Tell us a bit about your family. My husband is a complete studmuffin. If it were not for him taking the girls so I can hole up and work, I doubt I would be this far along. He is incredibly supportive. Not a big reader, but supportive in every other way. He is a great partner for physical activities like dancing and running. I have always been impressed with his ability to just jump up and go when I start something new.
My girls are beautiful and smart and remind me all the time that there is an entire world waiting for me when I come back from dreamland, or promoland, or studying or editing or whatever. My oldest is a runner and a writer (she has done Nanowrimo with me for two years) and reads everything just like I did at her age. Her younger sister is a big ball of emotion and also likes to sit and flip through books and even though she isn’t actually reading them though that doesn’t stop her from carrying the books around everywhere she goes. Just yesterday I also caught her filling up the pages of a lined notebook with very detailed scribbles. I remember doing that as well, I was trying to imitate my mother’s cursive.
Both of them are High School Musical fans, and if I play songs from that movie in the car they will both sing at the top of their lungs. That makes me really happy.
What is your favorite quality about yourself? My enthusiasm. I have gotten quite a lot done just by diving in before really considering the work involved. My close friends cite my enthusiasm as something they appreciate about me so I am glad it is rubbing off.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself? My enthusiasm. I take on too many tasks. Some eventually don’t get completed though they are just as important as the others. This causes me stress and I don’t like being disappointed in myself.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? I have an entire page on my website dedicated to quotes I love under a tab I labeled “Inspiration.” Several people from Jonathan Franzen to Marilyn Manson have said things that I use to keep me motivated. I also included several quotes in Sex and Death in the American Novel.
A quote that crystalizes a mindset and a feeling that I am channeling for the novel I am working on now comes from Rush Limbaugh.
“Feminism was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream.”
I have lived with this sense of the way the world works my entire life, and grown out of it to some extent, but this quote has done the most to give me something to speak to. I was extremely grateful when I found this quote because it succinctly put into words something I am compelled to work against.
What is your favorite color? Red. I was married in a red gown. My husband even painted the living room in our last house red for me.
Most people know me for my red lips. Blood is red and symbolizes life, vitality and energy--nourishment and sustenance.
What is your favorite food? If I had to choose one I would say Chicken Biryani. This is a spicy rice and chicken dish that isn’t too hot. I told my husband that on my deathbed I don’t care what the doctors say, I want something from our favorite Indian place.
What’s your favorite place in the entire world? Montana.
My parents were both born in Montana, and I plan to end up there eventually. I spent the largest amount of my childhood there. Mountains, lakes, skies that go forever…I even named my website after those skies. Storms blow through that last only minutes and then the sky returns to blue. There is a hopeful example in that. I miss it.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing? My mother was very strong and very creative. Through the last years of her life people started calling her a “character.” She never let details stop her from doing what she wanted. Though I do not want to follow in her footsteps (she was a Pro-Life activist, and could get into a good deal of trouble at times.) I do feel like her example of spending time away from us kids to do something she thought was important probably influenced the way I began to make my writing a priority while I still had kids at home. Especially in the beginning, there was a lot of guilt for taking time away from my family to do something that was just for me. Now I remember her and believe I am showing my girls an example that will serve them when they are adults.
Both of my parents encouraged college, both by example and by letting us know they expected us to go. Our house was filled with books and they each read all the time. My father was big into science fiction and horror and that was what I grew up on.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? With Edgar Allan Poe. I would memorize stanzas from “The Raven” and loved the way those lines made me feel. His stories wrapped me up so completely and set up a very specific mood. I wanted to be able to create a world and make people feel in that specific way.
What inspired you to write your first book? My first book was all about a boy who was born in Argentina in the 1970s. Since I started dancing the Argentine Tango and reading about the country and its culture, I found out what an interesting place it was. The history is exciting and there are some awful parts as well but so much to learn from all of it. These are people have all-night bookstores and this rich literary tradition producing writers like the well-known Julio Cortazar and Jorge Luis Borges plus these fun weird ones like Roberto Arlt.
There is also a dialect they call Lunfardo which seemed very novel when I first learned about it. History is evident in everything from their architecture to their dances to the many languages that are spoken and beyond.
I used the main character to explore some of the more fascinating aspects of that culture and history and also used the setting as an excuse to rewind my life and see what I might have done differently if I had made different choices as a young person.
That was my first book, so mostly it was a big excuse to fantasize and do research!
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Genre - Literary Erotica
Rating – X