Part Two of my interview with fascinating writer, Sandra Novack, author of the adult literary novel, "Precious."
Sandra Novack Bio:
I was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 1972. When I was little, my brother used to hide me in his paper route bag and then come home and tell my mother he'd lost me somewhere in town. It was like a great secret the two of us shared, one only given away by an inevitable laughing spell.
My sisters and brothers were older than me by ten to fifteen years, and I spent much of my time tagging along after them, stealing their rock-and-roll albums, and imitating their every word and action. In some ways, I was as much raised by them as by my parents. Or, as I like to tell people, I was raised by a band of gypsies. They are my tribe, my family.
Precious is dedicated to my sister, Carole, who left home when I was seven.
CA: I believe we all have "little pieces" of our own lives in our writing. You have been on a promotional tour for "Precious." How has it changed your life? Or, has it?
SN: It's gotten me outside myself a bit. Most writers are solitary, and my days are usually very quiet, which is good because my voice and writing spring from that silence. Meeting people is always a positive experience, though the downside is that I'm "off" my schedule and not writing lately, and writing is the thing that keeps me most level in life. I always take the advice of my friend, who says, "You've got to enjoy the excitement when it comes because it'll always end, too. Enjoy the moment." So I try to look at it like that. I don't think it's changed my life, no. I'm still Sandy. Always have been, always will be. There's not a lot that gives me a big head, and there's also not a lot that discourages me, either, from picking up the pen again and telling a new story.
CA: You seem so down to earth, and I can't imagine you'll ever change! Can you give a couple of tips to aspiring writers? Maybe some that made an impression with you when you were starting out.
SN: Never be afraid to risk, and never be afraid to fail. Very few people (if any) start off being brilliant writers, or even competent writers, but you've got to keep at it to even get to those places. Rejection and even failure are both inevitable on the path to success. Successes are best measured one at a time, too. I remember when I started writing and finally had a story that had a sense of plot I felt that was a big success, since if I wrote one story that "worked" I could write another. Same with publishing. When I first published, it was in a very little journal that no one had ever heard of, but I thought, If I could do it once, I could do it again, and I could get even better at doing that. It's dangerous to be like, "I have to be brilliant right away and be noticed right away and be published in top venues right away." That kind of thinking can lead to disappointment, I believe. Finally: Read. Anyone you love! And learn from that fiction, and those stories.
CA: This is great advice, Sandra. It's all about prepration, isn't it.
Finally, is there something funny you can share about yourself that your fans might not know? Hmmmm??
1) I once had two pet cows named Sirloin and Hamburger.
2) I once proudly announced to my mother that I could spell "relief" and then spelled Rolaids. I was very young--and very pleased with myself--and didn't understand WHY she laughed.
3) When my grammy was living with us and dying of cancer, I, in my ten-year-old wisdom thought it prudent to read to her from the Bible, and I picked (in my even more infinite wisdom) the Book of Job. I read to my dying grammy from Job everyday!!!! It's bad enough, I think now, that I picked JOB, but I don't even know if my grammy was very religious...I still feel very badly about this.
4) I love the smell of Vicks and also Scotch tape, and sometimes just smell both for the heck of it.
5) When I was four I named my pet cat "Linda" because I was smitten with the Good Witch in the Wizard of Oz. It took my brother, Jimmy, telling me that the witch's name was Glinda, not Linda, and that we should probably name the cat Morris because it was a boy, anyway.
CA: Sandra, I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed having you visit "The Attic!" This will definitely go down as one of my favorite interviews. Your generosity to your fans and readers shines through. Please come back again, soon!
In case you missed it, here's Part One:
Visit Sandra on her Website
Buy Precious at your local Independent Bookstore (Such as, Horton's Books & Gifts)
(Watch for Sandra's short story collection! Random House 2010!)