic life (and to give me a cameo).
Note: I do not make casting decisions so whether you are pony-tailed, pale or even dead, I can't help you get the role of Euri.
Who is your favorite character in The Night Tourist books?
I have a soft spot for Jack (and would love to pal around with Dylan Thomas) but I think Euri would be pretty upset if I didn't choose her.
How did you get the idea for Jepp?
Jepp was inspired by my mother's passion for astrology. In fact, growing up, it was basically the family religion. My mother can read an ephemeris and even draw up charts. Over the years she made many decisions, both large and small, based on it. I was due to be born on November 22, which would have made me a Sagittarius, but she saw better aspects for a Scorpio so she helped along her labor with homeopathic remedies (I was born on November 11th, a Scorpio, Aquarius rising). We cut our hair by the cycles of the moon and tried not to travel when Mercury was retrograde. I even took my SAT based on the stars on a particular date that was offered only in a neighboring state.
My mom and I are incredibly close; I'm an only child and she's a late-in-life mother (she had me at 42). Save for the astrology, she was actually a fairly strict and traditional parent who emphasized hard work, education, and intellectual life. Because of this, I grew up half-believing in astrology—and appreciating the sense of security it gave me—and half-rejecting the entire premise that there were things about my life and others' that were predetermined. It's this struggle that is at the very heart of Jepp.
Why did you become a writer?
I'm pretty bad at most everything else (especially math and sports). I read a lot. I worry a lot. I can imagine some pretty crazy things happening to an ordinary person like me. I will never recover from being fourteen.
What are some of your favorite books?
Island of the Blue Dolphins; Walk Two Moons; Octavian Nothing; The Book Thief; The Graveyard Book; D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths; The Twenty-One Balloons; Harry Potter; the Pigeon Books by Mo Willems.
(updated May 2012)