Are you reading my novels at your book club?
author interview with gwendolen gross
read the full interview at amymillergross.com
when did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Around 9 years old, when I also wanted to be a scientist, explorer, inventor, radio personality, and pro pogo-stick jumper.
how did you get your start in the business?
The business! Oh, well, that was via slush pile. But the art–that was by reading and listening to Mom read Goodnight Moon and Dad read the whole Tolkien oeuvre. He was a terrific Gandalf way ahead of his time.
I suppose I started to take the writing more seriously when I was working for a children’s book publisher in San Diego, singing in the San Diego Opera, and taking writing classes at UCSD and Judy Reeves’s wonderful Writing Center, where we met for writing practice sessions and the poems clouded up the pages like squid ink.
I was very lucky to be nominated for a PEN West fellowship (I worked with Mona Simpson and the inimitable Harriett Doerr), and realized I could go forth and do the impractical: the MFA. I loved grad school.
your favorite part of life as a writer?
That’s tough; there are so many good parts. I love when I’m writing and feel the raw material of it all, the potential to tell something true, through my own particular lens, and a metaphor brings me closer to what I really mean, and a dialogue maybe even makes me laugh, and then I look up and it’s time to pick up the kids and the worlds fold into each other like origami.
I also adore working with my agent and editor; they appreciate the art, and elevate it with their brilliant ideas.
I also love working with my students, who are writing their own novels, and listen to what I say with such intent, I think it might be a tiny bit insightful. I am dazzled, reading all their progress.
I love buying piles of books and sitting on the couch reading them, calling it homework.
your least favorite part?
All the necessary silences.
But that’s also my favorite part...