Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. Work hard and be kind to people.
Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. Reading something new, in the evening, with my family home.
Q. What’s your greatest fear?
A. That fear will stop me from doing something.
Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. Either where I am (New York City) or in Berlin, looking at art.
Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. I loathe the expression "it is what it is" but do not use it myself. I may as well, though, because I hear it all the time. I think it's such a strange thing to say - there's a fatalistic resignation there and/or an emptiness that seems entirely unhelpful.
Q. What do you regret most?
A. Any time in life when I allow fear to stop me from doing something. Any and all times I fail to love people properly.
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. I would love to be a trained singer and I would also love, love to be able to draw.
Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. Probably showing up, with my heart open, for my kids and honey.
Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
A. Worry. And subsequent crankiness.
Q. What’s your best quality?
A. I'm a generous person.
Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
A. I think probably the space between my teeth.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A. There are too many to pick just one. I love, love Salinger's Glass family.
Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. I would love to meet some of the last century's intellectual and artistic giants - Roland Barthes, Susan Sontag, Cy Twombly, Joan Mitchell, Alexander Calder. I probably wouldn't say much more than, "May I watch you work?"
Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A. Walking around with my camera.
Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
A. Writing and making art.
Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. Generosity, honesty, tenderness.
On Books and Writing
Q. Who are your favorite authors?
A. Robertson DaviesRoland BarthesMargaret MahyE. E. CummingsMadeleine L'EngleJ. D. SalingerSarah Stewart and David SmallErik and Lenore BlegvadBrock ColeMaira KalmanHoward NormanAnne CarsonLouise Bogan
Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
A. The Deptford Trilogy by Robertson Davies
Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
A. Read, write, read some more, write some more.
Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
A. That they identify with Wren's sense of being overwhelmed by her own feelings.