So here are the questions and my answers:
1. What are you working on now?
I am finally starting a novel that has been brewing in my head since my husband and I first moved into our 1930s log cabin on Braddock Mountain in Maryland. All the doors (complete with skeleton keys and room numbers) were salvaged from the S.S. City of Atlanta--a steamship which sailed the Chesapeake Bay as part of the Chesapeake Steamship Company from the year the ship was built in 1907 until it was sold for scrap in 1930. I have two points of view and two time periods interwoven in this plot--that of a contemporary 12-year-old boy living in the log cabin and that of a 12-year-old girl living on the steamship her father captains in 1928. I won't give away any more of the plot now, as I don't want to jinx the novel before I finish it, but I will add a photo of the ship, as well as of the doors and keys in our home.
2. How does it differ from other works in the genre?
In my research on steamships of the Chesapeake, I have not come across any other middle grade novels that involve life aboard a steamship (other than a number of books about the fateful voyage of the Titanic). Plus, I think the fact that I have two interwoven timeframes and points of view adds to its uniqueness.
3. Why do you write what you do?
I was a voracious reader as a girl and particularly loved books that allowed me to connect with characters who lived through different periods in history. Some of those books remain my favorites even to this day. My goal is to write the same types of books that will hook today's middle grade readers.
4. What is the hardest part about writing?
For me, the most difficult part is getting the first draft on paper. Once I have the skeleton down, then the fun begins--the true meat of writing when I can flesh out the characters, setting, and plot.
Here's a link to the lovely author, Laura Bowers, who is one of the authors I tagged to continue the blog hop. Laura is the author of two YA novels, Beauty Shop for Rent (a "Steel Magnolias for teens") and Just Flirt (a "sweet and lively summer read" PW). Laura also heads up the bloggers for the MD/DE/WV SCBWI region on "As the Eraser Burns."