Where do you get your ideas?
From awesomebookideas.com–an online idea store. But since they’ve gone out of business, it’s been up to me. When you’re writing, your story is everywhere. Who wrote that? Someone famous, I think. For me, that’s the way it works. When I’m in the process of creating a story, I find material everywhere—in the way a stranger in a restaurant eats, an overheard snippet of conversation. Most directly, my inspiration comes from my own teenage self. And my own kids are always providing me with great dialogue and plots.

You mean you steal your ideas from your own children?
I prefer to think of it as borrowing, like the way they “borrowed” my jewelry and change from my purse. Isn’t that what family is for?

I love your books. Can you tell me the themes of your books and why you chose them and how the characters have changed in the end, and also write me about 1000 words about yourself? And can you get right back to me because my paper is due tomorrow and I haven’t really started it because I’m so busy with soccer and other stuff?

Can’t hear you. I’m at a yoga class right now.

Okay, I’m a sucker for politeness in caps, so here’s the deal. Spend some time on this site and I swear that you will find a lot of the information you need for school reports. If you really have more questions and can’t figure out an ingenious way to fudge around it, contact me again (jill@jillwolfson.com). But I probably won’t get back to you today.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A dancer. A director. A math teacher. The weather anchor on TV. A spy. A photographer. For about a week, I wanted to be a veterinarian. I couldn’t make up my mind. Strangely enough, I entered college as a math and physics major (I was really good at puzzles), then graduated four years later with a degree in English and documentary film. Being a writer is a very good profession for someone who can’t ever make up her mind.

There’s a rumor that you were a popular high school cheerleader. Why should I read anything you write?
Cheerleader, yes (proof is the yearbook photo above). Popular, no. I thought of myself as the Suicidal Cheerleader. The endorphins from all the jumping and screaming kept me from sinking into total darkness.

Which Fury are you most like?
I have Tisiphone’s politics, Alecto’s passion for big ocean waves and Magaera’s hair. How about you?

Being bullied is a theme of Furious? Were you bullied?
You know when the character Raymond mentions that he was shoved into his locker in middle school and then it was superglued shut?
Enough said.

How can I get you to come speak to my class?
Bribe me with flattery, gifts and food. Remind me that I won’t have to write that day if I visit. I really do love school and library visits. Here’s the info.

I’m a writer, too. Will you read my 876-page, single-spaced science fiction book and mark every page to tell me what will make it better and then give it to your literary agent so she can sell it for me?
See answer to question about emailing the themes in my books.

That sucks. Why not?
Because I am a slow reader and a slow editor, and I would never finish my own work. I’m so glad that you are a writer. Keep writing and ask your friends, teachers and family for opinions. They probably owe you. However, I do sometimes offer writing workshops for kids and adults. Watch my blog, Facebook and Twitter for details. Or convince your school / book group / library to sponsor a visit.

Your Official Boring Bio says that you volunteer in a writing group for teens in juvenile hall. They’re criminals! Aren’t you scared of them?
They have more reason to be scared of me. I make them look up words in the dictionary, and then I make them use the words in a sentence or poem. I’m not satisfied with their writing unless they dig deep into their own hearts and experiences. And all this happens on Friday nights when they would obviously rather be watching TV.

It’s true that these kids have done some messed-up things, and their lives have been really tough, but they are some of the most interesting, smartest, honest and funniest people I’ve ever met. Here’s where to read their work.

What are you working on now?
One of my juvenile hall students said, “Why don’t you write about us?” I have written essays about working with them, but not fiction. So that’s an idea.

And I know the furies are definitely not done with me yet.