Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in New England and in the South, a bit in Hawaii and ultimately, on the West Coast before the age of 26. How it influenced my writing is simply that I have a sense for these regions in particular and I have strong emotional bonds within those areas, some of them sentimental and generous and others, stormy and unresolved. I think this all adds into the reasons why I've written novels in various places, most of which I've lived in, around, among.
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When did you first start writing?
When I could first communicate at all I was telling stories, but I was eight years old when my mother gave me a typewriter and asked me to write a story about a pet mockingbird that had recently died. So I did -- I typed the story out and I've never really stopped typing and writing stories since.