1. What's on your nightstand right now?
Lamp. Remote control for ceiling fan. One copy of the galley of So Far Away (that's embarrassing! I don't sit around reading it, I think I have it there to give to someone). Lotion. Kindle. The following books: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? Catching Fire (read the first and have been meaning to get to this), Left Neglected, and book of letters from Emily Dickinson to Susan Huntington Dickinson. The last item makes me look a bit more cerebral than I actually am. My 9-year-old and recently took a trip together to Amherst for a project she was working on, I bought this book, thinking I would read a little each night and get back in touch with my grad school self. Haven't read a single letter. But I want to!
2. How do you write?
If I have a whole day (which happens twice a week, I still have a preschooler) it goes like this: workout (early a.m. if possible), then kids off, then writing, then other tasks or errands. Like most parents, I am too dependent on other people’s schedules to wing it. I always write to music, always. So Far Away required a lot of Mumford & Sons and Josh Ritter. My work in progress is more of Bruce Springsteen/The Avett Brothers. I often use Pandora.
3. Name the first time or moment you realized you were a writer.
Seventh grade, one hundred and eighty years ago. Can't remember the teacher's name but I remember the classroom. We had to write some sort of story, I don't remember the assignment, and then read them aloud. I wrote some terrible macabre thing about a hit-and-run accident on Halloween, I have no idea why. But I do remember reading it aloud and having people respond to it. I remember the pride I felt in that. I remember thinking, "Hey, I think I'm actually good at this!"
4. What are you working on now?
It's tentatively titled The Captain’s Daughter, and in it the daughter of a lobsterman from a small fishing village in Maine returns to the town she thought she escaped when her father’s boat goes missing, and confronts her past as well as some uncomfortable truths about her present.
5. Favorite recent find?
I am very recently addicted to Downtown Abbey. Really addicted. I think about it a lot when I'm not watching it. Also, the book The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, and a Japanese restaurant in Walnut Creek, California, where my family and I were a few weeks ago.