Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Interview with Lori Jakiela

Yo, yo (Yeah, I said it twice, got a problem with that? LOL!). Today I've got an interview with Lori Jakiela (and another one with Mary Castillo coming up). Lori is the author of Miss New York Has Everything. Doesn't it sound good? I just know I'm going to look for it ASAP! Anyway, thank you, Lori, for doing this interview!

1. Why did you start writing?
I started writing when I was very young. I was an only child, and maybe I was lonely, too, but mostly I think I liked to make sense of things. I would have loved to have been a painter or something like that, too, but the only things I can draw are stick guys in hats, one of those three-D boxes, and a pig made out of ovals.

2. Who/what inspired your stories?
I've always written a lot about my family and about Pittsburgh and about the little town outside of Pittsburgh where I grew up. Trafford, Pennsylvania is the birthplace of the chocolate-covered pickle, among other things. I think family and place are the two most important things to me, both as a writer and as a person.

3. Did you always want to be an author?
I always wanted to write. I'm not sure I ever thought about the word author. It still makes me feel funny to say it. But writing was one of the only things I was good at in school, and writing was one of the things that always made me happy.

4. Could you see yourself doing anything else?
I was a flight attendant for years. I still miss it. The traveling part, anyway. I liked the layovers -- nice hotels -- and I liked the people I worked with. But even when I was flying, I was writing, so I guess I could imagine doing a lot of things, but I could never imagine doing them without writing.

5. Is it difficult to write stories about fields of which you know nothing?
I was also a journalist for a while, and that experience taught me that it's important to be a generalist. To know a little bit about a lot of things, then fill in the blanks with research. It's great practice for all kinds of writing.

6. How time-consuming is it?
I'm such a slow writer. I have friends who can do a book a year, that sort of thing. But it takes me a long time. I revise a lot, am pretty compulsive about it. I'm always trying to be satisfied and am hardly ever satisfied. Actually, I'm never satisfied. The best I can usually do is come close.

7. Do you feel it's rewarding?
It's one of the most rewarding things in my life. It helps me make sense of things -- my world, my place in it, other people. When I'm writing, I'm happy and content just to be moving words around on a page and seeing what bubbles up. When I come across something that feels really true, that seems to open something new up for me, that's really something.

I agree completely with what she said about doing other things- I'm a writer and that's just who I am, but even when I'm doing something completely unrelated to writing, I'm still writing. Thank you, Lori, for a wonderful interview!

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