Author Revealed

About Courtney Sheinmel

Q. What is your birthdate?

A. 6/21

Q. Previous occupations

A. Babysitter, Attorney

Q. Favorite job

A. Author

Q. High school and/or college

A. The Spence School, Barnard College, and then law school at Fordham University

Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?

A. There are three -- Carly Simon, Sheryl Crow and Madonna

Q. Favorite movie

A. Terms of Endearment

Q. Favorite television show

A. ER

Revealing Questions

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

A. Family, friends, books, showtunes, NYC, chocolate, neuroses, gratitude

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. Try to be one of those people on whom nothing is lost. - Henry James

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?

A. Being in close proximately to all my favorite people; hanging out and enjoying their company, along with good food; and having a place of my own to go to when I want to sit and write.

Q. What’s your greatest fear?

A. Loss

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

A. It is freezing cold outside, so I would like to be somewhere warm, like maybe Cancun or Tahiti.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. My 95-year-old Grandma Doris

Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?

A. Yeah, yeah, yeah

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

A. I'd like to sing like Lea Michele

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. When I was young I said I wanted to grow up to be a writer, and I did!

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?

A. My sister says it's that I'm not into dogs

Q. What’s your best quality?

A. I'm a good friend

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?

A. My height -- I'm only 5 feet tall.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

A. Atticus Finch

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?

A. When people use derogatory words

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

A. Being with friends

Q. What’s your fantasy profession?

A. Broadway star

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

A. loyalty, kindness, perseverance

Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

A. It would have to be something that included cheese

Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?

A. Like a Prayer, by Madonna; Boys in the Trees, by Carly Simon; Riverwide, by Sheryl Crow; There Goes the Neighborhood, by Sheryl Crow; What I Did for Love, from A Chorus Line

On Books and Writing

Q. Who are your favorite authors?

A. For kids and teens:  Judy Blume, Paula Danziger, Gayle Forman, Norma Fox Mazer, Norma Klein, Lois Lowry, Rebecca Stead, Cynthia Voigt For adults:  Willa Cather, Mary Gordon, Nicole Krauss, Toni Morrison, Elizabeth Strout, Virginia Woolf

Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

A. The Shadow Man, by Mary Gordon; The Littlest Rabbit, by Robert Kraus; To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee; Autumn Street, by Lois Lowry; Liesl & Po, by Lauren Oliver

Q. Is there a book you love to reread?

A. New & Selected Poems by Mary Oliver (Volume I is my favorite, but Volume II is also fabulous)

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

A. Write what you know. (I stole that from Willa Cather, though she said it more poetically: "Let your fiction grow out from the land beneath your feet.")

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

A. Will you turn Sincerely into a series?

Q. How did you come to write My So-Called Family?

A. The idea for My So-Called Family came, mostly, from "The Today Show." I watched Matt Lauer interview a bunch of women who had used the same donor to have children. Their kids later found each other on the Donor Sibling Registry. I started to wonder what it would be like to one day meet siblings you hadn't known existed. That's when the character Leah was born.

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