What are you looking to explore with your writing? What’s a theme that you keep coming back to?
Sometimes I do feel like I write the same story again and again. And for me, I am always looking for a place with a kind of redemption. I often put characters in very difficult situations, all the while hoping they can swim to the other side, and wondering how they might get there. I guess I am always looking for a character to be given a second chance in life, a new vision in life. For me, a happy ending is not everything works out just right and there is a big bow, it’s more coming to a place where a person has a clear vision of his or her own life in a way that enables them to kind of throw down their crutches and walk. To deal with what’s there in a way that enables them to keep moving forward. I think a lot of the characters in my new short-story collection are very much in that kind of position. Learning to take what you’ve got and make the most of it, I guess.
“PS” is sort of a reflection on that journey, and coming out on the other side.
Coming out on the other side. Being able to shed all those things like anger or resentment or grudges that people often carry for way too long.
What would you do if you were not a writer?
That is such an interesting question, and actually it is connected to “PS,” because I have always thought that writers and therapists have very similar jobs. You meet people, hear their life stories, and then try to make sense of it. It’s just that I get to see, or make up, the ending. Certainly if I were to think in terms of a field that would have required a different mode of education, I think I would have leaned in the direction of being a therapist. And without the education, or a different kind of education, I think my first choice would be a landscape architect. I love to garden.