What is the title of your class?
What’s one thing you hope your students will take away from the class?
A more sophisticated understanding of narrative point-of-view.
What sorts of writers will you be reading/assigning in class? Why?
We’ll be reading short stories by Lee K. Abbott and Dave Eggers, among others, and we’ll be examining excerpts from novels by Saul Bellow and Bernard Malamud.
Can your students connect with you on social media? If so, how?
I’m afraid I’m not the Twittering type!
Are any of your works online and available to the public?
I’ve had short stories in recent issues of Cimarron Review, Iowa Review, and Permafrost, but all of these are print journals.
What’s your teaching philosophy?
To me, teaching is all about being open and accessible, and about good communication between the student(s) and the teacher. My classes tend to have a lot of discussion, close-readings, and generative writing activities.
What advice do you have about getting into the habit of writing regularly?
Writing every day is, I firmly believe, the most important part of becoming a better writer. Set a hard word count for yourself, as having a specific quota to hit makes it easier to write regularly. Try, for instance, to write at least 500 words a day.
What are you working on right now? Where did the idea come from?
I’m working on a novel—a literary mystery set in 1940s Alaska. The idea came from my grandparents’ lives, at least in part.
What’s your favorite word in the English vocabulary?
Let’s talk writing inspiration—what’s the No. 1 thing that drives you to write?
Writing helps me understand — and love — the world around me.