Q & A - The following was adapted/updated from a CTV interview I gave following the release of my first novel:
Q1: How would you describe your relationship to writing?
A: There's a saying in education that you teach who you are.
UPDATE: I thought I was writing who I was until I read another quote that said we teach what we need to learn. That's probably closer to the truth.
Q2: What makes you different than other people or other writers?
A: I seek out the extraordinary, the potential and the beauty in everything and everyone. In people, sometimes it’s in the form of dreams that have been ignored for so long, they’re more like dream shadows.
ANECDOTE: Havana, Cuba: I'm coming down the steps of a museum—I stop because the beauty before me takes my breath away. As I stand there, a woman rushes down the steps complaining to her companion about how ugly everything is. I think of this woman often—she reminds me how powerful our constructed lens is as we look out into the world.
Q3: How do you work? Do you have a mantra?
A: Whether writing or working out a problem, I have a tendency to 'paint' myself into a corner so I can try to figure a way out.
Q4: Can you fill in the blank? I wish I could…
A: …paint…or conduct a symphony. Paintings, photographs, music, all art forms really, inspire my writing & my life. Oh, and PUBLISH MY 2ND NOVEL!!
Q5: How would you like to be remembered?
A: As someone who inspired a dream or laid down one tiny pebble on the path for someone to follow their dream. And naturally, as a good writer, teacher, sister & friend.
Q6: Is there something that you want to communicate through your novels or through your academic writing?
A: I want to convey the depth of my conviction that our greatest failure has been and continues to be our repeated dismissal as a society of every child's right to grow up in dignity in an equitable world - a world safe from war and fear. Conversely, our greatest accomplishments are those times we've chosen to uphold and protect those fundamental rights, in creating communities where children can play, and laugh, and learn and grow into their full potential.
Those children grow up. All we have to do is look closely at the adults that surround us to see the complex manifestations of these failures and successes.
Q7: Other interests besides writing?
A: People, Trees, Books, Social Justice, Theatre, Film, Life & all its creatures.
Oh, and I love hosting murder mysteries!!!
Q8: Can you list your top 10 authors or books who have inspired you?
A: Not a chance, but here's the first ones to come to mind:
Source: Retreat by Random House
1. Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Love in the Time of Cholera, One Hundred Years of Solitude);
2. Alice Munro (just about anything);
3. Toni Morrison (her sentence leave me weeping);
4. Robertson Davies (The Rebel Angels, Fifth Business, What’s Bred in the Bone?);
5. Robert Pirsig (Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance, Lila);
6. Camus (The Plague);
7. Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore, Dance, Dance, Dance);
8. Maya Angelou (I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings; Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'Fore I Diiie...);
9. Don Marquis (Archy and Mehitabel);
10. George Orwell (Animal Farm, 1984);
11. Elif Shafak (The Bastard of Istanbul). Ooops was that 10 I said?
And, I didn’t even get to Hemingway…
Q: Final Words?
A: Is there such a thing?
3 possible options below: