I actually don't know much about Jaclyn Moriarty's process or where her stories come from or who inspired her characters. I just know that reading her books feels like sitting with friends. Her characters feel alive.
I guess I feel it's funny to be looked to for advice on writing when I am still taking in so much from other people.
It's really important to me to follow the kinds of conversations that happen around diversity and representation and writing inclusive books.
When I read, I don't need a character to look like me, act like me, or think like me. I don't need to have my heart broken. I don't need to be surprised or amused or challenged, and I don't need to swoon.
What I need, as a reader, is a character with a heart and a voice and a pulse. I need a character so vivid and so specific that she doesn't feel like fiction.
As a reader and as a viewer, usually when I watch a movie, I'm caught up enough in the movie that I'm not breaking it down to the details anyway.
I'm very much a people-pleaser, and with a book out, I had to learn that you can't please everybody with your book.