My Life in 8 Words
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. Fall seven times, stand up eight.
Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. My daughter has grown up to be amazing. I'm pretty much busting with pride, Kellywise, though I know I can claim only a small part of the credit.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A. Again, I'm fickle, but Miss Havisham, with her yellow, withered bridal dress (Great Expectations) is one of my favorites.
Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. I actually once had a dream that I met the novelist Charles Dickens. He was at a signing for his latest book, and nobody came but me. I figured I had him to myself, so I should ask him something useful. I knew that his novels were serialized in magazines, a section at a time. As soon as he finished each section, it would be published – before he finished the novel! I can’t imagine doing this, because when I get to the end of a book I realize all the mistakes I made at the beginning and have to go back and fix them. So in my dream, I asked Dickens how he did it. Did he just start at the beginning and write to the end and hope everything fit when he got there? Did he outline ahead of time? Did he know all along where he was heading? His answer was incredibly helpful. Just incredibly. Unfortunately, I forget what it was. So I’d go back and ask him again, possibly with my iPod voice recorder turned on.
Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. When you call a business and they make you listen to a recorded phone message with a thousand options, but none of them fits the reason why you called.