Chelsea Cain

(Chelsea Snow Cain)

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As a seven-year-old, I remember when Etan Patz disappeared and was immortalized as the first missing-child face on a milk carton.
Don't let your characters tell you what to do. They can be pushy. Some writers say that they create characters and then just sort of follow them around through the narrative. I think that these writers are out of their minds.
Every year, I give my dad an advance copy of my latest book. He reads it over the next several nights and says something incredibly supportive. Then he clears his throat nervously and changes the subject. Families, Children & Parenting
I am a control freak, but not when I travel. For some reason when I travel, I am able to surrender more than in my real life. I am able to let go. I think it's why I like it so much. Life ;Travel
I felt like I'd culturally arrived when a character on the HBO show 'True Blood' was reading a hardback of 'Heartsick' at Sookie's kitchen table.
I finished 'Heartsick' with my daughter asleep in her bassinet by my desk, a feat that any new mother will tell you cannot be sufficiently praised.
I grew up in Washington State and then eventually found my way back to Iowa City for grad school.
I guess people might be surprised to know I read comic books. I'm a Marvel girl, as opposed to DC.
I have traveled a fair amount, and I have visited some great cities. I love architecture and museums and castles and ruins and central markets and even double-decker bus tours. But, I am a sucker for a tropical beach. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I know that there's a cultural expectation that women be nurturing, delicate flowers. And I am. So delicate. But that doesn't mean I can't write a good, gory murder scene. Women
I like signing books for a living; I do. But you have no idea the panic that sets in. I am not a very good speller. Put me in a stresser situation, and I lose all capacity to recall how to spell the most simple names.
I love the fact that we are surrounded by this spectacular natural beauty that routinely strikes us dead. Hikers walk off into the woods and are never seen again. And still we tug on our fleece and skip off into the wilderness, not a care in the world. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I love to write just about more than anything, but there are times I have to force myself to sit down and work. I want to play with my daughter or watch a movie with my husband or go outside on the nicest day of the year. But if writing is going to be your job, you have to treat it like a job. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I often keep my eyes open for bodies. I do. Ever since I was a kid. I think I read too many 'Nancy Drew' books.
I read a lot fewer thrillers than I think people assume I do.
I read a lot of 'Nancy Drew' books as a kid and considered myself a bit of an amateur detective.
I think of it as the lasagna approach to writing because I'm always adding layers. I'll sometimes do it layer by layer, with dialogue, attribution, action, objects in the scene, setting... It can be sometimes that delineated.
I used to write travel essays, and I was struck by how the fact of writing about a place would change my relationship with it. I would make completely different choices, do things I wouldn't have normally, because I had to fill this narrative shape. Travel
I was a library rat and a bookworm. I read all the time. I walked to school reading books. I read under my desk. Time
I was born in Iowa City and spent my early childhood on a hippie commune just outside of town.
I was obsessed with Val McDermid's Tony Hill and Carol Jordan books, delightfully twisted stuff.
I was pregnant with my daughter when I started writing my first thriller, so I guess you could blame hormones.
I'd lived in Portland on and off for a decade before I'd even heard of Vanport. It was this town of 20,000 people that washed away from north Portland.
I'm a sucker for a screwed-up protagonist. We all have issues.
I'm usually too shy to write on planes because I assume that everyone on board is as nosy as I am and will look over my shoulder and read what I'm writing.
I've always been more interested in what happens after the bad thing has happened - the fallout of the bad thing, when people are already damaged. I'm less interested in seeing people when they're fine and following their journey to becoming damaged.
I've written books for awhile, but always on a pretty small scale and always pretty self-indulgent. I chose projects that I thought would be really fun to work on and found friends to work on them with me, and it was all about the process. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Memory is a fiction we tell ourselves: just a piece of the truth. Truth
My husband and I were excited about having a kid - it was having a baby that had us worried. We had a lot to learn, so like good liberal arts graduates, we signed up for a class.
No matter what fabulous place I visit, I don't feel like I'm on vacation unless I'm dehydrated and covered with sunscreen.
Of the paperbacks that you see at the airport, I am the most violent woman writer.
Often we don't even know what we think ourselves about people in our lives.
People come to Portland, many of them for the quality of life. They love the physical space here. And yet every year, people climbing the mountain get killed by avalanches. Life ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
People read stuff over your shoulder when you're in public, and when you write the kind of stuff I do, and people read it over your shoulder, it makes you a little self-conscious.
Somehow, having an office that I had to go to made me want to work from home, which is easier to do if you don't have a boss waiting for you at the office, even a very blue office. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
There's not a lot of arc in an actual psychopath.
There's something about the Pacific Northwest, the scale of it, and the fact that not so long ago people came here and died getting here, and then died the first winter they were here. There's this breathtaking beauty, just a little bit of moss on the tree, just this little thread of danger, and the sinister. And I really like that.
When I say that I went to grad school in Iowa City, people often assume that I went to the famed writers' workshop MFA program at the University of Iowa. I didn't. I got a master's in journalism.
Worst part of being a writer: having to tell my toddler that I can't play with her because I'm working. Keep in mind that working consists of me at home with a laptop on my lap sitting on the couch. It doesn't look like working. I don't have a hammer or anything.
Writing tips are like mini skirts. Sometimes they fit perfectly, sometimes they make you cry, and sometimes you can reuse the material and sew yourself a pillow or something.
You know what I hate? I hate people who give me plants. The whole giving someone plants - it's like giving someone a pet. I'm giving you responsibility, I'm giving you a thing that you now have to take care of for, like, a year until it dies, and then I'm giving you sadness and guilt.
You won't make a living writing until you learn to write when you don't want to.

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