When I was a kid all I did was write. I dropped out of high school and attended the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University where I was surrounded by writers and artists.

But then, in my early twenties, I got a job. I worked hard at that job for 15 years and didn't write a word.

Then this happened: I walked into a bookstore and bought two books by Francesca Lia Block. No particular reason, I just liked their covers. Then I read everything she wrote. I read all the YA I could. I still do. I think the world that happens between 13 and 17 is everything.

I quit my job. I studied writing. I spent three and a half years writing Uses for Boys. Now I'm working on a new novel and it's like falling down a hole. Writing my first novel taught me nothing about writing the next one.

Now I write. I live with my girlfriend and her daughter and when they come home we make dinner and walk the dog and dance around the kitchen and the next day I get up and I write.