Author Revealed

About Christi Phillips

Q. What is your birthdate?

A. 6/7

Q. Previous occupations

A. Assistant in a NYC literary agency; travel writer; writer for Mosfilm Studios in Moscow; director of PR and marketing for a small, luxury hotel chain in northern California.

Q. Favorite job

A. My current job is by far my favorite.

Q. High school and/or college

A. I went to high school in southern California. I skipped a few grades and graduated early. I didn't go to college.

Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?

A. Classical composers: Bach, Schubert, Chopin, Tchaikovsky; 20th century and later: Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Richard Thompson, Steely Dan, Weather Report, Talking Heads, the Clash, the Pretenders, the Police, Elvis Costello, Rickie Lee Jones, REM, Nirvana, Natalie Merchant, Joan Osborne, Stone Temple Pilots, Beck

Q. Favorite movie

A. It's a tie between Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz, and Schindler's List

Q. Favorite television show

A. Right now it's House. I've been a fan of Hugh Laurie ever since Blackadder.

Revealing Questions

Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

A. Swimming in the warm, clear South Pacific right outside my luxurious Bora Bora bungalow.

Q. With whom in history do you most identify?

A. Napoleon. Nah, just kidding.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. Barack and Michelle Obama.

Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?

A. "Just." It sneaks into the first draft somehow, and I have to strike it out during revisions. It's just meaningless. See?

Q. What do you regret most?

A. That I didn't start writing novels sooner.

Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

A. Musical talent. I'm learning to play the guitar, and it's quite obvious that I'm not naturally gifted. But I think it's important to balance work with play, to do something for fun that you don't necessarily have to be good at.

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. It's a dubious achievement, yet I'm still proud: I once watched one hundred Russian films (without subtitles) in less than a few months. I learned more than I ever wanted to know about gulags and Stalin. The concept of "comedy" hadn't caught on there yet.

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?

A. Impatience.

Q. What’s your best quality?

A. Curiosity. I'm not afraid of new things, because I love to learn.

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?

A. I'm usually reading or talking.

Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?

A. I think I'd like to meet Virginia Woolf and Jane Austen. I'd tell them that their work is still loved and revered--more now than it was during their lifetimes, in fact. Perhaps knowing this would make the unhappiness in their lives a little easier to bear.

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?

A. My pet, actually. I have a 18 lb, white long-haired cat, Clarence, who apparently was Born to Shed. When he's happy, he drools. We're not certain that he has any redeeming qualities.

Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?

A. Reading. And spending time with my husband.

Q. What’s your fantasy profession?

A. Songwriter. I'm envious of anyone who can earn a living by writing something so short.

Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?

A. A sense of humor, an open mind, and a strong work ethic--I admire people who try to do their best, no matter what they're doing.

Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

A. Sushi.

Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?

A. I would hate to limit it to five. See earlier entry, "Favorite Composers and Musical Artists."

On Books and Writing

Q. Who are your favorite authors?

A. Jane Austen Edith Wharton Kurt Vonnegut Iain Pears David Liss John Irving Michael Chabon Ian McEwan Tom Wolfe Alison Lurie Kate Atkinson Philip Kerr Evelyn Waugh Nancy Mitford Raymond Chandler Arundhati Roy Tom Perrotta

Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

A. Pride and Prejudice - J. Austen The God of Small Things - A. Roy Breakfast of Champions - K. Vonnegut Foreign Affairs - A. Lurie Les Liaisons Dangereuse - Choderlos de Laclos The World According to Garp - J. Irving Yes, I know this is six...

Q. Is there a book you love to reread?

A. All of the above, and many more.

Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

A. Write a book you would love to read.

Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?

A. Why did _____ have to die? (I can't tell you who, it's a spoiler.)