Author Q&A If you could cook dinner for any author, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you make?
I would cook dinner for Sappho. I would make mustard-brushed salmon and roast potatoes with lemon dressing.
What scares you the most about the writing process? How do you combat your fears?
This is probably just a specific case of fear of not being good enough: I have these enormous visions—often beautiful, but sometimes not. In order to write them down, I typically have to sacrifice the enormity of what I first envisioned to something lesser, more ordinary, possibly mediocre, when I'd really rather hold on to the original magnificence.
To combat that, I tell myself to do it anyway and to simply hope that some readers somewhere will contribute their own magnificence and connect it to what's now an ordinary string of words.
Who is your biggest literary crush, author or character?
This changes over time of course. At the moment my biggest literary crush is Edouard de Chavigny in Sally Beauman's novel Destiny.
What books are on your nightstand?
Mary Oliver, Why I Wake Early.
Margot Anand, The Art of Everyday Ecstasy.
Where do you get your ideas? What inspires you?
Most of my ideas come from personal experience and stories other people tell me.
Literally, I get many of my ideas when I am out on my almost daily walks or jogs in nature – mountain paths at home, paths by the sea when I am lucky enough to be near an ocean.
What inspires me most of all is the hope that we can reclaim a balanced world in which women and their values are more powerful than they are now.
After that I am inspired by the following, in no particular order: Fairy tales, nature, mythology, current events (though they frequently deflate rather than inspire, sad to say).
Favorite punctuation mark? Why?
The question mark. I love questions. And the mere shape of the question mark is so interesting. Half circle and period all in one.
What book were you supposed to read in high school, but never did?
I managed to write an acceptable essay about it without reading it. I did manage to read it later on in college and it was remarkably good.
What inanimate object would you thank in your acknowledgements?
My horned lizard pendant.
Why do you write? The first 5 words that come to mind. Go.
I want to.
If you could write an inspirational quote on the mirrors of aspiring writers, what would you write?
Trust yourself. Just do it.