This month’s featured author – Rebecca Morean – is one of my personal heroes. Writing under several names and in various genres, she produces a prodigious amount of outstanding work. No matter your preferred type of reading, Becky is sure to offer a sumptuous tale. A busy professor, mother and board member of the Antioch Writers Workshop, Becky shares insights from her writing life with us this month.
What drew you to writing?
I have always written. I wrote my autobiography when I was eleven and have not tried that again since. I can’t imagine a life where I did not write. I was always drawn to stories about writers or girls who thought on their feet. I read books like Harriet the Spy and A Wrinkle in Time and watched television shows like The Waltons. I learned early that if I were to put trust in something, that something should be words.
Which of the authors you have read has had the most effect or influence on your writing?
Whatever book I am reading….and that includes nonfiction. What influences me now is different than what influenced me when I was younger. As a young writer, I wanted to emulate the writers I admired in a kind of literary echo chamber. Now that I am older and more secure in my own voice, I admire them for how they present concepts, themes, or turn a sentence or seek melody in a line of prose or poetry. I think learning to read as a writer has only increased my love of reading. I write and read a variety of genres: literary, romance and mystery as well as nonfiction, so my interests and styles are all very different. Lucky in reading, lucky in writing.
What is your writing process?
Butt in chair. Write. Except now I have a walking desk treadmill. (I highly recommend every writer get one. A real life changer.) To be more serious, I think the process of writing is very mysterious. I am with Gilbert Sorrentino on this. The person who takes out the garbage and fights with the insurance company on the phone is not really the person who shows up to the blank page. And that is really an amazing statement. I have discovered I need to be able to access information in order to keep writing. In other words, I need access to Google so I can get the answers I need to keep writing. This surprised me–I was on vacation in Canada where there was no internet and I had a very hard time pushing through a scene because I could not find out the make and model of a particular car. I am now spoiled by the information age. I know that I need to writer every day and if I don’t I get grouchy. I do write every Sunday no matter what. So if I can’t get to writing for three or four days, I know that Sunday I will have a five hour stint of uninterrupted time with my writing partners. We all meet at a coffee shop with our laptops and get to work around 7:30 am or so. This commitment has literally saved me from myself.
Just for fun:
Name a book you have read more than once.
If I had to pick just one: All Creatures Great and Small. Read this about a dozen times. At least.
Name your favorite comfort or reward food.
Real popcorn with butter and nutritional yeast on it.