Sequel to the polished and macabre Tantalize, Eternal releases February 10, 2009 from Candlewick Press.
[UK] What made you go from picture books to culturally grounded middle grade and tween books, to urban vampire fantasy? Just how many Cyns are there in your head?
[CLS] I started by taking the age-old advice. Write what you know. For me, that meant stories of diverse middle class families in the mid-to-southwest. Daily life stories, some of which were connected to my Native heritage, and all of which were set in today's world. From there, I knew I'd want to continue writing Native stories, but it also was time to stretch my writing skills. So, I began writing the kind of books I loved to read as a teen--spooky ones. Beyond that, the possibilities opened up. My next picture book is an original tall tale, which I can only blame on the influence of authors Kathi Appelt, Anne Bustard, and far too much country music. There's a lot of talk now about branding, but I fret the idea of writers closing themselves off to possibilities. Embarking on a diversity of projects shows strength, adaptability, and builds transferable skills. It's also fun. As for how many Cyns? I could use one more to handle the housework!