I've killed a lot of people. Sure, I've only published one novel so far (second one coming on February 14, 2012!), but I've written plenty of short stories, and they have given me ample opportunity to rack up a body count. In some cases, I've been glad to kill off certain characters (see "Son of So Many Tears," "Stepmonster," and "Good Bones"; I think you'll understand my sentiments). In other stories, the deaths are unjust, yet essential to the story (see "Fetish," "Cheap Bastard," and "Insatiable"). The Damage Done has a mix of both: some awful people get what's coming to them, and a couple of characters who deserve better come to a sad end. Still, all of those deaths were necessary to tell that particular tale. I don't regret any of them.
Since I've loved the Criminal Minds' version of truth or dare over the past two weeks, I've decided to follow suit. Below are five true statements about me and five false ones. Can you tell which is which?
1. My brothers' nickname for me is "Beast."
2. I am terrified of swimming in open water. Actually, I just hate swimming, period.
3. I've studied martial arts since I was eight years old. I have a black belt in karate and have also taken lessons in judo and krav maga.
4. I played Reno Sweeney in my high school's production of Anything Goes.
5. My first trip outside of North America was to Ireland.
6. My face has been on the cover of a national magazine.
7. I've gone swimming with sharks. I mean that literally.
8. I have a tattoo of a sphinx on the back of my right shoulder.
9. I met my husband, Dan, while on vacation in France.
10. I learned to scuba dive in the St. Lawrence River.
(PS The photo above is from Book Expo America this past week; I had the pleasure of signing The Damage Done at the Mystery Writers of America booth, along with one of my writing heroes, Megan Abbott [center], who signed The End of Everything, which comes out July 7th. Book blogger extraordinaire Jen Forbus [left] came by to say hi.)