Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Certainly. The first thing I’d like you to know about me is that I am a fan of your writing. So, I’m thrilled to be able to share my reading preferences and why I like your writing style so much.
I am an avid reader. As a child I was read to – classics, comics, it didn’t matter the format, we were encouraged to read, to listen to the readings of our teachers and librarians; and accept the perspective of other’s.
When and how did you discover that you love reading fiction?
Well, before I answer that question, let me make a distinction. There is love – and there is passion. I knew I loved reading when I discovered The Wizard of Oz. My maternal great-grandmother was an antique dealer. Somehow she came to be acquainted with L. Frank Baum, the author of ‘The Wizard of Oz’. After her death my sister and I were bequeathed a complete, autographed set, of Baum’s Oz series. My sister still has that set in her library.
But, as I said, there is also passion. I became passionate about fiction when I discovered Stephen Dobyns’ ‘The Two Deaths of Senora Puccini’. No finer book has ever been written by a contemporary author. Oh, sure, there is Feuntes’ ‘The Death of Artemio Cruz’; and ‘Chronicles of a Death Foretold’ by Gabriel García Márquez; and ‘The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis, by Jose Saramago – but American contemporary writers? Dobyns is the one who swept me away.