A Continuation To My Previous Interview With Author Michelle Cohen Corasanti
Not too long ago, I had interviewed Michelle Cohen Corasanti who is the author of The Almond Tree. Michelle came back to answer a few more questions for us today.
What sport did you play as a younger person? Were you good at it?
I was a gymnast. I was horrible at it. For one thing, I’m way too tall. To be good you have to have your centre of gravity low to the ground. I have too much body to control in the air. Second, I’m not a risk taker so after ten years I still couldn’t do a back tuck. Third, my father is extremely competitive and would take movies of my gymnastic meets. Afterwards we would have to watch them and he would point out everything I did wrong. You can imagine that didn’t make the sport enjoyable for me.
I remember seeing a video of Nadia Comaneci’s perfect 10s performance at the Montreal Olympics. Prior to that performance, such a score had been deemed impossible, which is why that year’s Olympics scoreboard manufacturer had been instructed to make a 3, rather than a 4, digit display. 10.00 was simply not on the cards; Yet she scored it anyway, and the board showed 1.00. In order to win in the team event, Romania needed only an 8.00 from Comaneci. To this day I still wonder if they would have ended up in second place if my father had been one of the judges.
What would be the best piece of advice you would offer a new author?
A book isn’t about writing, it’s about rewriting and you need to have very thick skin. I came across an excellent blog post, http://caitlinkelly.com/tips/tip02.htm , on the importance of rewriting, and the necessity of being a pachyderm when asking for the honest opinions of friends and family during the initial drafting stages. It begins with a quote from the great E.B. white; who is, sadly, no longer with us, and here it is:
"The best writing is rewriting".
The blog sums up White's theories on the subject very succinctly, and I feel that it really is a must-read for all literary neophytes.
Is routine important to you?
I may not have followed his exact routine but whenever I found myself in danger of losing an entire day to non-literary pursuits, I brought to mind Peter De Vries, who said “I write when I'm inspired, and I see to it that I'm inspired at nine o'clock every morning”
Thank you for stopping by again to finish up your last interview. I will be reading your book in the near future, and I'm looking forward to it. :)