What are some of your favorite films? Shawshank Redemption, Stand by Me, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Dirty Dancing, Broadcast News, Unfaithful, Trading Places, Grease, Brokeback Mountain, When Harry Met Sally, Sixteen Candles, Out of Africa, The Parent Trap and The Graduate.

What types of music do you like? Is there any particular kind you like to listen to when you're writing? In no particular order:

  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Dire Straits/Mark Knopfler
  • Ryan Adams
  • James McMurtry
  • Liz Phair
  • The Avett Brothers
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Ray LaMontagne
  • Tom Waits
  • Non-misogynistic Eminem
  • Mat Kearney/Jason Mraz/Joshua Radin (and most sensitive guy crooning types)
  • Ani DiFranco
  • Duffy
  • Steve Earle
  • Paul Simon
  • Wilco
  • Mason Jennings
  • Dixie Chicks
  • LL Cool J
  • Al Green
  • Coldplay
  • Outkast
  • and… Lady Gaga!

I sometimes listen while I write—sometimes I need silence, depending on my mood and what’s happening in my story. When I’m writing intimate scenes, I love listening to slow stuff—and often become obsessed with one set song. When writing Love the One You’re With, I listened to Ryan Adams's “La Cienega Just Smiled” on repeat, for days—and even included it in my book.

Do you ever put lyrics in your books? Yes—I have several times. It’s a huge pain and can be very expensive to get permission. For my first book, I paid Bruce Springsteen $500 to include “Born to Run” lyrics!