Powells.com Ink Q & A


Describe your latest project.

First of all, you should know that The Devil, The Lovers and Me: My Life in Tarot is more than a memoir; it's my baby. I love it. I'm proud of it. I want it to have a beautiful and glorious life in the world. Now, how can I describe it without paraphrasing the jacket copy? Okay, well, it's basically a flashback book that spans the course of one tarot reading in real time. How's that? Each card in the spread gets its own chapter in the book, and in each chapter, the lesson of the card sparks a memory from my past. I feel like this is becoming an SAT question. If Jack has one sister whose mother is twice Jack's age, how old does that make Jack? Wow, that makes no sense. I suck at math.

Anyway, my stories trace my life from adolescence to adulthood and explore how growing up with a sexually abused mother and sick brother effected my self-esteem and acted out in my love life as an adult; how giving away my power and learning to take it back helped me trust and accept myself more; and how, in the end, I come to realize that life is not about holding onto the past or looking to the future, it's about being present and breathing deeply in every moment.

What fictional character would you like to date, and why?
Howard Roark in the The Fountainhead. His independence and fearlessness are beyond sexy to me.

Writers are better liars than other people: true or false? Why, or not?
False. I think writers are actually some of the most honest people on the planet. They get to the heart and truth of everything. The details might be made up, but a good sentence can awaken a world within someone.

Offer a favorite sentence or passage from another writer.
"I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night."
—Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

How do you relax?
I masturbate a lot.

What is your idea of absolute happiness?
I've never jumped out of a plane, but I imagine absolute happiness feels similar to letting go, floating in the open sky — everything suspended, quiet and soft.

Why do you write?
I write to eliminate shame. I write to connect with my higher self. I write to touch the lives and hearts of people I don't know. I write to have a voice, a voice my mother never had. I write for both of us.

In the For-All-Eternity category, what will be your final thought?
It wouldn't be a thought; it'd be a laugh.

Recommend five or more books on a single subject of personal interest or expertise.
I'm obsessed with love. Romantic love. Platonic love. Self love. All of it. It's hard to write about love without being totally cheesy, so when someone does it well, I am taken. I fall absolutely head-over-heels in love.

Five books I'm head-over-heels in love with:

Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen (Karen von Blixen-Finecke)

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

The Passion by Jeanette Winterson

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone (Author), Michael Smollin (Illustrator)