Randy Susan Meyers debuts next Tuesday, January 19, 2010 with The Murderer’s Daughters, a compelling, brutally honest, yet sensitive story about all the victims of domestic violence. A full presentation of the novel is scheduled to appear here on Monday, January 18, 2010 but, in the meantime, meet Randy in her official, two-sentence bio:
I’ve published short stories in the Fog City Review, Perigee: Publication for the
Arts, and the Grub Street Free Press. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and now live
with my husband in Boston, where I teach writing seminars at the Grub Street Writers’
And now here is Randy revealed:
How would you describe your life in 8 words?
A: Writing, reading, husband, children, granddaughter, sister, friends: happy.
What is your motto or maxim?
A: At my grandmother’s 98th birthday, we asked her what she thought the most important thing is life was. Her answer: “Be nice to people.” I can’t improve on that and live by her belief.
How would you describe perfect happiness?
A: My perfect happiness is having healthy and happy friends and family. Extra-perfect is having writing as my work. That is blessed.
What’s your greatest fear?
A: My greatest fear in life is anything happening to my children or granddaughter. Even writing it, I want to spit three times to keep away the evil eye!
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A: I am very lucky, because I want to stay right where I am; this is a wonderful time in my life.
With whom in history do you most identify?
A: That would be Anne Frank. She always believed life would get better, she worked to see the best in people—while also having and admitting to her dark thoughts—and she had a rich inner life.
Which living person do you most admire?
A: I have to say Hilary Clinton, because she rose from a battle she lost, showed grace, and is working under her former opponent with dignity, and doing a difficult job splendidly. Though it was a hard choice between her and President Obama—a man carrying the world on his capable shoulders.
What are your most overused words or phrases
A: When speaking it has to be ‘nice’—my daughters are always making fun of how I describe the ‘nice’ pie I made, and the ‘nice’ spaghetti casserole we’re going to have. When writing, I always highlight the word ‘was’ to weed out passive construction. My writing ‘tic’ is using the word ‘leaned,’ as in ‘she leaned forward’ – I have to watch out that my characters don’t becoming leaning machines.
If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A: Singing! I have a brutally awful singing voice. I can get my husband to do something just by threatening to sing to him. Oh, can I have one more? I’d love to be able to fix things—mechanically or otherwise. I have no talent for tasks requiring spatial and three-dimensional judgment.
What is your greatest achievement?
A: Raising two wonderful daughters with admirable moral compasses.
What’s your greatest flaw?
A: Taking action without meditating on what I am about to do.
What’s your best quality?
A: My best quality may be the flip side of my greatest flaw: I can accomplish tasks very quickly. Although, hmm, I hope that perhaps kindness to people may surpass speediness being my top quality.
What do you regret most?
A: I very much regret that I never truly knew my father. He died when I was nine.
If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A: Can I say that I’d like to continue being me, but minus 15 pounds? As much as I rummage around my brain, I can’t imagine leaving who I am at this moment. I love everyone in my life too much to imagine them away. I know that sounds corny, but it’s where I am at this moment in time. Had you asked me this question at another time in my life, I could have listed a bazillion people I’d rather be.
What trait is most noticeable about you?
A: Listening very hard to what folks are saying and trying to connect to the people I meet.
Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A: The protagonist of MOSQUITO COAST by Paul Theroux, a young boy becoming a man, who has to face down his father and rescue his family.
Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A: Ah, it’s the father of MOSQUITO COAST. He is so deeply entrenched in his own rightness—I think that can be the most enraging of traits.
If you could meet any athlete, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A: I am rather sports-impaired, so I draw from a shallow pool here. Perhaps it would be Michael Phelps, because he must reach into a deep place it seems to go that extra mile. My question would be: “what do you think of during those hours of practice?”
What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: Easy question! People feeling that rules do not apply to them (especially driving, and especially driving while on the phone.)
What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
What’s your fantasy profession?
A: I would love to imagine myself as a police officer or a surgeon. (It seems I never can pick just one.) I don’t think I’m suited to either one, but I’d love to walk in those shoes.
What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A: Being kind. Having a true moral barometer. Showing grace under pressure.
If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A: It’s funny that this is the question stumping me. At first thought, it would be my family Thanksgiving stuffing. It even has vegetables in it. Then I tried to think of a more rounded out dish. Chicken soup? No, it has to be the Meyers Family Stuffing.
What are your 5 favorite songs?
A: Lean on Me, Fly Me to the Moon, We Are Family, Aint No Stopping Us Now, Come Rain or Come Shine.
What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A: Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp. Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty.
Book Giveaway: Book Giveaway: For a chance to win a copy of Melanie Benjamin’s Alice I Have Been, please leave a comment on this post by 7:00 p.m. EST tonight. (Everyone — i.e. readers as well as authors — is welcome to participate.) The winner — chosen from a random drawing — will be announced here in tomorrow’s post.