In these interviews, writers who also teach discuss publishing, teaching, the business of editing and managing literary journals, and, of course, their own work and process. They offer advice and hard-won wisdom for burgeoning writers and their teachers. We also ask them about their favorite music, and who knows, maybe a favorite writer or two, and a great coffeeshop or beer to add to your "must try" list.
I was one of those annoying child writers. I wrote weird animal stories when I was 7, I wrote the class play in 5th grade, satirical stories and skits about my school all through high school. I was (who knows why?) much praised for this stuff, so I suppose that encouraged me to keep going. I started to take writing seriously in college (Wesleyan University, in Connecticut); my senior thesis was a slender and absurd rock musical called Two Dwarves in a Closet. It was a huge (and some might argue inexplicable) success; people danced in the theater at the finale. This fostered the delusional belief that I might be able to make a living as a playwright.
I recently had an email conversation with first-time novelist Pari Noskin Taichert, author of the very entertaining Sasha Solomon mystery The Clovis Incident. She was kind enough to take time out from her busy schedule, and anyone who checks out her attractive websites will understand that she must be incredibly busy. I asked Pari some questions after reading and reviewing The Clovis Incident, and the following is the transcript of our conversation.