How do you get up in the morning?

With a Diet Coke, a small serving of granola, and my computer next to the bed. How long I linger under the covers depends on whether I have to ride/train a horse and what time.


Do you succumb to nostalgia?

For what?


Do you write long and cut, or short and backfill?

Medium short, with embroidery and filigree.


How do you feel about your Wikipedia entry?

I need to fix it. T.C. Boyle is my model for now.


Lunch with any three people who ever lived; who do you invite?

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Marguerite of Navarre,  Emile Zola


Best piece of advice you ever received?

To return to my maiden name, Smiley, as my nom de plume, because it is memorable (and, no doubt, pictorial)


Disciplined or hot dog?

Disciplined, + Diet Coke and candy


Have you ever been defeated by a genre?

Don’t know yet.


Which classic author would you like to see kicked out of the pantheon?

Vladimir Nabokov


Are you okay with blood?

In books, yes, in movies, no, in life, God forbid.


Who is your imagined audience?

Does it at all coincide with the real one? Myself and my partner. Yes.


What country would you want to be exiled in?

Do I have money? If so, France, with regular trips to Australia.


What’s your favorite negative emotion?

Rage against the Republicans.


Is your study neat, or, like John Muir’s, is your desk and floor covered in “lateral, medial, and terminal moraines”?

Books everywhere. Nice paintings and photos, though, and good looking dogs.


What is your go-to shoe?

Cheap French riding boots


What’s your poison?  



What’s your problem?



Title of the book you’re probably never going to write, but would kind of like to get around to?

The Blessings of A.D.D., or Daniel Defoe, An Authoritative Biography


What are you so afraid of?

I’ll never tell, but it’s not death.


How long can you go without putting paw to keyboard?

48 hours


Do you require a high thread count?

No, only bamboo.


Who reads you first?  

Barbara Grossman


Sexy and dangerous, or brilliant and kind?

Depends who you ask.


What character or story haunts you?

Numerous, but right now, Anthony Trollope’s He Knew He Was Right.


Does plot matter?

Yes, as a form of organization.


Does age matter?

Only as you get older


Do you prefer to write standing, or must you lie prone in a field of dandelions with a steno pad and a good pen? Or what?

Lap top, anywhere.


Who is the author you’d most like to impersonate online?

Jane Smiley


Is there a literary community?

I have no idea.


What’s the question or questions we should have asked, had we known?

How famous do you think you are?