Tell us about your family.
My immediate family here in LA is just me, my husband, and my five year-old daughter, Clara. My sister and her daughter live nearby and so do two of my brothers.
What is the most creative thing you’ve done to create writing time?
Creative or lazy? One Disney movie is 90 minutes. I can do a lot with that. I will fully cop to using media. TV or games on pbskids.org. When my daughter was younger, I used to sit her on the floor of my office with paper and crayons and every highlighter I own. But that doesn’t work as well now that she’s older. And that only ever really worked when I was editing or refining something I’d already written. A first draft of anything still requires a lot of quiet and alone time. I’m lucky that my husband often takes over in the evenings or on weekends. Otherwise I write when she’s in school.
How has being a parent informed your writing?
In terms of process, I write in shorter spurts and have to accept being interrupted a lot. In terms of content, I think it’s helped me understand greater the breadth of the human experience. I have a greater appreciation for the particular pain and joy of raising a human being. It’s made everything more tender for me.
Do you write specifically for your daughter? In other words do/did you write stories, poems for them?
Not at all. In fact, when my daughter started reading I found myself hiding my papers because I didn’t want her to read my books. She’s only five. I look forward to sharing all of it with her one day.
What stories or books about mothers ( or featuring mothers) are among your favorites?
Beloved by Toni Morrison
A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
Every J. California Cooper book ever written
We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
What are you looking forward to this year as a mother and as a writer?
In October my daughter turns six, and my second book, The Cutting Season, comes out!