About Laurel A. Neme
Q. What is your birthdate?
Q. Previous occupations
A. A consultant on natural resources policy and management (something I still do), an international environmental economist for the U.S. Department of Treasury overseeing the social and environmental aspects of multilateral development bank projects and policy, and, among other jobs, waitress.
Q. Favorite job
Q. High school and/or college
A. I went to New Trier high school in the north Chicago suburbs, college at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (Go Blue!!) and got my PhD at Princeton University.
Q. Favorite movie
A. The Power of One; October Sky
Q. Favorite television show
A. The Colbert Report, Daily Show with Jon Stewart, NCIS, Law and Order
Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
A. writer, mom, compassionate, happy, crazy, full of wonder
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. Life is what you make it.
Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. Cuddling and laughing with my son and husband, as our dog cuddles next to us to get into the action. That's the perfect moment.
Q. What’s your greatest fear?
A. Losing the people I love.
Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. I'm there. At home in Vermont.
Q. Which living person do you most admire?
A. Nelson Mandela. He embodies forgiveness in a way I can only aspire to.
Q. What do you regret most?
A. Being too scared to do a semester abroad in college. I made up for it in graduate school and in my professional life, when I traveled frequently throughout Africa and elsewhere.
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. Playing the guitar.
Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. Overcoming the mental and physical challenges surrounding a horseback riding accident I had when I was 17, in which I broke my back in two places and my pelvis in four.
Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
A. Letting pain get to me.
Q. What’s your best quality?
A. I love to laugh. Plus I'm patient and don't get mad easily.
Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A. Myself. Or perhaps a unicorn, or famous author.
Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
A. My smile.
Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. Whining or complaining. It makes everything less fun.
Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A. Hiking, swimming, drawing.
Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
A. I'm living it -- writing! That or a wildlife biologist or veterinarian.
Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. Honesty, a sense of humor, and optimism.
Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A. Chocolate, of course. But it has to be DARK chocolate (not less than 70% cocoa). That or fresh picked cherry tomatoes. Mmmm.
Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. It changes depending on my mood. Edelweiss and Amazing Grace, because I sing them with my son every night. Also I love I'm Yours, Apologize, Weak in the Knees, anything my son makes up and sings. Only 5?
On Books and Writing
Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
A. Writing in a State of Siege by Andre Brink. It reminds me of why I write.
Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
A. Actually, it's from a writer friend (Nancy Means Wright): You can't publish anything in your drawer.
Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
A. As I write this, my book hasn't come out yet -- so, please, readers -- let me know what you think!