The inspiration behind Skip Tracer is my mother, who’s 90. A few years ago, she fell for her young garbageman. Because she’s a Polish busia, she’d hand him a plate of pierogis to take on his route.”
What was the inspiration behind what you’ll be reading at Waterline?
This one’s easy! The inspiration behind Skip Tracer is my mother, who’s 90. A few years ago, she fell for her young garbageman. Because she’s a Polish busia, she’d hand him a plate of pierogis to take on his route. She said he was a widower with triplets, but she’s extremely hard of hearing, so I’ll never know for sure. Before I could meet him, his route changed and their “relationship” ended. When I was thinking about the next thing to write, my mind wandered back to him. What really was the story there? Since I’ll never know, I made one up.
What are you working on now?
I’ve got something different brewing, harder to write and more serious in tone. I have to take a deep breath and dive in; I’m still circling around the edges.
What was the last great thing you read by another author?
I’ll choose LaRose by Louise Erdrich. She has a way of adding a dash of magic to a really hard story, that sticks with me, kind of haunts me. I’ve been a fan of hers forever, since Love Medicine blew the roof off my little brain.
You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which writer, dead or alive, do you invite?
Because I’d be mute in front of my most beloved authors, I’d need to invite two so they could talk to each other, while I knelt in a corner, head bowed. I think Jane Austen and Jack London would have to work so hard for points in common, that they wouldn’t notice what I’d cooked. That would be good! My results in the kitchen are mixed!