We were thrilled when Stephanie Anderson, already one of our readers, became our new Editorial Assistant last fall. We've dusted off the 19 Rounds for her tackle:
1. Early bird or night owl?
Early bird. I used to be a night owl, but now that I've discovered how much fun it is to write in cafes and other places besides my house, I cannot really write or be productive anywhere else but where there are people to observe, or there is the gentle music of conversation.
2. What was your worst haircut?
I was sick and tired of my long hair when I was fourteen, so I cut it into a bob. My sister said I looked like our mother, which wasn't necessarily a bad thing--it was just different, and apparently didn't suit me.
3. If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It's old and it's corny, but it's the song of my childhood family road trips: "I Want You" by Savage Garden.
4. Can you roll your tongue?
I wish I could, but alas...
5. Mayonnaise: yes or no?
Eh, in moderation
6. What is your least favorite word to come across when reading a book or story?
Any word that is clearly being used to make the author/character sound smarter than they actually are
7. Which movie was better than the book?
No disrespect to Neil Gaiman, but Coraline. The visual medium of stop-motion was so, so perfect for enhancing one of the creepiest and most imaginative children's books ever!
8. What was your first concert?
Kelly Clarkson, in the summer of 2006, when my sisters and I cut up and 3d-painted the bejeezus out of black cotton T-shirts and sang ourselves hoarse!
9. It's Friday night. You're home alone. What did you order for dinner and what's on the TV?
Probably a large pizza from Little Caesar's or Bazbeaux's, and watching Once Upon a Time, Doctor Who, or an old Disney favorite
10. How do you take your coffee?
I don't drink coffee, but I take my tea with two packets/spoonfuls of sugar, and a dollop of vanilla or hazelnut cream
11. What expression do you use that most people have never heard?
If my words accidentally run together incoherently, I'll end the stream with "yippy tappy too ta" (a Doctor Who reference)
12. What movie have you seen the most times?
I can probably quote any classic Disney movie backwards and forwards, but I'll say the 1997 TV version of Cinderella. I cannot resist pretty dresses, romance, and general fairy tale musicals, not to mention the sweet corniness of 90's television.
13. What is the best thing you cook or bake?
I like to think my chicken parmesan is pretty good, but nothing beats my chocolate chip Belgian waffles
14. Finish this sentence: More people should be reading _______________.
Patrick Suskund. I have never read a more lyrical and sweeping voice in modern literature.
15. Favorite time-waster?
Watching baby animals or Disney character meet-and-greet videos on YouTube
16. What's the hardest thing about writing?
I can never decide between just getting the flippin' words on the page, or deciding which scenes will ultimately be cut. I like to write about the characters just doing their own thing for a while, getting to know them and the setting, before finally assembling the solid story. I might have had such fun writing certain scenes, but they do not enhance or showcase anything new, so they have to be left out.
17. What's the best thing about writing?
Either when you've finally gotten to know your characters and setting enough that they feel real, or when you get those "Eureka!" moments that fix long-unsolved problems
18. What is your favorite sentence from a short story or poem?
Point to any sentence in Patrick Suskund's "Perfume: Story of a Murderer" and let the beauty float through your brain like a perfectly made perfume.
19. What question were you hoping to be asked?
Either "What's your favorite/best place to write?" or "If you could sit down with any long-dead author or poet, who would it be?"