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:
Q: How would you describe your life in 8 words?
A: Writing, reading, husband, children, granddaughter, sister, friends: happy.
Q: 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.
Q: 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.
Q: 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!
Q: 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.
Q: 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.
Q: 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.
Q: 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.
Q: 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.
Q: What is your greatest achievement?
A: Raising two wonderful daughters with admirable moral compasses.
Q: What’s your greatest flaw?
A: Taking action without meditating on what I am about to do.
Q: 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.
Q: What do you regret most?
A: I very much regret that I never truly knew my father. He died when I was nine.
Q: 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.
Q: 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.
Q: 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.
Q: 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.
Q: 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?”
Q: 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.)
Q: What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
Q: 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.
Q: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A: Being kind. Having a true moral barometer. Showing grace under pressure.
Q: 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.
Q: 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.
Q: 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.