I want to thank Leesa Cross-Smith for answering my questions. You can read more about Leesa at her website! I also reviewed Leesa’s collection, Every Kiss a War, an amazing short story collection.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I totally wanted to be a ballerina. An actress, too. Also a writer.
What do you do now that you are “grown up”?
Now I’m a homemaker and a mama and a writer and an editor. I’m also a hit-or-miss gardener, a pretty decent texter, and I make really good chocolate chip cookies and chili. I still know the ballet positions, too, so my childhood dreams are still kinda alive!
What was the first thing you ever wrote about?
It was always something about animals. I wrote a story about two skunks lost in the rain, and another time I wrote about a girl who was wandering around her neighborhood putting up signs, looking for her lost dog. It was a white poodle and I can’t remember if she found it or not. I wanna say she did because that’s more my style. Happy endings!
Do you think there is a certain achievement a person must “unlock” before he or she can be called a “writer” or “author”?
This is such a good question! I think the only thing that must be “unlocked” is the feeling. Feeling like you are one. And that looks differently for lots of people. For some it’s that first publication, for some it’s the first print publication. For some it’s the first book, some people need a novel or a big press. Believing in yourself plays a huge factor, fersure. I highly suggest believing in yourself and your dreams, even when it’s hard or seemingly impossible—unlocking the achievement of becoming (even more) awesome at being yourself.
Are you reading anything right now?
I am reading the third book of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Some Roxane Gay, some Ben Tanzer, and every day I read these great little devotionals called She Reads Truth that simultaneously help me keep my feet on the ground and lift me. I’m also reading a book called The Wise Wound all about menstrual cycles because I love being a girl.
Are you writing anything right now?
I am working on my second collection of stories and a novel, too. At this point, I’m researching a lot and also, letting things mellow. I’m in the middle of the tunnel right now, squinting to see the lights, but I think I see them!