What’s in your CD player right now?
I adore Florence + the Machine! Also: The Decemberists, David Bowie, Green Day, Sia, Adele, Mumford & Sons, Aerosmith, The Swell Season, Eminem, Pink, The Beatles, Iron and Wine, Snow Patrol, Regina Spektor, Taylor Swift, Cat Power, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Vampire Weekend, Kimya Dawson, Eat Pray Love Soundtrack, Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack
What are some of your favorite movies and television shows?
Movies: Indiana Jones, Elizabethtown, Say Anything (just because I would kill for John Cusack to hold a boom box over his head and serenade me), Once, Pride and Prejudice, The Hours, Prayers for Bobby, Dead Poets Society, Star Trek, Star Wars, Little Miss Sunshine, The Lord of the Rings
Television: The Golden Girls (I watch this religiously and have the DVD sets), History Channel, National Geographic Channel, Science Channel, Monk, South Park, Glee, Ghost Whisperer, Gilmore Girls, Hot in Cleveland, Reba, Frasier, Will & Grace, Grey’s Anatomy, LA Ink
I bet you have tons of overflowing bookshelves! What’s filling them?
Egyptology/Middle Eastern related books AND:
The Lost Tomb- Kent Weeks (Which is my favorite Egyptology related book/story, because of KV5. You can visit the Theban Mapping Project site here: http://www.thebanmappingproject.com/)
The Last Lecture- Randy Pausch
Tuesdays with Morrie- Mitch Albom
Eat Pray Love- Elizabeth Gilbert
The Perks of Being a Wallflower- Stephen Chbosky
The Catcher in the Rye- J.D. Salinger
I Don’t Want to Be Crazy- Samantha Schutz
You Are Not Here- Samantha Schutz
Crank- Ellen Hopkins
Cut- Patricia McCormick
Bear Me Safely Over- Sheri Joseph
Jane Eyre- Charlottle Bronte
The Bell Jar- Sylvia Plath
Mrs. Dalloway- Virginia Woolf
A Room of One's Own- Virginia Woolf
On Writing- Stephen King
You Remind Me of You- Eireann Corrigan
The Hours- Michael Cunningham
Angels & Demons- Dan Brown
The DaVinci Code- Dan Brown
Pride and Prejudice- Jane Austen
...and a myriad of others.
Egypt, writing, pancakes, suit jackets, boots, scarves, sundresses, vintage shops, KV5, sour/fizzle Skittles, Wheat Thins, Isis, Annabelle, Auburn Tigers, bookshelves, Buddhism, Yoga, iPod, spiral notebooks
How did you start writing?
I started writing when I was four. I picked up one of my dad’s carpenter pencils and wrote my first story. Given, most words weren’t spelled correctly, but hey it was good for a four year old. I just never seemed to be able to stop. It has gotten me through the darkest parts of my life and helped me realize so much about myself as a person and helped me to grow away from that of which was poison.
How old were you when you published your first book?
Nineteen. I self published through Blurb Books. It’s a lot of hard work and the pay is not great, but it is rewarding to have something you made in your hands- even if there are flaws. You learn from them and move on to something better.
I also was accepted into the anthology Oil and Water…and Other Things That Don’t Mix when I was nineteen. It was published when I was twenty. (I talk about it like it wasn't recent.)
Love it! I have many tattoos. All mean something near and dear to me or are dedicated to someone. Never just walk into a shop and get one just to be cool or whatever- you are going to look like an idiot in the end, because you will have to live with something you did out of impulse, a bet, to impress friends, or a dare. Also, I love ancient Egyptian tattooing and want to specialize in body art, adornment, and literature (focusing on poetry).
How do you cope with anxiety/depression/self infliction/eating disorders?
I honestly haven’t found a definite way. I know that having my sisters around helps tremendously with the anxiety and depression. Writing about what’s going on, being able to let it go somewhere besides inside of my head, is a total plus. I did what I did to take away the pain for a little while, to distract myself from what was really happening- like a vacation, because I didn’t know how to cope or how to think. Being young and already confused by everything is one of the hardest times to be going through this. You already feel out of place, then there are so many other things that add to the trouble.
As for the eating disorders I am over them- almost. I still think about it sometimes, but now I have enough knowledge and restraint to pull away from it. Sometimes I’ll go on an impulse and buy all fat free food when I go grocery shopping, but that’s about it. I do eat it, but in healthy portions. I eat it. That’s another plus. I went through a time where I didn’t eat. I would barely consume enough to keep me alive, to make it seem normal. I didn’t want people to know. Now I am eating when I am supposed to and not thinking about what pound is going to be gained from the excess calories. I will never be one of those people who gorge. Eating
Talking about it to the people you trust is also a good outlet. Let them know. I wish I would have told my sisters years ago. Jo even said that she knew, but didn’t want to say anything. She knew that the scars weren’t from cooking. “Any idiot could see that.”
You need to remember that what you are going through is real. Millions of people suffer from it and that there is hope, light and help. You are not alone. Talk to your friends, siblings, and parents and get help. You don’t have to feel this way forever.
If I think that I am suffering from anxiety, depression, eating disorders or thinking of suicide what should I do?
I am not a licensed therapist or trained in this field, therefore I am not qualified to give out advice. But there are so many people who care and want to help you get better. If you or someone you know is thinking about or wanting to commit suicide please:
-To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA)- twloha.com
-S.A.F.E. Alternatives - www.selfinjury.com - Self Abuse Finally Ends
-Childhelp – www.childhelp.org - 1-800-4-A-CHILD - National Child Abuse Hotline
-National Domestic Violence Helpline - www.ndvh.org - 1-800-799-SAFE
-Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network - www.rainn.org – 1-800-656-HOPE National Sexual Assault Hotline
-National Eating Disorders Association - www.nationaleatingdisorders.org - 1-800-931-2237
-The Trevor Helpline is the only nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. All calls are confidential and toll-free from anywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386)
-Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) www.adaa.org