Book Title: THE CABINET OF EARTHS
Release Date: Fall 2011
THE CABINET OF EARTHS in a pretty small nutshell:
All Maya really wants is for her mother to be well again. But when her baby brother James goes missing, 13-year-old Maya has to take on the magical underworld of Paris, in which houses have bronze salamanders for door handles, the most beautiful people are all hooked on the sweet-smelling “anbar,” and a shimmering glass Cabinet of Earths has chosen Maya to be its next keeper. With the Cabinet’s help, Maya may be able to do for her mother what doctors cannot: save her from death, once and for all. But now that the clock is ticking for James, the price the Cabinet demands may be too high.
What made you decide to become a writer?
I actually remember the moment I realized I could make up stories that were way more interesting than real life: it made going to bed in the dark a lot easier! Since then some percentage of me has always been wandering around Elsewhere, while another percentage types it all up.
Lists of favorites are very hard for us indecisive types. When I was little, I loved the Oz books first and foremost. And the Narnia books. And E. Nesbit. And Edward Eager. And Jane Langton. Not to mention Tolkien, Dickens, the Little House books, Tove Jansson's Moomintroll books, Roald Dahl. Madeleine L'Engle. Ursula K. LeGuin. Many, many more! Now the list is even longer than it was: China Miéville and Jeff VanderMeer and Philip Reeve and Philip Pullman, and I just read Neal Stephenson's ANATHEM with great delight. And, on quite the other hand, THE PENDERWICKS! Plus about five thousand other favorites. I'm leaving all the best books out, I can just tell. Oh, dear.
Morning person or night owl?
I'd love to be free to go to bed early and rise at dawn all refreshed, but somehow in practice that's not how things go. My best writing hours are morning/middle of the day -- after about an hour's worth of walking. The day job has its own opinions, alas.
PC or Mac
That would be Mac.
What did you have for dinner today yesterday?
spaghetti and vegetable fried rice (trying to please all the kids)
Quick! Share 11 random things about yourself.
- At heart I'm a violist (but one who, these days, is playing mostly violin -- how'd this happen?).
- I love backpacking and hiking.
- I have a terrible memory for names. Awful! But I'm good at phone numbers.
- In college I spent my summers working in engineering departments at IBM. Yes, I used to be able to do stuff like machine code programming. Now, however, I can't even figure out how to get the wireless router thingy to work with the new cable internet service. I think it's manuals I miss -- remember when technology came with actual instructions?
- I lived in East Germany for a while, back when there used to be an East Germany.
- One branch of my family used to be lighthouse-keepers in Nova Scotia. My mother liked to say they turned off the light one night a week, let the ships wreck, and ran a nice salvage/scavenge business on the side.
- I really like all sorts of spicy food: Mexican, Chinese, Thai, Indian -- bring on the peppers!
- I have several children, some of them twins.
- I'm one of those Quakers who loves Silence -- so why is our house so noisy all the time?
- I teach Russian literature and film.
- I read while walking.