Past InstructorsMystery Writing this spring. Her class begins April 6.
When did you first feel like a writer?
I think I was born to be a writer. Before I could even write down the words myself, I would dictate stories and songs to my mother. I would also scribble random letters on pages and then read them aloud as a story.
After I had a contract for my first book, something really did shift for me, though. I talked to someone in my writing group about how I had a deadline and wasn't sure how often I could meet with the group. "That's because you're a professional now," she told me. A professional. That blew my mind. I was no longer writing to satisfy myself, but I was being paid to write. What's your philosophy about teaching a writing class?
My goal is to get everyone in the class to improve their writing and to get fired up about writing in general. I try to keep the atmosphere supportive, but helpful. Tough love. I encourage the students to read each other's work carefully and tell each other when and where it is wonderful or weak. This process helps their fellow students, but it also helps each student improve their own skills.
If you could meet any fictional character, who would it be and why?
That's a hard question! There's so many characters that I'd love to hang out with. But I think it would be great fun to spend the day with Hercule Poirot on a case and watch how his mind worked. He can act rather silly (those lovely moustaches and tight shoes), but that's usually to put people off guard. He wants to be underestimated. And since he has marvelous taste in food, so I'm sure we would eat very well.