Author Revealed

About Suzanne Guillette

Q. What is your birthdate?

A. 2/13

Q. Previous occupations

A. I wouldn't call these "occupations" per se, but I can cite the following roles I've taken in exchange for money: non-profit fundraiser; abridger of book-length manuscripts for audio production; well-remunerated subject of a research study.

Q. Favorite job

A. Writing

Q. High school and/or college

A. Attleboro High School and George Washington University

Q. Favorite movie

A. "I Am Cuba," because it's breathtaking.

Q. Favorite television show

A. I used to love "Six Feet Under," but now that it's off, I heart "Gossip Girl."

Revealing Questions

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. I either a) can't choose or b) don't have one. But my friend Anna told me I could borrow hers, which is Ole!

Q. What’s your greatest fear?

A. It's completely irrational (aren't they all?) but ever since I was a kid, I've had a fear of losing use of my legs. I can't imagine life without dance and movement.

Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

A. I'm pretty happy right now, on my couch in Brooklyn, holed up with my laptop and GoGo and Frankie (who are kittens). But, I also harbor a deep longing for Italy.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. Tina Turner

Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?

A. Yes, yes, yes. Or, si si si.

Q. What do you regret most?

A. Letting fear get in the way of presence.

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

A. Songwriting and/or the ability to play a musical instrument

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. Loving and allowing myself to be loved

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?

A. I can be a hot-head.

Q. What’s your best quality?

A. I can be generous.

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

A. Water

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?

A. I laugh and sneeze loudly.

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

A. Sense of humor, sincerity, and self-awareness

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

A. Cheese

Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?

A. Well, this is ever-changing. But at the moment, I'm listening to (and loving) Colin Hay's "Waiting for My Real Life to Begin."

On Books and Writing

Q. Is there a book you love to reread?

A. "A Moveable Feast"

Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

A. Do your best to love--truly, madly, deeply--each and every chance you take.

Q. How did you come to write Much to Your Chagrin?

A. When I started collecting the embarrassing stories of strangers, I must admit: I didn't really take this project seriously. But, as things in my own life started to unravel, I couldn't help but feel an unlikely resonance with this question I was asking others and the truths I seemed to be hiding from myself. At the end of that year, I barely recognized myself. So, if all books begin with a question, mine was, "What the hell happened?" And this line of inquiry drove the writing, from start to finish. This whole time, I wrote as if this manuscript would never see the light of day--an attitude which, more or less, saved me from feeling embarrassed about certain things all over again. My main goal in writing the book was for healing purposes, not publication. Then, after I finished the first draft--which was a truly embarrassing 600-pages--I realized that since this process had been healing for me, then it might be of value to other people. That's my hope.

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