What a hard question!
I can't pin point any single book that inspired me to have a career as a writer.
There were books that I really admired and inspired me to write Girl Over the Edge. Those books are: Winter Girls, Speak, Hate List, and Before I Die. Those are intense books about serious issues and I wanted to try something in the same vein.
2. First book you ever remember reading?
The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron
I remember going to the library instead of recess with my best friend Stephen and sitting on the floor to read the Mushroom Planet series. I have no idea what happened to Stephen, we moved schools after that year. That's the book I have the most fond memories of reading as a child. I loved the illustrations in that book.
3. How do you pick your character's names?
Sometimes it's easy to find names and sometimes it's incredibly frustrating! I try to use names that aren't super out of the ordinary or associated with a well-known person. I would never use a name like Brittany or Lindsey for obvious reasons. I try to pick names that fit the person's personality. I'll use the list of popular names if I'm have too hard of a time. I find picking names for boys is easier than for girls.
4. Name an excellent indie book that you think needs more recognition.
Confession: I just got an eReader so I'm woefully behind on reading Indie books. I have my Kindle loaded up though, ask me in 6 months.
5. Share some quotes you love! Either from your book or someone else's!
I love Oscar Wilde quotes. My favorite is "We're all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars". I used that quote in one of my books that's still just a word document on my computer. It fit that character perfectly.