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This mom of three has a pet chicken named Fluffy, is a Brady Bunch fanatic and takes an insane number of photographs. In other words, not your standard-issue best-selling author.
Q. The One & Only, your new novel, is about romance, friendship and Texas football. How did you come up with that premise?
A. I love the inherent drama in sports and wanted that to be the backdrop for a surprising love story—think Friday Night Lights meets When Harry Met Sally.
Q. Your heroines are passionate, funny and flawed. How would you describe yourself?
A. Driven and determined. Sensitive and sentimental. A loyal friend who is excellent at keeping secrets. I can get obsessive, whether it's taking photographs (over 10,000 of them last year, mostly of my children) or watching Brady Bunch reruns (I'm a trivia queen!). And I'm a perfectionist, but not about parenting. Mom guilt is a supreme waste of energy.
Q. You've pinned stars like George Clooney and Robert Downey Jr. on Pinterest. Are they muses for your male characters?
A. I seldom think about celebrities when I write, but I did have George Clooney in mind for The One & Only's Coach Carr. He's just perfect—if only he'd commit!
Q. You're hosting a dinner and can invite six famous people. Who would they be?
A. Hillary Clinton (for my mom), George W. Bush (for my father), Kate Middleton (for my sister), author Judy Blume (for me) and Bruce Springsteen (because he's the Boss.) After dinner, I'd go dancing and drinking with Tina Fey!
Q. How did you end up with a chicken named Fluffy?
A. Our first pet chicken, Polly, appeared in our backyard one day. After she was killed by a hawk, we got another one. Our family attempted a democratic process to name her, but my 6-year-old daughter, Harriet, insisted on Fluffy—a source of shame for my 10-year-old twins, Edward and George!
Originally published in the June 2014 issue of Family Circle magazine.