Interview with Marissa MossOctober, 2009
What Readers want to know...
SS: Who is your favorite fictional hero?
MM: There are too many, from James in James and the Giant Peach to Harry Potter.
SS: Who is your favorite fictional villain?
MM: I'd have to go with a great Shakespearean villain, someone like Iago or Shylock.
SS: If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
MM: I'd love to go back in time and meet Hatshepsut, the only woman pharaoh in ancient Egypt, since I just finished my first novel, and it's about her. She could tell me everything I got wrong and maybe the few things I got right.
SS: What is your biggest pet peeve?
MM: People who say, "If I had the time, I'd write a children's book." My answer to that is, "If I had the time, I'd be a brain surgeon."
SS: How would you describe perfect happiness?
MM: I feel lucky that I get paid for what I love to do most -- write and draw. That seems like happiness to me!
SS: What’s your greatest fear?
MM: a major earthquake on the Hayward fault, near where I live.
SS: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
MM: Rome -- it's my favorite city in the world!
SS: With whom in history do you most identify?
MM: When I was a kid, my role model was Leonardo da Vinci -- a man who drew and painted beautifully, but was also a scientist, curious about the natural world. I wouldn't say I identify with Leonardo, but I'd sure like to be as talented as he was!
SS: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
MM: I'd love to fly, like Superman.
SS: What is your greatest achievement?
MM: I'm not sure it's great, but I'd say getting published.
SS: What’s your greatest flaw?
MM: I speak WAY too fast.
SS: What’s your best quality?
MM: I'm curious about other people and cultures.
SS: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
MM: I can't imagine being anyone except myself.
SS: What trait is most noticeable about you?
MM: My greatest flaw -- that I speak too fast.
SS: What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
SS: What’s your fantasy profession?
MM: I'm lucky enough to be doing it!
SS: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
MM: A great sense of humor, willingness to work hard, and curiousity about the world.
SS: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
MM: Pasta! But it has to be Roman style!
SS: What are your 5 favorite songs?
MM: I'm into Bollywood music now, so I'd say Johnny Cue, Tandoori Nights, and some others whose titles I'd just mangle.
SS: How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
MM: Reading, Writing, Drawing!
Questions About Books and Writing
SS: Who are your favorite authors?
MM: There are too many to name, but some that come to mind right away are J K Rowling, Christopher Paul Curtis, Karen Cushman, Sharon Creech, Thacher Hurd, Elisa Kleven, Elise Primavera. I could go on and on.
SS: What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
MM: I'd have to say Shakespeare's plays -- The Tempest, Othello, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet.
SS: Is there a book you love to reread?
MM: All of the above (see Shakespeare).
SS: Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
MM: Rewrite! Most of writing in REwriting.
SS: What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
MM: Amelia is just like me! Since Amelia is me when I was a kid and I felt like nobody was like me, when I hear that, I think, where were you when I was a kid?
SS: What is your birthdate?
SS: What were your previous occupations?
MM: I waited tables until I got my first book. I'd still be waiting tables. . .
SS: What was/is your favorite job?
MM: The one I have right now -- writing and illustrating books!
SS: Where did you go to high school and/or college?
MM: I went to high school in Palo Alto, near Stanford University, and went to college at U.C. Berkeley.
SS: Name of your favorite composer or music artist?
MM: I have too many favorites to name only one.
SS: What is your favorite movie?
MM: I think Charade is the movie I love most. It's so well written, you can watch it over and over again. Great dialog!
SS: What is your favorite television show?
MM: I think The Office is hilarious. I loved Arrested Development, but it's not on anymore. I guess I like funny series.
Get more on Marissa Moss at SimonandSchuster.com