TBM: How do you imagine the ideal reader of your book?
AC: I imagine the ideal reader of my book as a romantic, a person who loves to delve into stories filled with lots of colorful and complex characters and relationships.
TBM: How was the writer inside of you born?
AC: Both of my parents were professional writers in different capacities throughout most of my childhood, so I was always trying to copy them. Once you start a story, the creativity starts flowing, and it never stops!
TBM: What genres do you work with and why are you attracted to these forms of writing?
AC: I write young adult literature because I think it's a genre that speaks to everyone. Anybody over the age of 14 can empathize with being a teenager. It's one of the most emotional, fun, and turbulent times of your life. Emotions are heightened, and the future is wide open. It's exciting!
TBM: As a reader, what elements of a story do you love, or do you hate?
AC: I love good, real characters. There are so many stories out there with boring, stock characters that don't change or learn anything from their story. I think a great character is full of faults and quirks, but is constantly learning.
TBM: What inspired you to write LEARNING TO SWIM and what do you hope your readers will take away from this book?
AC: This story was born from my infatuation with the Celtic selkie myth. I'm American, but I've lived in Ireland off and on for several years, and the place is steeped in folklore and mythology. I love the idea of putting a modern twist on old stories, because myths are full of wisdom and time-defying lessons.
TBM: How long did it take you to write this book and what did you do the day that you finished it?
AC: This book was written and then went through a million reincarnations over the course of ten and a half years. I can't rightly say what I did the day I finished it, because I finished it a hundred times--only to go back and change something. Though, on the day it was finally published, I think I got takeout and breathed a sigh of relief.
TBM: What would you like to say to your readers?
AC: To my readers, I want to say thank you! Talking to readers is always the highlight of my week, and I absolutely adore discussing books, both mine and others, with readers of all kinds.
TBM: What writing projects are you currently working on?
AC: I just finished writing LEARNING TO LIVE, the sequel to LEARNING TO SWIM, and I'm about to start on the third and final installment of the series. I also have a young adult contemporary romance I'm working on, which I hope to finish this spring.
TBM: Lastly, a direct message to the readers, about why they should read LEARNING TO SWIM.
AC: The book puts a modern spin on the old selkie myth, but its true focus is a cast of wonderful characters that are truly dear to my heart. I hope you enjoy reading LEARNING TO SWIM as much as I enjoyed writing it!