Especially since I’ve been a parent, witnessing innocence lost is hard for me. So much of this loss is tied to small acts of relational or emotional violence, and so much just seems to be where our human natures want to take us.”
How did you discover that you were a writer?
I was a science major for the first few years as an undergrad. I found that I was very much *not* enjoying my organic chemistry class, but really loving writing papers for my English class. One of my English professors encouraged me to forget my dreams of being a physician and instead become a writer– which I did, despite my father’s conniptions. While I may have missed my chance at ever driving a Mercedes, or settling my aging parents in the Keys, I’ve been happily strapped, well-read, and hyper-reflective ever since.
Describe your writing process.
If I’m to get anything done it’s early morning before anyone else in my household wakes up. I’m also very good at working in tight time spaces when they present themselves. I’m not a planner–I just get a gut need to put something down on paper and usually get it all out in one or two sittings. I don’t tend to do significant revisions afterwards. Just endless tweaks.
What was the inspiration behind what you’ll be reading at Waterline?
Especially since I’ve been a parent, witnessing innocence lost is hard for me. So much of this loss is tied to small acts of relational or emotional violence, and so much just seems to be where our human natures want to take us. It’s heartbreaking as a parent to see these losses, and almost as heartbreaking to think about our own. It seems to be an endless progression, so the material never stops.
What are you working on now?
For the most part I’ve been spending what free time I have developing a brand of infant nursery care products, which hasn’t left me with much time to write recently.
What was the last great thing you read by another author?
I recently read the novel In the Shadow of the Banyan Tree by Vaddey Ratner. I’m a huge fan of literary historical fiction, and Ratner’s novel taught me quite a bit about Pol Pot’s regime and the Cambodian genocide based on the author’s semi-fictionalized account of her family’s experiences.
You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which writer, dead or alive, do you invite?
Probably John Ashbery