About Mary Alice Monroe
Q. What is your birthdate?
Q. Previous occupations
A. Teacher of Japanese and English.
Q. Favorite job
A. Being an author is the best job in the world.
Q. High school and/or college
A. For high school, I went to a small boarding school that was the motherhouse of the Franciscan nuns. I began college at Northwestern U then moved to NJ and studied Japanese at Seton Hall U. where I graduated and got my MA.
Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?
A. Debussy is my favorite composer. My favorite music artist is Otis Redding.
Q. Favorite movie
A. This changes all the time. My fav movie of 2012 was Life of Pi.
Q. Favorite television show
A. I love The Big Bang Theory. Maybe because my husband is a brilliant geek I get all the jokes. It is very smart writing.
Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
A. An ever changing whirlwind with moments of serenity.
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. You can make a difference.
Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. Being outdoors in a beautiful, serene setting--the ocean, my garden, the river--and being completely present in the moment.
Q. What’s your greatest fear?
A. Other than not meeting my deadline? It would have to be someone I love being injured.
Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. At the moment...in Okinawa visiting my son in the Marines.
Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
A. Eliza Lucas Pinckney, she ran 3 plantations in a time when women were second class citizens, devised a profitable method of growing indigo, And all while being a lady and a mother. Amazing woman.
Q. Which living person do you most admire?
A. My husband, Markus.
Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. Turlte something. I'm always talking about my sea turtles...
Q. What do you regret most?
A. Most? Lost opportunities for kindness. Daily? I tend to get lost in my work and I regret making friends and family mad that I don't answer my phone...
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. I'd love to dance ballet again....or sing opera!
Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. My children.
Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
Q. What’s your best quality?
A. Best? I don't know...but I think the fact that I genuinely love people and animals makes me a better person.
Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A. For better or for worse, I'll just be me.
Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
A. I'm a hugger. I can't stop myself... I come from a family of huggers.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A. Kate, my heroine from Time is a River. She's strong, independent, a naturalist, and an ace fly fisher. This character spoke so clearly in my mind. I want to be her when i grow up.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A. Hannibal Lecter. He still scares me silly.
Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. Mr. Darcy. At a ball. He'd ask me to dance and I'd say a haughty yes.
Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. I get sea sick and I can't whistle. That's tough for someone who loves to be out on the water and wishes she could make bird calls!
Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A. Being a volunteer for sea turtles and dolphins.
Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
A. I study and read a great deal because I love learning, but if I had a great chunk of time--and a better brain, perhaps-- I'd be a PhD in marine biology.
Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. Integirty, honesty, kindness.
Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. Reverie and Clair de Lune (Claude Debussy), One Fine Day (Madame Butterfly), Lela, Try a Little Tenderness,
On Books and Writing
Q. Who are your favorite authors?
A. Only five? Charles Dickens, John Steinbeck, Rosamunde Pilcher, Pat Conroy, Murasaki Shikibu.
Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A. Great Expectations, East of Eden, The Shell Seekers, Prince of Tides, The Tales of Genji.
Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
A. The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher.
Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
A. Don't stop--keep writing and edit later.
Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
A. "I feel like I can see your story, like I'm there."