What word do you love? “Sycamore.” Love the sound. Love the tree.
What word do you detest? “Impact” as a verb, i.e. “impacted.” Am I the only one who thinks of the dentist when hearing that?
What is a little known fact about yourself? I was a Class A racquetball player in my 20s. My knees still cuss me.
What are three things in your writing space that would surprise someone who popped in? A portrait of me and a giraffe. A rebounder trampoline thingy. And a stand-up desk.
What books first influenced you as a child? Every Superman comic book from my Dad's drugstore, and every Hardy Boy and Nancy Drew mystery in my small town’s Carnegie Public Library––all of which led me to Huckleberry Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird and beyond. Thanks, Superman, Nancy, and you Hardy boys, you.
Did you want to be a writer growing up? I was too busy trying to break my little tomboy neck. In grade school, I wanted to be the first girl shortstop for the New York Yankees. In high school, I wanted to play tennis at Wimbledon. By college, I wanted to be an artist. I found, though, that I was better at being a failed artist. The one thing I had done through it all was read. That’s when it hit me that every book I was reading for the college literature courses I kept taking--in fact, every book I'd read my entire life--was written by a real person, not a literary god of some sort. So I took a creative writing course and was hooked. Over the years, as I made a living working with words and seeing the world, I kept playing with them, creating worlds as well. There’s more than one way to be an artist; writers paint with words, don’t we?
Your novel's opening line is fun. What’s your favorite opening line of a book? I just taught a conference craft course on first lines, so I have a dozen favorites. But the one that always springs to mind is the opening of the paragraph-long first sentence of Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…” That’s classic because of its universal truth, graceful beauty, terrific foreshadowing, and catchy syntax. You can’t beat that; no one has for close to 200 years. And I’m perpetually jealous.
If you could have a beer or coffee with a writer living or dead, who would it be and why? Coffee with Flannery O’Connor. That woman must have been a hoot.
What life lessons did the experience of writing and publishing a novel teach you? Persevere; quit when you must; start over; try not to be tortured. And most of all: Have a sense of humor about everything or die young and wrinkly.
Meet Lynda Rutledge in person on February 7, 2013 at 7PM. She'll present her latest novel, Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale and answer all your questions. The book signing immediately follows.
Location: Street: 2421 Bissonnet St City: Houston, Province: Texas Postal Code: 77005-1451 Country: United States (added from IndieBound)