Countdown to the Muse: Micro-Interview 12 (Erika Dreifus)
Break out your laurel wreaths and pens--The Muse and the Marketplace kicks off today. This is the twelfth in a series of micro-interviews by an author, agent or editor who is attending the event.
Micro-Interview with Erika Dreifus
- What is the toughest criticism to give or receive on writing?
Here's a situation that I find tough: A writer asks me to help him/her place a story or essay, and after reading the work, I have to let that writer know that it simply isn't ready to go out to editors yet. (It's never much fun to hear that verdict regarding my own writing, either!)
- What is the strangest interaction you've ever had with a reader?
You never know what will come up during a question-and-answer session. In my case, the prize for oddest question received (so far) must be conferred upon a cousin of mine who very generously attended one of my book events in his city. One of the stories in my book, Quiet Americans, is structured around the relationship (and rivalry) between two sisters. Knowing quite well that I'm from a family of two sisters, my relative asked: "So, are you the ugly sister?" I'm not easily rendered speechless, but I think it took me a moment to respond to that!
- What is the strangest place you've ever been?
Simply being online and communicating and connecting electronically still seems strange to me, even after nearly two decades with an email account. My first Skype chat--from New York, with a friend who lives in Beijing--simply stunned me. Where did that conversation take place? Here? There? Everywhere? Nowhere? It's a strange world we live in (at least for those of us who aren't "digital natives").
- What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to give to writers?
Read. Write. Repeat.
Erika Dreifus is the author of Quiet Americans: Stories, which is a 2012 ALA Sophie Brody Medal Honor Title (for outstanding Jewish literature). A veteran of conferences and residences, and a seasoned contest entrant, Erika publishes a free monthly e-newsletter, The Practicing Writer, for poets, fictionists, and writers of creative nonfiction.
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