Interview with Diana Nakeeb

Who are your favorite authors?
Different authors have been my favorites at different times of my life. Growing up, I was in awe of the major American poets, particularly: Edwin Arlington Robinson, Emily Dickinson, and of course, everybody's favorite, Edgar Allen Poe. As a teen, my attention was divided between Sci-Fi (Isaac Asimov, Alfred Bester, and the whole marvelous moosh of pop culture, from comics to films: I never met a superhero/heroine that I didn't like), and -- in American literature, Henry James. How's that for a schizophrenic background? As an adult, I learned to sample translations from every country and culture. I have yet to find a country that has not contributed something priceless, to the world, through its literature. As a college student, perhaps I had a particular taste for French, Russian, and German authors, enough to give me the strength to persist until I could read them in the original texts. And at the moment? There's so much competition among contemporary authors, from Annie Proulx (Brokeback Mountain, The Shipping News) to Khaled Hosseini (The Kite-Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns) and Hector Tobar (The Barbarian Nurseries) -- it would take all day to name just the totally outstanding. It always amuses me when scientists reveal that they are jealous of "Nobel Prize Winners," whom they can count (somewhat grumpily) on their fingers. In literature, there is such an abundance of good writers, from whom I have received so much enjoyment and education, it's too exhausting even to think about, let alone envy.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Got to feed the birds and the cats, both captive and wild.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Travelling in every possible mode, except by car or plane. On foot, by boat, or by train -- it never gets old.
What is the future of e-books?
It's bright; but I also believe that they will not replace print books. It's just more great stuff to carry away the public. Oh, you authors! No sooner do you fill the bookshelves with your insights (which you MUST share with the world), but cyberspace will eventually be dwarfed by the overflow.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was a folktale sort of a thing, about a Giant that wanted nobody to be afraid of him, because I was seven years old. It was very derivative.
What is your writing process?
During the first draft, I become oblivious of absolutely every other thing. My works take form through a mishmash of handwritten notes and word-processing. During the revisions, I am semi-conscious of the outside world.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember the first story that was ever read TO me: "Little Black Sambo" (alas!), with whom I (a four-year-old Europeoid female) totally identified, despite being the opposite of the fearless young African hero. I loved the ending, in which the tigers go round and round and round until -- they turn into a ring of butter. I vividly pictured them going round and round me, both when waking and falling asleep: pacing in total silence. And of course, it helped me to appreciate William Blake.
How do you approach cover design?
I "do it myself," for better or for worse.
What do you read for pleasure?
Everything and anything interesting.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Converting people face-to-face, one at a time.
Describe your desk
Yikes! Well, there's a computer -- deliberately disconnected from and impervious to the Internet, used only as a smart typewriter. I do Internet things elsewhere. Don't look over my shoulder, world! Not till the dish is ready!
There are piles of papers, none of them blank. There are writing implements and scissors which are always on the lookout for their chance to disappear under the papers.
And right smack up against the writing desk is a window facing a tree. A cherry tree.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Brooklyn, New York. What influenced my writing from there were the good teachers that I had in high school, all of them born in Brooklyn, too.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote my first short story at seven. I could not believe how lame it was. At eleven or so, I started writing poems of a sort. They began to get better around thirteen.
Published 2017-11-14.
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Books by This Author

Venus Turning
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 25,820. Language: English. Published: January 26, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire
(5.00 from 1 review)
"Venus Turning" is a novel of retro-futurism, with scientists, billionaires, politicians, and just-plain citizens trying to jump into the future before it overtakes them. Where will our favorite billionaires be 12 years from now? What will our pets be 12 years from now? This sci-fi adventure has something for everyone.