If you could cook dinner for any author, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you make?
I would not subject any author to my cooking. But if I could go out to dinner with any author, dead or alive, I’d choose either Oliver Sacks or Malcolm Gladwell because I find every single word I’ve ever read by both of them to be fascinating.
What scares you the most about the writing process? How do you combat your fears?
I struggle the most with the blank page--drafting. Once I have some material to work with--good, bad, or ugly--I am full-speed ahead. I used to fear whether or not a particular story was going anywhere (since I don’t plot ahead), but I’ve come to trust that they will.
Who is your biggest literary crush, author or character?
I started writing primarily because of reading Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges. And in fact Dictionaries Out of Order can be considered a love-letter and homage to him.
What books are on your nightstand?
I’ve switched almost exclusively to Audible but I have two books by Nathan Englander on my nightstand.
Favorite punctuation mark? Why?
The Oxford Comma. Because it’s underused and very important!
If you could write an inspirational quote on the mirrors of aspiring writers, what would you write?
Persistence is every bit as important as talent if you intend to succeed as an author.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Drafting is exhausting. Revising is energizing.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
There’s a great community of writers in Reno and doing events together is always a boost.
What did you edit out of this book?”
If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
What I do: teach middle school full-time.
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