Category Archives: Origins


If you’re wondering who’s asking the questions in this Q&A, well, it’s also me. I’ve found this to be a quick-moving, fun alternative to a traditional essay. Warning: contains mild spoilers for “Hailey’s War.”

Hailey Cain is 23 as Hailey’s War opens. Why such a young protagonist?

That has its roots in how the success of 37th Hour changed my life. When I first had the idea for Sarah Pribek novels, I was 29 and working full-time in a newsroom, a disciplined, deadline-oriented environment. Most of the people I worked with were in their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. I created a world for Sarah that was similar. She worked in law enforcement, a hierarchal world with clear rules (even if she broke them sometimes).

Then I sold 37th Hour and made enough money to quit my newsroom job. Continue reading



Let’s get this out of the way: You’re Californian and live in California. Sarah is Minnesotan and lives there. How’d that happen? This must be the most frequent question you get about Sarah.

The short answer is, I spent three years in Minneapolis, going to grad school in journalism. Then I got a newsroom job in California, and I hadn’t been back all that long when the character of Sarah Pribek started to take shape in my mind. It was really clear to me that she lived and worked in the Twin Cities. Continue reading