Who is your ideal reader?
A member in good standing of The Long Book Society!! Hey, you don't even have to be in good standing; you could have missed every last meeting. But you know you're one of us. You tarzan through the all-that-glitters into the vast-shadowy-understory. Because that's where the gold is. But only we know that. So page after page we go because there we'll have a good laugh; there we'll meet more crazy-mixed-up characters than we knew even existed in this world; there, finally, we'll understand society (well, at least, in my long book you will; I can't speak to all those other long books, like War and Peace, and Les Miserables and stuff); and we'll even cry ourselves to sleep but wake up all sunny again because those tears we cried the night before were magic tears. You see, all those words our eyes encountered on all those many many pages contained in them nothing less than just what we and our sore-and-sorry-souls needed to hear. So, yes, read my long book Where the What If Roams and the Moon is Louis Armstrong and all will be right in your world.
Who are your favorite writers?
Charles Dickens, Roald Dahl, J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Wilkie Collins, Mark Helprin, Michel Faber, Leo Tolstoy.
Why do you like them and did any of them influence you when you wrote Where the What If Roams and the Moon is Louis Armstrong?
In Where the What If Roams and the Moon is Louis Armstrong, I did everything I could to show mortals in all their complexities like Leo Tolstoy does; for in War and Peace there’s a light-as-spring-air-angel who crashes hard to earth; there’s a true prince who, it turns out, is more of a fool than a prince; there’s a true fool who, it turns out, is more of a prince than a fool.
I made myself (yes, me, the writer) the narrator of the story which meant that right at the get-go I made sure my readers see what they need to see, just as Michel Faber's narrator does as he guides you through the dark streets and back alleys of Old England in The Crimson Petal and the White.
I did my best to mix magic and reality and wrap them all up in poetry like Mark Helprin does in The Winter’s Tale.
I show many different characters’ points-of-view like Wilkie Collins does in The Woman in White.
I, too, made the impossible, possible, when I turned fairies into Emissaries-from-the-Universe who are here to help human children, just as Neil Gaiman does when he turns ghosts into parents in The Graveyard Book.
I love to invent new words the way Roald Dahl and J.K. Rowling do in their stories.
And, above all else, I consider it my moral duty to show our present day society and all its absurdities, injustices and cruelties the way Charles Dickens did when he wrote about his time, Victorian England.