New from Simon & Schuster

Author Revealed

About Alma Katsu

Q. What is your birthdate?

A. 11/29

Q. Previous occupations

A. Page in a library; sandwich maker and caterer; bookseller; music journalist; analyst

Q. Favorite job

A. writing

Q. High school and/or college

A. Maynard High School in Massachusetts; Brandeis University and Johns Hopkins University

Q. Favorite movie

A. Orlando

Revealing Questions

Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?

A. Everything is a story

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. Happiness is the byproduct of absorption, T.E. Lawrence

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?

A. Nailing a difficult scene, paragraph or sentence.Thinking of something that reveals a character's complexity.Solving a problem.Lying in the sunshine, reading a book, with my dogs curled up next to me, husband napping at my side.Seeing a wild animal or hawk in the woods when I'm walking the dogs. 

Q. What’s your greatest fear?

A. I try not to be afraid of things.

Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

A. On a craggy, windswept island. With broadband access.

Q. What do you regret most?

A. I wish I had applied myself better as an undergraduate. I loved grad school, though.

Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

A. Real world talent: learn a foreign language. Superpower talent: shoot fireballs from my hands

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. A long and productive career. A twenty year plus marriage.

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?

A. My temper (see: shoot fireballs from my hands, above)

Q. What’s your best quality?

A. Perseverance

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?

A. I'm a quick, quick learner.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?

A. Bill Sykes, from Oliver Twist

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?

A. When people don't listen to others.

Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?

A. Reading, quilting.

Q. What’s your fantasy profession?

A. Writing!

Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?

A. Integrity, loyalty, determination.

Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?

A. Right now: Viva la Vida (Coldplay), Iris (GooGoo Dolls), I Don't Believe in Ghosts (Duncan Sheik), Supermassive Black Hole (Muse), The Story (Brandi Carlile)

On Books and Writing

Q. Who are your favorite authors?

A. Thomas Pynchon, Vladimir Nabokov, John Barth, John Irving, Shirley Jackson, Neal Stephenson, Audrey Niffenegger, Jess Walter, Tana French, Adam Haslett, Michael Chabon, Scarlett Thomas, John Crowley, Ann Proulx, Virginia Woolf, Patricia Highsmith, how could I almost forget David Mitchell?

Q. Is there a book you love to reread?

A. Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson

Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

A. Write every day.

Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?

A. Can't put down The Taker. Haunted by the characters.

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