Tell us a bit about your family.
I grew up outside of Scranton, PA, in a picturesque little town with a sitcom-perfect family. I have a younger sister and a younger brother, and my mom stayed at home with us while my dad went to work. Our household was low drama. My parents loved each other, my siblings and I became closer and closer as we grew up, and we didn’t face much in the way of adversity. It truly was a charmed life, and I know how blessed I am to have had such a simple, happy upbringing. Now I live in Worcester, MA, with my husband and our cat and dog in a different sort of charmed life. I’m one lucky gal.
How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
When it comes to self-doubt, I’m lucky to have family and friends to turn to who will be honest with me. They’ll tell me if I’m just beating myself up or if I’ve actually identified an area of my life where I should be feeling some doubt. When it comes to fear, I’m a wimp. I don’t like being afraid. Luckily, I’m not afraid of much. I’m afraid of sleeping in the woods at night (much to my husband’s dismay, because he loves camping), I’m afraid of car accidents (so I tend to try in the slow lane), and I’m afraid that my dog will get away from me on a walk and get lost (so I regularly inspect the leash for weakness and hold it with a death grip). But I don’t have a lot of big fears—like fear of failure or fear of being alone. I don’t want to fail or be alone, but I’m not afraid of them either.
What’s your greatest character strength?
I’m a perfectionist. I am not content with doing less than my best. This is a strength for the obvious reasons, but also a weakness, because sometimes I choose not to do things if I don’t think I can do them perfectly. For instance, I always wanted to play guitar when I was younger, but I was afraid I wouldn’t be good enough, so I didn’t try to learn. Finally, when I was 23 I got over it and got a guitar. I’m a hack at best, but I am so glad I learned and I wish I had started earlier.
Why do you write?
I write to be part of a conversation that bigger than me, bigger than my circle of acquaintances, bigger than my generation. I want to add my voice and perspective to the conversation across time and place that is literature.
Have you always enjoyed writing?
I have been writing since fourth grade when I wrote bad imitations of Shel Silverstein poems, so yes, I have always enjoyed writing.
Genre – Women’s Literature
Rating – PG-13