Tell us a bit about your family. My husband and I have been blessed with three clever, wonderful children who never fail to challenge, entertain, and humble us. We also have a four-year-old Weimaraner who, though not particularly clever, is especially entertaining.
What is your favorite quality about yourself? Kindness.
What’s your favorite place in the entire world? I love the beach: any beach, anywhere—must have something to do with being a landlocked Midwesterner most of my life.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing? My mother was an English teacher and my brother is also a writer; I was surrounded by books growing up.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t interested in writing, so it’s hard to fix a point of origin—maybe in the womb?
When and why did you begin writing? I started writing when I was very young, awful poems and song lyrics, mostly to try to work through some difficult experiences happening in my childhood: my parents divorcing, multiple moves, and my grandfather’s death. The more I wrote, however, the less focused on reality my writing became; I eventually settled into fiction, imagining different worlds for myself. I guess at its heart, it began as escapism.
How long have you been writing? It makes me feel old to say this, but it’s been about thirty years.
When did you first know you could be a writer? That’s been a process of stages, but there are some moments that stand out in my mind: being accepted into the M.F.A. in creative writing program at DePaul University; having my first article published in The Writer magazine—those were psychological game-changers.
What inspires you to write and why? Virtually everything I write, at least my fiction, stems from my asking the same question: What if? I think the only fiction piece I’ve ever written that didn’t originate from that question was a recounting of an actual nightmare I had (“There Is Only Room Here for Myself”).
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Genre – Women’s Fiction
Rating – PG13