Guest interview with Lisa Haselton:
What exciting story are you working on next? I’m almost done with third draft of my next novel which will tries to make sense of the last four years. Political upheaval, personal loss and then– the enormous quiet of the pandemic,
Annie Simon, is a writing teacher and a mother with an estranged son. To distract herself and to “do the right thing” she volunteers for the Hillary campaign in Michigan and discovers the frustration and impotence of her home state, and how that plays out in her own life and the life of the country. Things can sometimes be brought home to heal, but sometimes there is no healing, only radical acceptance.
It’s challenging— but I am really moved by how the external world we live in reflects back on our everyday struggles.
When did you first consider yourself a writer? I think I’ve always told stories. I remember being chosen for Creative Writing class when I was in elementary school and thought, ‘yep, that’s me.” The identity has morphed a bit over the years. I wrote and taught Playwriting for years, but feel at home now, writing fiction.
Do you write full time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write? I’m lucky that I support myself through teaching and other pursuits as well.
I am a member of the NY Writers Bloc, and the LA Writers Bloc –which I helped found with my friend writer, Jane Anderson—and aside from our weekly meetings to share work, I have writing dates with friends on Zoom. This really helps with accountability and keeping me on track with a project. It’s great to have an ongoing community of supportive artists. We know each other, understand the same dictionary of terms when helping to shape each other’s work.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? Well, I’m also a Tarot reader and so when I get stuck, I pull a card or two and it gets me going. The cards are great for landscape, character and even plotting a story. I teach this class to other writers, too.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Oh, I remember being featured on the front page of the Detroit News when I was in third grade in a story that claimed that I aspired to being an airline stewardess so that I could travel the world! Though that didn’t actually come true, I have traveled a lot in my life –in person and through the characters I’ve played as an actress, written as a playwright, and brought to life as a novelist. And I’m not sure I’m actually fully grown up yet!
Anything else to share with the readers? I guess I just want to say that I believe deeply in the power of stories. The ones we write and the ones we live. In knowing someone’s story, you acknowledge them as a person on the planet. So, I urge everyone to write their story, listen to others, create new ones. It helps to find ourselves and each other in space, so we can hold on with love and hope.
Thanks for being here today!