Melissa Pritchard: My characters are on a mission to get at the truth, whatever the truth is. Their ultimate challenge is to understand life. When they're on a mission of this sort, they can't stay within the convention very long. They may eventually return to convention, but only after they've explored beyond it. To return home, they must first leave it. To truly learn, they must make mistakes. My characters are on journeys, and their travels take them to actual foreign countries or foreign realms of the mind. They are strangers visiting places they've never been. I want them to take risks, to be confronted by temptation, to touch the forbidden, to break taboos.