Author Revealed

About Marian Palaia

Q. What is your birthdate?

A. 10/1

Q. Previous occupations

A. Logger, truck driver, gas station attendant, bartender, director of an AmeriCorps financial literacy program, teacher.

Q. Favorite job

A. Writing.

Q. High school and/or college

A. Kensington, Maryland (high school). UC Boulder, The Evergreen State College, University of Montana/Missoula, San Francisco State, and University of Wisconsin/Madison (college).

Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?

A. That's probably going to have to be Bruce Springsteen.

Q. Favorite movie

A. Before Night Falls.

Q. Favorite television show

A. The Brady Bunch (just kidding).

Revealing Questions

Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?

A. Footloose. Lucky and loved. Happy to be here.

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. No regrets.

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?

A. I would not dare try.

Q. What’s your greatest fear?

A. Losing the people I love. And my dog. (No, I am not afraid of my dog.)

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

A. In my house in Montana in June.

Q. With whom in history do you most identify?

A. Captain Kangaroo.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. My mom.

Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?

A. Awesome. This is a bust.

Q. What do you regret most?

A. Not learning more about my father's life, from him.

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

A. Being quiet.

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. Probably this book.

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?

A. I'm very bossy.

Q. What’s your best quality?

A. The ability to forgive.

Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?

A. Maybe a dolphin.

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?

A. Irreverance.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

A. Doc Savage.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?

A. A tie: Ray in "Something Wild" and Anton Chigurh in "No Country for Old Men"

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

A. T.E. Lawrence. "What was up with that?"

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?

A. Obliviousness.

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

A. Going places with my dog.

Q. What’s your fantasy profession?

A. Writer.

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

A. Kindness, generosity and empathy.

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

A. Arugula.

Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?

A. "What's So Funny 'bout Peace, Love and Understanding" by Elvis Costello, "Prove it All Night" by Bruce Springsteen, "Back Down South" by Kings of Leon, "Come a Long Way" by Michelle Shocked, "Samba Pa Ti" by Carlos Santana (In no particular order and subject to change daily.)

On Books and Writing

Q. Who are your favorite authors?

A. Lorrie Moore. Peter Orner. Michael Ondaatje. Edna O'Brien. (All those O's!) Flannery O'Connor. (Damn, I did not plan that.) Louise Erdrich. Barry Hannah. Gunter Grass. Graham Green. Pat Barker. There are a lot more, but I can't think of them right now.

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

A. "The Quiet American" by Graham Greene, "The Redundancy of Courage" by Timothy Mo, "The English Patient" by Michael Ondaatje, "Birds of America" by Lorrie Moore and "Airships" by Barry Hannah. These are actually five of the top twenty, which I generally do not rank.

Q. Is there a book you love to reread?

A. All of those listed above.

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

A. Don't be so stubborn, and read read read good books.

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

A. They love Riley.