Author Revealed

Revealing Questions

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

A. spaghetti with peperoncini, and ricotta for smooth taste

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. Let it go, then try again.

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?

A. I don't believe in perfection -- at least not outside of mathematics and religion.

Q. What’s your greatest fear?

A. That I'll go to jail for something I didn't do.

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

A. Venice

Q. With whom in history do you most identify?

A. Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia -- the first woman Ph.D. in history. She wanted an education and no one thought a woman should have one. My father had some blinders -- education for women was one of them.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. Oh my. Noam Chomsky, I believe.

Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?

A. You wouldn't print them. They're taboo.

Q. What do you regret most?

A. This is so personal. Maybe how I treated my mother when I was in high school.

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

A. Singing.

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. Raising my children without completely messing them up.

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?

A. Fear I won't be believed -- and so I exaggerate (which makes what I say unbelievable).

Q. What’s your best quality?

A. Empathy

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

A. an elephant

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?

A. persistence

Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

A. Maybe I don't believe in heroes.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?

A. Medusa

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

A. Akbar, the third Mogul emperor."Let me help you learn to read."

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?

A. People who say, "Oh, you write for children? That must be pure fun."

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

A. Gardening. Or dancing. Or yoga. or baking bread. or being a linguist.

Q. What’s your fantasy profession?

A. Being a naturalist.

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

A. kindess, insightfulness, humor

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

A. pasta

Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?

A. "Do you believe in magic?" (The Lovin' Spoonful) "I can't help falling in love with you" (Elvis) "What a wonderful world" (Louis Armstrong" "Light my fire" (The Doors) "America" (by Simon & Garfunkel, but i love it sung by James Taylor)

On Books and Writing

Q. Who are your favorite authors?

A. Margaret AtwoodToni MorrisonTim O'BrienAnne Tyler

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

A. A Tree Grows in BrooklynBelovedCelestial NavigationThe Things They CarriedThe Trumpet of the SwanBut all this is really false, because I love so many books.

Q. Is there a book you love to reread?

A. The Illiad

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

A. Keep at it.

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

A. What happened next?