If by “found” you mean scoured the internet until I came across a charming website and ordered four-leaf clovers in bulk, then, yes, yes I have!
Have you ever owned a black cat?
No, but not for lack of trying. As a child, my home was, at times, a haven for stray animals including: turtles, horned lizards, a skunk, a magpie, salamanders, a number of dogs, a tarantula (don’t ask) and several cats—one of which was black. Many of the animals I cajoled my parents into letting me bring inside were malnourished, injured or a combination of the two. We then nursed the animals back to health, let them go, or found suitable owners. However, I must confess that not every animal I swooped in to rescue was actually in need of my assistance—as was the case with the black cat. She didn’t refuse my offering of tuna, but, after that, she was happily on her way. Much like the black cat in FORTUNE FALLS, she was only interested in owning herself.
What's the 'luckiest' thing that's ever happened to you?
That’s a difficult question to answer. Topping the list would certainly be: meeting my husband and becoming a mom to three wonderful boys, and getting an agent, my first book deal, and the others that followed. But it’s impossible for me to narrow it down to the “luckiest” thing unless I go with a completely glib answer like: being born. Incidentally, the odds of that happening for anyone are one in 400 trillion. So, yeah, being born was the “luckiest” thing that ever happened to me. It’s probably the luckiest thing that’s ever happened to you, too. I say we try not to waste it.
What's the 'unluckiest'?
Well, since I’m basically an accident waiting to happen, that list is pretty long too—getting kicked in the head by a horse, falling from a tree swing and breaking my arm, being dragged up a ski hill by a T-bar with my face planted in the snow. . . I could go on and on, but I guess I should pick one . . . Hmm . . . When I was in second grade (in addition to taking in stray animals), I enjoyed making plastic canvas crafts. I made bookmarks and refrigerator magnets and these little triangular-faced critters that when you squished their cheeks the mouth popped open and you could slip a Hersey’s Kiss inside. Anyone else make those? Anyway, the quilting needle I used to thread the yarn through the plastic canvas slipped off my dresser and landed just so in the carpet. When my mom called and I raced to see what she wanted, my foot came down and the thicker end of the needle (the one with the eye) was driven into my heel bone. It took a persistent doctor and a pair of pliers to finally dislodge the needle. Perhaps not the “unluckiest” thing that has ever happened to me, but it has to be right up there.
Do you consider yourself a superstitious person?
Oh my goodness, yes. I don’t want to say more for fear of jinxing myself.
And lastly, what was the most enjoyable aspect for you when writing Fortune Falls?
The world building was the most enjoyable. The imagining and exploration of a time and place much like the one we live in, only with slightly skewed parameters, was incredibly fun and even a little enlightening. Superstitions are widespread in real life, but they don’t dominant our world the way they do in FORTUNE FALLS. Creating an entire existence for my characters that revolves around this one aspect, gave me greater perspective on why humans sometimes hold such strange and irrational beliefs. Superstitions are, in most cases, generated by fear. The world is a big, scary place and superstitions give us a sense of control. This holds especially true for children. My hope is that Sadie and Cooper’s story of resiliency and friendship will resonate with young readers, and they’ll discover—as I did in writing this book—that there are far better things to place our trust in than lucky pennies and four-leaf clovers.
Welcome to Fortune Falls, a magical town where superstitions are real. Four-leaf clovers really do bring good fortune, and owning a rabbit's foot is the secret to success.
However, there aren't enough charms in the universe to help Sadie Bleeker. She can't pass a ladder without walking under it, and black cats won't leave her alone.
That's because Sadie is an Unlucky. And things will only get worse as she gets older, which is why Unluckies are sent away at age twelve to protect those around them.
Sadie can't stand the thought of leaving home, so she and her friend, Cooper, devise a plan to reverse her bad luck. But when their scheme accidentally results in a broken mirror, the situation turns dire. Because for Sadie, seven years bad luck isn't an inconvenience-it's practically a death sentence.