Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. Happiness doesn't have to be perfect. I am happiest working long days with refugees but at the end of those days, I am often hot, sweaty, tired and desperate for a bubble bath. There are no bubble baths in third world refugee settings so I settle for waiting till I get home. That's real happiness - finding it in the moment and accepting what you have.
Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. Darfur or Afghanistan working in a remote clinic
Q. Which living person do you most admire?
A. The many staff at the International Rescue Committee who devote every waking hour to saving refugees
Q. What do you regret most?
A. That I didn't start writing a novel sooner
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. Working with refugees and sharing their stories thru writing
Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
Q. What’s your best quality?
A. My optimism
Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A. I'd still be myself - only better
Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A. Atticus Finch from "To Kill A Mockingbird"
Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A. Rhett Butler - though he's not entirely a villain and maybe that's why he's my favorite
Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. Anne Boleyn - "What were you thinking?"
Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
A. Writer/ambassador for the UN
Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. Sense of humor, integrity, and ability to persevere
Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A. Jelly beans or cheeseburgers - can't decide
Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. "When a Man Loves a Woman", "Somewhere" from West Side Story, "Memories" from Cats, "Time to Say Goodbye" and just about any Christmas song
On Books and Writing
Q. Who are your favorite authors?
A. D.H. Lawrence, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen
Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A. "The Secret Garden", "To Kill a Mockingbird", "Gone With The Wind," "Lady Chatterley's Lover," and "The Giving Tree."
Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
A. "To Kill a Mockingbird"
Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
A. Edit, edit, edit
Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
A. None yet - can't wait to hear them!