What was the last book that you read that you’d now recommend?
Have you read any classics lately that you were reading for the first time?
Depends on if you count Beverley Nichols’ gardening books as classics.
Do you re-read books? And if yes, what was your last re-read?
Absolutely! My last reread was Rebecca. For years it was my go-to travel book, the book you keep tucked in your bag in case the one you intended to read on a trip turned out to be a disappointment. When I first read it at age 14, I was rooting for the narrator. Now, I’m #TeamRebecca.
What are your go-to genres?
Mystery is my first love, but I also adore memoirs, biographies, and armchair travel. And anything about people buying broken-down mansions abroad? Bring it on.
What is your favorite childhood book?
What books are on your bedside table right now?
The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova and a book on chakra meditation.
Do you bookmark or dogear your page in a book?
What is your ideal reading setting?
It’s a toss-up between my bed or a beach.
Tell us about your favorite indie bookstore?
I owe much to The Fountain in Richmond, The Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, and Murder By The Book in Houston. Those three stores have been on my tour schedule since my very first release, and I can’t thank them enough for their love over the years.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
When I was eleven, a mean boy called me a whore so I punched him in the mouth.
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
My first trip to London was an act of homage to every English novel I’ve ever read and loved, from Paddington to Elizabeth Bennet.
Where do you get most of your writing and editing done?
In my study. I only write on my desktop, but I will occasionally proofread in bed with a printout. I pile up with dogs and cups of tea and it makes the whole process less horrifying.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It energizes when it’s going well; it exhausts when the going is hard. If it’s going REALLY well, it does both.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Seven or eight, maybe. They’re in boxes in my attic, and I haven’t seen them in decades. My daughter has instructions to burn them as soon as I die.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Never. My PR folks, my agent, my editor, and my husband will have email parties where they circulate the really good ones, but I always think other people’s opinions of me are not really my business.
If you could tell your younger self anything about writing, what would it be?
Yes, it will happen.
When you’re not reading or writing, what are you doing?
Yoga, watching TV—I’m heavily into Acorn mysteries, and traveling. I’ve also recently taking up sketching and bought a set of watercolors, so that’s happening.
What are your three favorite things right now?
A silver necklace with coins representing three Greek goddesses, my sketchbook, and a white rose tea I just discovered.
Your favorite travel destination and why?
Greece. I cut my teeth on Greek myths, and the pull of ancient history with the most stunning scenery imaginable is irresistible. Plus, the people are enchanting.
What’s your favorite meal and go-to drink order?
It’s a coin flip between a Tex-Mex combination plate and a full English breakfast. I will never refuse a glass of rosé or champagne.
What six people, living or dead, would you invite to a dinner party?
Audrey Hepburn, Angela Bassett, Aphra Behn, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Mata Hari, and Lizzo.
If a movie was made of your life, what genre would it be, and who would play you?
A fun caper, and I’ve been mistaken for Mary Louise Parker, so I think she’d get the job.
What’s the last TV show or movie you watched that was really good?
Slow Horses on Apple. Superb adaptation of a great book.
You have to sing karaoke; what song do you pick?
Anything by Stevie Nicks.
If you were being taken to a deserted island and could only bring one book, what would it be?
Collected works of Jane Austen.