The Summer Showcase Questionnaire
What do you like to do most with a free hour? Why?
Sleep. I have two small, wakeful kids.
If you could choose to be an animal, what animal would you choose to be? Why?
My three-year-old recently drew a picture of an animal called a Telephone With Six Legs. I’d like to be that fantastic animal.
If you could smash one thing and one thing only, what would you smash? Why?
Whatever it is, I can guarantee you my one-year-old son has already smashed it.
What is your biggest worry?
Forgetting to pick up carpool.
What did you do with your advance check?
Deposited it. Quickly.
Then I bought a silver ring for myself and a top-notch helmet for my volunteer firefighter husband.
Do you have any quirky writing habits?
I take a voice recorder to the gym and breathe indecipherable notes into it. And, just this week, I ran into a friend there on a day I hadn’t brought it with me. She saw the notepad I had instead and said, “Is that for your writing?” I nodded, and then she said, “At least you’re not one of those freaky people with the voice recorders!”
What is your cure for writers block?
What is your favorite copy editing symbol?
The symbol for the em dash. I love its joie de vivre.
Finish this sentence: It bugs me when my editor…
… fails to lavish herself with flowers and candies every day.
Where were you when you found out your manuscript had been sold?
In the living room, on the sofa, breastfeeding the baby.
Who is the first person you told that your manuscript had been sold?
My husband, on that same sofa, as our three-year-old plastered him with band-aids.
Writing is to KATHERINE CENTER as _________ is to _________.
Writing is to Katherine Center as candy is to cotton.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
What to do when I was finished. For over a year, the first two lines of my To Do list—without any sense of comedy—read: “Find agent” and “Sell novel.”
When it comes to pens:
- blue or black ink
- medium or fine point
- ball point or felt tip
Black ink because it goes with everything. And medium ball point because no other point can make such a satisfying groove in the paper.
But, really, I’m not picky. I’ll write with a crayon if I have to.
TRUE OR FALSE: You’ve practiced your autograph.
True! I got a fancy fountain pen for Christmas this year.
Who is your favorite fictional character?
Frank Bascombe in Independence Day. He’s got everybody pegged.
What is your favorite children’s book?
Pirate Girl by Cornelia Funke
Molly is captured by a band of pirates and made to swab the deck until her red-headed mother arrives to open up a can of whoop-ass.
Ever like the movie more than the book? Which one?
Nobody can beat Jane Austen. But Emma Thompson gave her a run for her money with the screenplay for Sense and Sensibility.
What is your greatest achievement thus far?
This moment, right now. This cocktail party, this book about to be published, this experience with Random House.
On a different day, I might say: “having my beautiful, feisty, affectionate children,” or “marrying my sweet husband.” But today, it’s the book.
The best part about being a published author is:
So far? Having an audience—other than my immediate family, fellow workshop participants, and a few long-suffering friends.
I’m most afraid of …
Which words or phrases do you overuse?
I overuse “fun”—as in: “Let’s put on your fun shoes,” “Who wants to eat that fun broccoli?” and “Let’s go clean the fun kitchen!”
What do you like least about yourself?
That I can forget anything. In a scary way. Last week, I forgot a birthday party my daughter had been invited to—that I had RSVP’d “yes” to—and then wondered why she hadn’t been included!
MAC or PC? Laptop or desktop?
An iMac laptop that’s always on my desk. I’m sure it would love me to take it out to Starbucks sometime.
Final Question (Must be answered): I love being published by the Random House Publishing Group Because…
What’s not to love?