interviewed on Jun 30, 2020
New York, NY
Q. How would you describe yourself?
Goodness, it's always interesting to answer this outside of a dating profile. Odd, for one. Inquisitive, for another. The rest is in constant flux and exploration-- who isn't, these days?-- but with the grounding purposes of figuring out how everything still ties into my ultimate passion, which is personal fitness.
Q. Tell us something about the books that you have written and the story behind them.
I wrote the Miracle on 98th Street, which is a memoir of living through some very interesting years with a very interesting individual on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. A lot of it reads like an impossible fairy tale or spiritual journey, but I really tried to ensure that everything was written the way it happened-- which, I suspect, is why it seems so outrageous. True stories are often the hardest to comprehend. But at the very least, I hope readers get a laugh out of them.
Q. What place does writing hold in your life, how has been your writing journey so far?
I don't write as much as I thought I would, getting out of college (Anthropology major, English minor at Mount Holyoke College) and grad school (MFA in Writing at Sarah Lawrence College). My passion is my primary business, so the writing that gets done is often-- unromantically-- social media captions and marketing copy. It's a far cry from what I envisioned in undergrad, which was novels galore, but I'm actually really happy living a more active lifestyle than being tied to a screen. Writing takes a toll on the body, and my physical practice is a kind of healing from it.
Q. What is your writing process, a typical writing day routine?
There is no typical! And I say that gladly. My day is dominated by training and scheduling clients. Writing has to be scheduled in all that, usually during laundry or something when I have to be inside and waiting around for it.
Q. What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Still learning this one. Always up for tips!
Q. What do you think makes a book sell, or makes a reader buy it?
Good press, and a passionate fanbase. I used to study fandom in undergrad and believe that there's a direct correlation in book marketing.
Q. What's the most moving or affecting thing a reader has said to you?
I don't know. My book is still pretty underground, so it hasn't gotten many reviews yet.
Q. What are your favourite three books, and why?
Oh gosh. Ask me on any day and the answers will change. Today it's American Gods by Neil Gaiman, the Calvin and Hobbes 10th Anniversary Collection by Bill Watterson, and Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner.
Q. Who are your favourite three authors and what do you like the most about them?
Please take this with the same grain of salt as the previous answer! Neil Gaiman, because he has this amazing ability to blend ancient fairy tales with contemporary environments. Shakespeare, because I still crack open Hamlet when I feel lost. And Michael Chabon, because he just... DANG does he know how to describe things using unexpected, amazing text.
Q. Tell us about the books that you are currently writing and their progress.
Due to quarantine, I'm focusing on developing my fitness practice so that the knowledge and experience can translate into ebooks that will help others in a similar situation on their own fitness quest.
Q. What challenges do you think are faced by writers, what's the worst thing about the book industry according to you?
I think the physical deterioration that accompanies writing is a serious consequence that is underrepresented and misinformed. I've had to develop entire protocols around the physical act of writing in order to keep up with it, and luckily it benefits my writer friends as well who train with me. The worst thing about the book industry? Goodness. Ask me when I've had enough experience to be jaded about it, for now I'll pass.
Q. Apart from writing, what goals do you want to achieve in life?
A happy, healthy, fit lifestyle with a great life partner and a gorgeous living space, with enough income that I can treat my parents as much as I want, for all their love and support.
Q. At QwertyThoughts.com, we are trying to bring authors and readers under the same roof, to connect, discuss and socialize over books. What's your take on this?
I think it's fantastic! More power to you, and I'll try to spread the word around.
Q. What message do you want to share with budding writers?
You'll never knew if you're "doing it right" unless you start "doing," period. (And seriously, invest yourself in mobility and strength training to offset the carpal tunnel and back problems that come with the writing process. That's what got me into this to begin with. Even if you don't feel it now, you'll thank me in a month.)