Saturday, March 5, 2016
Lauren Fox was the Minnesota January Author in the Spotlight here on Booksnob and she has written a wonderful novel about marriage and grief. Recently, I had the chance to ask her some questions about her books and she's sharing some of her secrets with us. Read on to find out more.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Since you can find my bio anywhere, I’ll tell you all my secrets instead. Um, let’s see… I have the palate and aesthetic sensibilities of a nine-year-old. (My favorite food is Little Debbies.) My lovely and smart thirteen-year-old daughter still calls Raisin Brain “Raisin Brand,” and I have decided that I’m not going to correct her, because it’s the only remnant of her babyhood. I recently bought three pairs of fleece leggings, because I like to feel like I’m wearing pajamas 24 hours a day. I hide ice cream from my unsuspecting husband by pushing it waaaay back in the freezer. Three out of four of my secrets are about food!
2. What inspired you to write Days of Awe?
There was no single inspiration; Days of Awe is a book that I’d been ruminating about for years. Jewish history and identity, mothers and daughters, the complexity of marriage, grief – they’re themes and ideas that have been living in my brain (and on a Word document) for a long time.
3. Can you tell us why or when you decided to become a writer?
I have always loved to write (or maybe, as they say, to have written?) I have a friend from grade school who told me recently that that’s how he remembers me – always writing. There are notebooks in my parents’ house filled with my early poetry. So I think it’s just always been a part of me.
4. Usually an author puts some of his own life experiences in the book. Did you do that in Days of Awe? Do you have anything in common with your characters?
I’m sure I include my life experiences in all of my books, in some ways, but it’s less like I drop them into the book and more like a prism – reflected and faceted and refracted. I take as much from my observations of others as I do from my own life, and of course I combine and alter and invent details
5. I am intrigued by the other books you have written. Tell us a little bit about your other books.
My first novel, Still Life with Husband, is about a thirty-year-old woman who deliberately sabotages her own life by having an affair. Friends Like Us, my second, is about the close friendship between Willa and Jane, two women in their twenties, and how that friendship is tested when Willa’s male best friend from high school re-enters the scene and starts dating Jane. Both novels explore the complexity of friendship, love, and betrayal. Both feature flawed protagonists at a moment in their lives when they’re forced to figure out who and how they want to be.
6. Do you like to read? What authors or books influence you?
I read all the time. I feel like reading is the part-time job of the writer. I love being part of a broader conversation about contemporary literature. I always read as a writer – to learn something about how an author constructs plot, or works with a complicated timeline, or invokes a mood. Some of the books that have meant a lot to me over the past few years are Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann, The Stolen Child, by Keith Donohue, Falling to Earth, by Kate Southwood, and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, by Aimee Bender.
7. Are you working on a new book? Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Yes! No. Honestly, I’ve learned the hard way not to talk about the stuff I’m working on while I’m working on it – it petrifies it, in a way, sort of stops it in its tracks. But I am working on book four.
8. How do you carve time out of your busy day to write? Are you a full time writer or do you have a day job? What is one of your daily writing rituals or habits?
I’m lucky that, right now, writing is my full-time (full-ish-time) job. My kids are in school, so from 8:30 to 3:00, I’m at my desk. I don’t really have any rituals or habits. I’d probably be more productive if I did. Oh, I do have one: I have an app on my computer called “Freedom,” which
9. What is the most important lesson/idea you want readers to take away from your book, Days of Awe?
I don’t really think that good fiction has obvious lessons. I hope that Days of Awe doesn’t. I don’t really write to impart a lesson; I write to try to tell a good story, to excavate a complicated character, to touch on themes and ideas that preoccupy me. If I’m lucky enough that someone wants to read it, then that’s really the very best outcome.
10. In one sentence tell readers why they should read Days of Awe?
I’ve been thinking about this question for hours! It’s too hard! I’ve decided to eat some M&Ms instead of answering it.
You can find more information about Lauren Fox and her books at her website: