Q: What inspired you to write a book for children?

A: I didn't set out to write a story for children. I came up with the character of Madeline, a twelve-year- old girl who believes she performed a miracle. Once I started writing, I fell more in love with her. Her story just grew and grew, and when I finished, I thought: Hmmm. This is a young adult novel!

Q: Was religion a significant part of your childhood?

A: I was raised Catholic in an Italian-American family. Many of the details of the character Antoinetta's life came from my own childhood.

Q: Have you ever tried to perform a miracle?

A: The germ of the idea of Madeline saving her father's life came from my own experience. When my father was diagnosed with lung cancer eleven years ago, I went to a church in New Mexico that is believed to have healing dirt. I brought some back and gave it to him. Within forty-eight hours his tumor was gone! I believed it was a miracle. However, he died six months later from side effects of his chemotherapy. This made me think a lot about miracles: What are they really? Even if we get what we think we want, does that make our problems go away?

Q: Do you have a favorite novel from your childhood?

A: Little Women was my favorite when I was eight and The Outsiders when I was in middle school.

Q: Divorce, and how it can impact an entire family, is a major theme in your novel. What inspired you to focus on that topic in particular?

A: I have a stepdaughter, Ariane. Her parents divorced when she was two, and I have seen how divorced parents act toward each other, how they act toward their child, and the confusion the child feels. Ariane is eighteen now.