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Author Revealed

About Robin Romm

Q. Previous occupations

A. federal investigator, art teacher, nanny

Q. Favorite job

A. Writing.

Q. High school and/or college

A. South Eugene High School then to Brown University

Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?

A. The dryer.

Q. Favorite movie

A. The Graduate. Grizzly Man.

Q. Favorite television show

A. Six Feet Under. Mad Men.

Revealing Questions

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

A. Why do this when you can write a whole memoir?

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?

A. Dim sum, a noisy walk downtown, then the beach with my dog to hunt for sand dollars.

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. On a windy cliff overlooking the Pacific.

Q. With whom in history do you most identify?

A. My great-grandmother with her feathered hats.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. I am not built to have heroes, only friends.

Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?

A. Apparently I use sparkly and secret a lot. I have to go back and take these out.

Q. What do you regret most?

A. It's a sparkly secret.

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

A. I would be a country music singer with all the bangles and boots.

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. Hm. I hope I haven't achieved it yet.

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?

A. I'm not telling.

Q. What’s your best quality?

A. I have very thin fingers.

Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?

A. I don't know. Maybe...an underwater rock in a tropical sea.

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?

A. No one I have asked while filling this out will tell me.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

A. I don't have one.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?

A. Humbert Humbert.

Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?

A. My mind doesn't really work like this--but I have always wanted to go to one of those parties in the Great Gatsby. And maybe I would like to go out to tea with Emily Holmes Coleman. I'd want her to try and tell me about that stint she wrote about in The Shutter of Snow. I bet it would be a wild tea party, full of gasps and hands waving.

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?

A. Messy toothpaste tubes and being too close to people on public transit or in the gym.

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

A. Cooking and hiking with my dog.

Q. What’s your fantasy profession?

A. Again, I would be a country music star with bangles and boots.

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

A. Honesty, curiosity, wit.

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

A. Dim sum.

Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?

A. This changes so often, but since I was able to talk, I've loved Johnny Cash.

Q. How did you come to write The Mercy Papers?

A. When my mother was dying after a nine year (lost) battle with cancer, I returned home to Oregon from the San Francisco Bay Area where I had lived for a number of years. I'd already returned home that summer, and was frustrated that I had to keep upending my life, even though I adored my mother and knew I wanted to be with her at the end. I was in graduate school at San Francisco State at the time, writing fiction. But when I went to Oregon, it was like all of those imaginary people, their imagined lives and loves and dogs and dinners--they just didn't matter. I would sit with my journal and play with the pen until someone needed me to deal with medications or make soup. Finally, a professor of mine asked me why I didn't just write down what was happening around me. She allowed me to forget about my attachment to fiction for a while, and this was the beginning of The Mercy Papers. I started it up there in my childhood bedroom three weeks before I lost my mother.

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