Author Revealed

Revealing Questions

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

A. Eight words? How can I describe life in --

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. Keep on keepin' on ...

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?

A. A good night's sleep.

Q. What’s your greatest fear?

A. Being eaten by wild boars.

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

A. The beaches of Isla Mujeres ...

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. My parents.

Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?

A. "The Dude abides."

Q. What do you regret most?

A. Not spending more time with my grandmother before she died.

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

A. The ability to speak several languages fluently.

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. I still can't believe I performed a piano concerto with a symphony orchestra in front of a few hundred people.

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?

A. An inability to say no to dessert

Q. What’s your best quality?

A. Sense of humor

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?

A. Sense of humor.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

A. Tony Soprano ... not that I work for the mafia.

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?

A. Grocery store clerks who say "next on line" instead of "next in line."

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

A. Playing the piano.

Q. What’s your fantasy profession?

A. Writing for a television show like The X-Files

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

A. sense of humor, kindness, and intelligence

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

A. Chips and salsa!

Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?

A. I'm feeling a little old school today, so here's a list with that in mind: Bobby Darin's "Softly As in a Morning Sunrise," Etta James's "At Last," Jamiroquai "My Corner of the Earth," Melody Gardot's "Quiet Fire," and Nina Simone's "Love Me or Leave Me."

On Books and Writing

Q. Who are your favorite authors?

A. Jeanette Winterson, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, J. M. Coetzee, Jhumpa Lahiri, Nicole Krauss, Susann B. Cokal, Truman Capote, early David Mamet, Raymond Carver, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway's short fiction, Jeffrey Eugenides, Salman Rushdie, Michael Ondaatje ...

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

A. J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace Jeanette Winterson's The Passion Nicole Krauss's The History of Love Katherine Dunn's Geek Love F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

Q. Is there a book you love to reread?

A. Jeanette Winterson's The Passion. I reread and teach it every year.

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

A. Read as much as you can.

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

A. That they're not big readers but that The Unspoken makes them want to read more. That's one of the best compliments a YA writer could get.