To read any of the previous interviews, just click on the tag “authorial intrusion” on the left side of the page.
For those just tuning in, here’s the history behind these posts:
I love reading about the Publishing Journeys of my favorite writers.
I love the long, soul-searching interviews that reveal every obstacle and triumph: the author whose agent made her do three revisions before signing her … the author who gets up at 4:30 a.m. to write, because it’s the only time she has to herself … the critically acclaimed author who spent nine years trying to get published … I never tire of this stuff!
Long, luxurious interviews aside, don’t you sometimes find yourself wondering: “But do you like Thai or Chinese food better?”
Reader, I asked them.
I assembled a grab-bag full of random questions and emailed them to some of my favorite writers.
And now, without further ado, please welcome Jo Knowles!
Through her Monday Morning Warm-ups on LiveJournal, Jo has been a source of writing support and inspiration for many writers, including me. When I write, I try to keep in mind a key piece of advice I’ve learned from her: “Go deep.”
Depth takes not only skill, but courage, and in her first novel, Lessons from a Dead Girl, Jo demonstrates that she’s brave enough to follow her characters to some dark places. It’s the sign of a skilled writer when a book opens with one of the main characters already dead … but the reader can’t put the book down because she’s gripped with the need to know what happened.
Jo’s second novel, JUMPING OFF SWINGS, is set to come out in 2008 or 2009 – I can’t wait to read it!
What's the last song you listened to?
Something about Pokemon that my son made up.
If you couldn't write in your current genre, what would you write?
Thai food or Chinese?
Where did you go on your first date?
Chuck E. Cheese. My date thought it was hilarious. It wasn't, actually.
Ever wish you'd studied a different subject in college?
I wish I'd never taken that nutrition class. Or statistics. But I'm glad I didn't listen to anyone and majored in what my heart told me to, which was English/Writing. That is about the only thing I don't regret about my college years, alas.
I was thirteen and I was a fountain girl at a place called the Tamarack. When there weren't any customers, we had to work in the back filling hundreds of little cups with ketchup and tartar sauce. And on really bad days we had to help make the "lobster" salad by squeezing the water out of these big bags of "defrosted" (but actually still-mostly-frozen) langostino bits. It was awful.
Pick three words to go on your tombstone.
I'll miss you.
Five things you would do with $100,000.
1. Stock as many food banks as possible.
2. Do something to make our house more green.
3. Donate to AIDS research.
4. Build some Wee Houses on our land so we could host writers retreats here.
5. I think I've used up all my money and then some already!
Your five favorite movies.
1. The Sound Of Music (I admit I haven't seen this movie in many
years, but it was a family tradition to watch it at Christmastime and so I still count it as a favorite.)
2. The Princess Bride
4. An Affair To Remember (minus the really awful part when the children sing)
5. Harold and Maude
Furthest you've ever been from home.
Advice for writers in 5 words or less.
Be brave. Be honest. Write.
Rollercoasters: love em or hate em?
Love em, but they give me horrible headaches which makes me very sad.
Where would you like to travel that you haven't yet?
Wales (but only in the summertime).
What books are on your night-stand right now?
The Princess and The Hound and A Drowned Maiden's Hair.
If someone made you sing karaoke – you couldn't refuse! – what would you sing?
Trust me. You would REALLY REALLY REALLY want me to refuse. When my son was little and I tried to sing to him at bedtime he would say, "Please, Mommy. No sing." BUT if I really have to choose, then I'd sing something by ABBA. If I'm going to embarrass myself, I might as well go all the way.
Who do you wish you could meet, living or dead?
Eleanor Roosevelt or Martin Luther King, Jr.
Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom? (Or suggest your own.)
I can't have both? Rats. I guess I'd go with Johnny.
Thanks for indulging our curiosity, Jo!