Laura Goode’s interracial gay hip-hop love story for teens, SISTER MISCHIEF, was released by Candlewick Press on July 12. Her poems and essays have appeared in
The Rumpus, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Faster Times, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, Dossier, Slope, Fawlt, and other publications. She received her BA and MFA from Columbia University and now lives in San Francisco. Follow her on Twitter @lauragoode and visit www.lauragoode.com for total chaos.
SISTER MISCHIEF is Laura’s first book (and she’s giving away a free copy to one lucky commenter!
). She’s about to go on her first book tour to promote it: from Sept. 14 – 28, Laura will be making stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Chicago, and Minneapolis. (And she’s pretty psyched!) Check out her site, www.lauragoode.com
, for updates on events, press, and everything she’s reading.
Laura Goode Takes the Deb Interview!
Talk about one thing that’s making you happy right now.
The year 2011 has been a big one for me–my first novel was just published, I’m getting married in October. I am uncommonly blessed: I wake up every day next to the person I love most; I get out of bed every day and go to my computer to do what I love most. I have a garden that grows lemons and plums and tomatoes and gourds and herbs, and smart, complicated, amazing friends who come to visit me in it. I’ve never been convinced that I was ready to consent to being a grownup (as if any of us ever consents), but I think this might officially be the year I become a woman, and I accept that with joy. Jack Gilbert writes in his poem “A Brief for The Defense,” “We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure, / but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have / the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless / furnace of this world.” The present offers me risky delight, stubborn gladness, ruthless enjoyment. The present is making me happy right now.
What time of day do you love best?
There’s a violet hour in the garden, after midnight, when the sky is swollen with fog and bruised with color and a car passing confides a whisper from the next street over. Field mice chatter in the cucumber trellis. The chickens next door are asleep, hidden from the city raccoons. The air is chill and thick with dew and sometimes portends a mystic event–after all, this is San Francisco, where the mystical strews itself over every corner and crevasse. I can smell the ocean outside and the memory of dinner inside. This hour is why I have a lot of unfinished poems titled “Pink Sky, 1 am.”
Share one quirk you have that most people don’t know about.
There are so many that it would be virtually impossible for me to prioritize one quirk over another. I have a repetitive sneezing problem: if I sneeze once, I sneeze 15 times. I’m a hypersocial agoraphobe; I thrive on people but resist leaving my house. When my fiancé and I walk down the street I silently switch sides to walk on the lower slope of the sidewalk because I’m tall. I’m compulsively organized and habitually overprepared. I cross myself instinctively when an ambulance wails by and can’t pass a priest or nun on the street without greeting them. My mother and I have a quasi-psychic connection. I’ve had the same recurring unrehearsed performance dream for as long as I can remember. I talk and walk faster than is really necessary.
What’s your next big thing?
In addition to writing a noir mystery novel, I’m writing, producing, and starring in an independent feature film in collaboration with one of my closest friends, Meera Menon. It’s called FARAH GOES BANG, and it follows three recent college graduates in 2004 as they go on the road to campaign for John Kerry. And there’s a surprise twist: the ulterior motive underlying the trip for one of them is to find a way to lose her virginity. Chaos ensues! We’re aiming to start fundraising and pre-production in early 2012 and shoot in summer 2012. Stay tuned at www.prospectplaceproductions.com
What’s the strangest job you’ve ever had?
All the jobs I’ve had have been pretty strange. I think the winner, though, would be the several years in high school and college I spent working on and off at an assisted living home for the elderly. The home had a dining room where the residents came to eat dinner, and I was one of the dinner waitresses. I’d bring everybody their salisbury steak and cranberry juice, and remind a woman I really liked named GiGi that no, she couldn’t have a rum and coke, and every now and then one of the (few) old men would pinch my ass and I’d pretend not to notice. I’m chatty, and this was in Minnesota, where everyone makes small talk and no one glares at you for it, so I bonded quickly with a lot of the residents. It was awful, and awfully commonplace, when one of them passed away, which happened a lot after Christmas.
I was so sweet on the old ladies. They were all of a generation that was completely unaccustomed to anyone waiting on them–they’d spent their whole lives waiting on other people. I’d get to each table to clear the dishes and the dishes would be perfectly cleaned and neatly stacked in a pile at each woman’s place. They told me all kinds of stories–how they met their husbands, where the farms where they grew up used to be before the cities came–and tried to set me up with their grandsons. I learned some hilariously Minnesotan cooking tips there, too–like how banana pudding was best with Nilla wafers, and how you couldn’t make real beer cheese soup without a few kernels of popcorn to throw on top. I loved that weird little job. I like any job where you can talk to strangers.
Thanks again for being with us today, Laura! For all of you who haven’t haven’t gotten enough of Laura, find her on the web:
Web site and blog: www.lauragoode.com,
Luckily for Laura, being an author is one of those jobs where you get to talk to strangers — and meet new friends! And luckily for us, she will be giving away a copy of her awesome book SISTER MISCHIEF to one lucky commenter (US only, please). Chat away, friends!
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