The very first story that I remember writing was grandly called “To the Outhouse.” I was in third grade. My story was about a little pioneer girl who must pee in the night, and she has to go to the outhouse in the wilderness, where there are wolves all around. She gets devoured by the wolves. It was not exactly Laura Ingalls Wilder.

I’m a true-crime addict. I read In Cold Blood at way too young an age. We’d be in some used bookstore, and I’d grab Helter Skelter and read 100 pages in the corner while my parents shopped. I’m fascinated not with the murders themselves, but with what happens to the survivors.