Frequently asked questions

When did you decide to become a writer?

When I was five. I was a voracious reader from a very young age; a perfect day for me was getting lost in a new fictional world . I always wanted to be a children’s author. But at eighteen, when I had to choose a career path , I chose medicine. I wasn’t confident that I had what it took to be a full time writer and decided I could best help children by going into medicine. Fast forward eleven years to the end of my residency and a part time job in a pediatric practice near Atlanta- that’s when I finally had time to explore writing again. And so I began playing with Sherlock Holmes fan fiction ideas. Just for fun— with no idea of actually publishing any of it. Those ideas grew into my first novel. I’m still shocked I became an author, honestly. For years it was just a childhood dream. I never believed it would truly happen.

Where do you get your ideas?

Every one of my books began with an idea or a character that I’m passionate about. For example, I’m a huge Sherlock Holmes fan, and my obsession with the fictional detective made me wonder what his daughter would be like— and so Dora Joyce was born. The stigma surrounding mental illness has always troubled me, and so I imagined what it would feel like to fall in love with a boy who suffered from the most misunderstood mental illness - schizophrenia. That was the seed that grew into April and Jonah’s story in YOUR VOICE IS ALL I HEAR. My latest novel THE LAST WORDS WE SAID focuses on the complexity of grief and faith; I set it in a modern orthodox Jewish community near and dear to my heart. The common denominator for all my novels is that I have to be obsessed with the central theme of the novel- the stories and characters just develop naturally from that theme.

Do you have any YA book recommendations for me?

I loved Jandy Nelson’s "I'll Give You the Sun", Kelly Loy Gilbert’s "Conviction", Nic Stone’s "Dear Martin", and Robin Benway’s "Emmy & Oliver".

Can you read my manuscript and give me feedback?

I’m afraid that between working as a pediatrician, taking care of my young children and writing my own novels, I cannot beta read at this time. Author groups are a fantastic resource for new authors to exchange ideas and critique each other’s work.

Can you refer me to your agent?

My agent is Rena Rossner of the Deborah Harris agency. She is a brilliant agent. You can query her at rena@dhliterary.com
An introduction from one of her authors doesn’t really mean much. Your work should speak for itself. She carefully considers any author that queries her.