Where did you get the idea for this story?

My inspiration comes from a lot of places. For The Death of Ink series, my inspiration came from a writing prompt. In the writing prompt, I had to write about a time I met someone at a bookstore. Then I was to imagine returning to that same bookstore, years later, and finding that same person as an author at a book signing.

I also borrowed from a lot of clichés. I started out this series as a satire lampooning some popular tropes in teen fiction, and also as a critique of the writing industry. Some stories you read where the nerd girl finds out the secret about the popular guy (and the secret is usually dumb, like him liking to cook or wearing pink, or something else threatening his ‘masculinity’) and the two work together.  I wanted to challenge that a bit by making the fact Devon writes not a secret; in fact, he’s the editor of the school news. Paige is an outcast, but not exactly shy and not virginal (you’ll see a bit more of that in the second book). I tried avoid binaries while at the same time critique them.

What made you set this story in Lake County, Florida?

I wanted some place I was familiar enough to write about, but distant enough to imagine. I started this story in high school and I remember driving with my mom to Tavares, Florida. There was (and is) a lot of underdeveloped areas there, a lot of bush. We would drive there near twilight and I remember thinking how spooky the place looked as it was getting dark. The area was also very beautiful. It was interesting that something could be both spooky and hauntingly beautiful.  That is the tone I hope I set for The Death of Ink.


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