Author Revealed

About Sheila Weller

Q. What is your birthdate?

A. 9/16

Q. Previous occupations

A. waitress

Q. Favorite job

A. I've been a writer all my adult life (aside from waitressing), so..: being a writer, for good and ill

Q. High school and/or college

A. Beverly Hills High School and the University of California at Berkeley

Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?

A. all three of my GIRLS LIKE US - Carole, Joni and Carly

Q. Favorite movie

A. Thelma & Louise

Q. Favorite television show

A. Law & Order -- all of them

Revealing Questions

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

A. Author, journalist, wife, mom, LA-raised New Yorker

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. Try to write with humanity, understanding but never judging

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?

A.   Completing the last sentence of the last paragraph of a book or article whose writing has meant a lot to me but has been hard...and then watching my favorite TV show with my fellow-author husband and getting a phone call from our son about his new professional triumph; then walking outside to one of the meadows I've created at our country home. And being grateful to be alive and making it through in the creative life I chose for myself.

Q. What’s your greatest fear?

A. This is too negative a question to answer. Another 9/11?

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

A. I'm SO not a traveler, this question is wasted on provincial me.

Q. With whom in history do you most identify?

A. Yikes! I never thought about it.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. Pat Tillman, except he's dead. He gave up huge money to serve his country and he died needlessly.

Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?

A. poignant, suffused, iconic, vulnerable -- and lots of m-dashes -- -- -- --

Q. What do you regret most?

A. Not buying a certain loft on Broadway in 1978

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

A. singing and playing the piano -- I tried and failed

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. Having a son, Jonathan Kelly, who is beyond terrific (but I don't take credit for it; he gets the credit)

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?

A. being intrusive, being impatient sometimes (hello, customer service person from Bagelore) to the point of rudeness, wanting compliments

Q. What’s your best quality?

A. I try to help people (making connectionsm etc.) and I'm pro-active

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

A. waelthy enough to start a foundation

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?

A. assertiveness

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

A. Abraham, from the Bible. "You started it all. And you got up and left where you were born. I understand that."

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?

A. pretentious culturati, name-droppers, and people who talk very slowly

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

A. clearing woods and turning them into meadows or watching Law & Order on TV

Q. What’s your fantasy profession?

A. being a singer-songwriter, like my GIRLS

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

A. honesty about oneself, compassion, a great and unique sense of humor

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

A. that's easy! a spicy tuna handroll with avocado and lots of spicy sauce

Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?

A. Laura Nyro: "Timer," Joni Mitchell: "Both Sides Now" (as sung by Judy Collins), Carly Simon, "Like a River," Carole King, "Up on the Roof," Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions, "It's All Right"

On Books and Writing

Q. Who are your favorite authors?

A.   There are too many wonderful current authors, so many of whom I admire. Too hard to choose. So much good writing going on!

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

A. Alice Adams, "Listening to Billie" Joyce Johnson, "Minor Characters" Taylor Branch's Martin Luther King trilogy Maya Angelou, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" certain John Updike stories

Q. Is there a book you love to reread?

A. many, depending on what I'm writing. See the above.

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

A. Keep at it. Learn from criticism from smart, experienced people who don't have agendas. Do a lot of research. Remember: Writers block WILL pass!

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

A. either (1) I couldn't put it down or (2) her sentences are absurdly long