The defining feature of my desk is a framed prayer in weirdo six-year-old-style letters that my daughter wrote at church when she was trying to get picked as Mary in the Christmas pageant. She only made second shepherd - but she was a damn fine shepherd. It says, "GOD, WE have NOT loved you with are hole heart. WE have not loved are neighbors as ourselves. we are sorry. Forgive us. AMEN!!"
There's also a laptop and a bunch of papers. But that prayer is, by far, the best of my desk.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Hah. That's a good question. My first eight or so years were spent in Newton, Massachusetts, in the messy thick of family and friends. It was a terrific time and place - very "Leave It To Beaver" on a dead end street. We would follow the milk truck and the Charles Chips truck when they came; ice cream man and even a scissors sharpening guy came by. My grandparents lived at the end of the street, so when you decided to run away from home you didn't have too far to go.
In 1960 we moved to South Florida in the middle of Hurricane Donna. That should have been a clue. As my sister quickly figured out, "We're not famous here!" I guess both my life and my musings on my life have been attempts to get back to a great place. This book certainly chronicles my search for the next great place to be.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My sister Suzy. Suzy must be trying to get to a place where we're famous again...
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
You know how sometimes you think something nasty, or true, and you have to censor it? Sometimes you even wonder, "Crap, did I just say what I was thinking? God, I hope not." Well, you don't have to censor the bad stuff or the really painfully true stuff when you write. In fact, I do believe that it's a requirement that you tell the truth. That's what I love. Telling the truth of my experience and hoping that someone reads it and thinks, "Wow, that's my truth too. Thanks for that."
What are you working on next?
I am starting a blog about switching careers at a, shall we say, ripe age. It really talks about having to do all that self-censorship, saying stuff like, "I believe that the wisdom I've accrued over many years as a..." Instead of what you want to say, which is, "Hillary frigging Clinton was Secretary of State when she was my age. Give me a chance, godammit!" Yeah.
Who are your favorite authors?
Ooh, I love Anne Tyler. She even gets a mention in my book - spoiler alert. I love early John Irving. My favorite book of all time is "Geek Love" by Katherine Dunne. I loved "Swamplandia!" by Karen Russell - hope she writes another novel. I love Kate Atkinson. Richard Russo. There are some great non-fiction writers too - Erik Larsen comes to mind. Oh, jeez, I just know I'm forgetting someone...
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