Is there a book or series that, when you think back, helped define your childhood?
Reading books was a peculiar thing for me to do because I was undiagnosed with ADHD. Still, when I was in fourth grade I discovered I loved reading to my happy surprise since reading was always an activity that the “smart” kids did. I devoured the Narnia series and then the Harry Potter series. I believe the Narnia series gave me the feeling that magic existed in places you would not expect. It allowed me to escape the stresses of school. It also showed me that the world of books was something magical, unexplainable, and metaphysically superior to the world of Adulthood and School.
Would you want any children in your life (yours or relatives’) to read those too? Or what’s your philosophy on what children read?
I want my children to read whatever they like..
Moving to your school years: what book did you read in high school and hated (or skipped reading at all) that you learned you loved later in life?
None come to mind.
What about the opposite way? One you loved in your teens, but realized you didn’t love it so much later on?
I really loved “On the Road” and the other Beats as a Freshman and Sophomore in College. I think one day I’d like to revisit those and see what about them resonated so profoundly with my young adult self. Today I suppose their lack of interest in craft turns me off. Also knowing Kerouac was an awful father, friend, and husband makes me uninterested in rereading his work.
Are there any books that you read while writing your debut that helped shape the direction you took your own book?
Yes! Gertrude Stein’s “The Making of Americans” very much influenced my use of repetition as did Gordon Lish’s short story collections.
What is a book you’ve read that you thought, Damn, I wish that was mine?
“Infinite Jest” is on a level I don’t think any other book is. I constantly go back to that book and think of it as the pinnacle of what a great writer can achieve. I find DFW as a human being complicated and nuanced as well, neither wholly good nor wholly bad, simply a flawed human which keeps me interested in maintaining a relationship with him.
What have you been reading / do you plan to read during your debut book tour?
I’ve been reading “Game of Thrones” and that one is so long I bet I’ll be reading it for the rest of 2022!
And, finally, I have to ask… I’m sorry. What’s next? But wait! Only use three words.
Continue to write.