Interview with Abby Decatur

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing for me is the wondrous process by which I can create a story out of a simple memory, I have no idea what shape it will take, it just flows out of me somehow. Meanwhile, other stories are more deliberate, I ponder more along the way and have to edit extensively. Seeing how distinct the writing process can be for two parallel stories is fun for me. I don't know why some stories gush out and others take more coaxing to morph a simple memory into something insightful and entertaining. I also love the little thrill I get from retelling something dramatically, the way I never would when speaking.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I wanted to become an indie author because...wait, who wouldn't want to be an indie author? Mark Twain, David Sedaris, El Greco, Bob Dylan and others on the fringe inspire me to be an indie author. I love artists who mortify people by being off the wall or outrageous or cynical. Who needs recognition and who wants to jump through other people's hoops? I want to travel the world writing books that inspire people to make choices that will make them happier. If being an indie author accomplishes any part of that, count me in.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Honestly I often have trouble relaxing. I love to go out and dance, which is the one surefire way for me to have fun. I really don't know what I do with most of my free time. My first instinct is to go to the beach. The ocean speaks to my soul and I feel my quality of life is greatly diminished without it nearby. I play soccer and other sports, I can never go very long without endorphins. I read when I can sit still.
What are your five favorite books and why?
Me Talk Pretty One Day-This book is the first thing that I ever used the phrase “it changed my life” in reference to. I don't think my work could hide David Sedaris's influence for a millisecond. Until I happened upon it, I had no idea books could be that awesome. I was shocked by the audacity it takes to reveal such incriminating and embarrassing information to the world. I think many people who don't like to read could be converted by David Sedaris' work. I laughed until I cried and it makes me smile to this day. Me Talk Pretty's self-deprecation is so inspiring. Wait, what?
Gone with the Wind- My original, go-to favorite book. A lot of my views about what goes on in the book have changed since I read it in the seventh grade, but it still stands as my favorite. Scarlett O'Hara is such a vivid and entertaining character and so much can be learned from her-whether it be from her flaws or from her grit and confidence. I will love it forever.
Jane Eyre- Speaking of guts and grit, I could go on all day about the English governess going out into the wilderness and living off the land. England is so cold and wet and Jane's life is so dark and stormy until a small flicker of light comes and expands eventually takes the form of l-o-v-e. I'll identify with the nerdy girl who both makes her living and corrals her man with her nothing but her brain all day, every day.
The Stand- I read little besides Stephen King for about 3 years as a kid and believe he is wildly underrated outside of the horror genre. The Stand is a post-apocalyptic masterpiece. The suspense of the survivors converging in Colorado is immense. King's characters are so rich that it's easy to get attached to them.
Dreaming in Cuban- Three generations of a Cuban family are affected by the revolution in very different ways. This book juxtaposes the heat of the decaying, faltering island with the bustle of hostile New York. The suffering of the characters is authentic and the reader's hopes rest on the third generation. The book presents a presents life's hardships in a very real manner, meanwhile the words read like beautiful poetry. I identify with the matriarch of the family, who is hopelessly devoted for decades to a lover who visited the island only in passing. She is a part of the ocean.
Published 2014-05-06.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

How to Measure Your Life in Men
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 20,020. Language: English. Published: June 21, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs, Nonfiction » Biography » Woman biographies
After her love life hits an all-time low, a college freshman slips into a dreadful slump of despair. But a semester abroad in Costa Rica enables her to put her worries aside. Eventually she decides to give romance another try and finds herself in a series of turbulent, weird and often hilarious relationships. Alternately funny, insightful and touching, Abby’s story is relatable and inspiring.