Alison Pace is the author of the novels If Andy Warhol Had a Girlfriend, Pug Hill, Through Thick and Thin, and City Dog. Her essays have appeared in several anthologies including Howl: A Collection of the Best Contemporary Dog Wit. She lives in New York City where she teaches creative writing.
Enjoy this interview.
You’re from New York and graciously offer to pop in on book clubs in the area if they wish. What is the best thing someone has said to you at a book club? What’s been your favorite reader comment?
I love visiting book clubs when I can, even if it’s just on the phone for those far away. I don’t know if I have a specific favorite comment but across the board it’s always wonderful, heartwarming, satisfying, gratifying when people tell me my book meant something to them, made them laugh, made them think, or just made them want to hug their dog.
What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about the writing world?
Oh, gosh, that’s hard to say as I’m not sure I’m entirely sure what conceptions are out there. I will say thought that as far as my experience goes, there’s no such thing as the glamorous life of the writer. From where I sit, it’s much more sitting in your apartment in sweatpants puzzling and / or stressing out over a sub plot or appropriate character reaction than it is “glamour.”
You also teach creative writing. Can you give a tip on how budding writers can make their first novel unique?
I think write what’s in your heart, write something that means something to you, and, most importantly…write. That’s a good answer to many writing questions, I think.
Share some of your writing goals. What’s next for you?
I’m working on a sequel to my novel Pug Hill. It has a lot of mystery elements so that’s very new for me. My immediate goal is to get that turned in and in great shape by the end of the summer. My long term goal is to keep writing, keep coming up with ideas that work and hopefully resonate with the people who read my books.
Book you’re currently reading?
I’m a little ADD with my reading and usually have a few books going at any given time. Right now, I’m reading the Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine and Museum: Behind the Scenes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Danny Danzinger. Both terrific so far. I also want to start The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie as it came very highly recommended from a person whose reading opinion I really trust.
In your opinion, what’s the measure of a successful writer?
I think having a great story, working on it every day, and having that certain amount of get-up and go as being a writer involves a lot of time alone and the need for a lot of self-motivation. I also think it’s so important for writers to embrace the fact that writing a great book is just the very beginning and a huge deal of time and energy should be spent trying to get the word about your books out into the world. That part though can be really fun…I especially enjoy the promotion aspect as it’s really nice to get out in the world, even the online world, and interact after spending so much time inside my own head.
Where can we learn more about you?
Anything else you’d like to add?
If anyone’s interested, I just started a page for my books on Facebook. There will be news, contests, giveaways.