I want to thank Aubrey for answer my questions. Read more about her here!
What was the first story you remember writing about?
When I was eight or nine I wrote a series of “novels” called “The Seashore Kids” about a group of runaway orphan pre-teens who live together on a beach. I think I was reading a lot of thoseBoxcar Children books at the time. And already getting sick of winter in Cleveland!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I remember having many different dream jobs as I was growing up: actress, singer, dolphin trainer, doctor. I think I would have wanted to be a writer, but my early education seemed to teach me that literature ended at Hemingway. I thought writers were a dead breed, like blacksmiths or jousters. A dream job, for sure, but I thought I was born too late!
Do you think writing is a learned skill or something we do intuitively, or both? Why?
I think it’s a bit of both. I think some people have better instincts than others, but that these can be developed by reading and writing as much as possible. I do firmly believe that writing is a craft and that the basic techniques are infinitely teachable. That said, some people do seem to have a special talent, or aptitude, that given them a leg up. I like to think of it like cooking–not everyone can be a great chef, but anyone can learn to follow a recipe!
What was your least favorite class at any point in your education? Why?
This is a good question. I have pretty wide and varied interests so I always liked school, but I’ve never been a big history buff. I remember taking an antebellum slavery class in college that bored me to tears. I also took a graduate class called “Theater and Anti-Theater” that, I swear, I can’t remember a single second of.
As for “why,” I think I have trouble seeing opportunities for creativity in subjects (like history) that seem so fixed. I’m sure it’s there (I didn’t start to see mathematics as creative until I became more familiar with the concepts on a higher level), but I can’t see it.
Are you reading anything right now?
I’m currently working my way through the newest Best American Short Stories and I just started Roxane Gay’s An Untamed State (it’s amazing!).
Are you writing anything right now?
I am currently working on a novel, trying to push through the last third. And I’m always writing shorter things as well. I’ve been writing more and more non-fiction lately, including a monthly blog on parenting for Brain, Child Magazine.