It is the "what if" questions that inspire best-selling author Jodi Picoult.
The 44-year old novelist, who has penned 18 novels including My Sister's Keeper, told TV ONE's Breakfast show today she likes to focus on complex moral questions.
"I try to put ordinary people into extraordinary situations," she said.
"I at least get them involved in some moral conundrum where the right and wrong are unclear - there are many many shades of grey."
Harvard-educated Picoult said her latest novel, Lone Wolf, is another example of regular people in extreme situations.
Picoult said that while there is no end-point she wants readers to arrive at on the last page, she does want readers to challenge the way they think.
"I never tell you what to think in a book. Even when it's a very controversial issue," Picoult told Breakfast.
"It's not my job to tell you what was right and what was wrong - it's my job to make you ask yourself why your opinion is what it is."
Picoult, who wrote short stories for Seventeen magazine when she was a student, told Breakfast it is "very exciting" to be the most popular fiction writer in the country.
"I wake up in the morning and read all the fan email and answer it and I will always have a couple of letters from New Zealand, which is really nice," she said.
Last night, Picoult spoke to fans in Auckland as part of her latest world tour.
Picoult has sold over 30 million books worldwide, with more than three million of those purchases coming from Australia and New Zealand.
Since records began in 2009, Picoult has been in the top spot for bestselling general fiction author in New Zealand.