Thursday, December 18, 2008

Author Snapshot: Diana Spechler

Most recent book: Who By Fire
Born: Boston, Massachusetts
Reside: New York, New York
Birthday: June 15, 1979
Web site:

What’s your favorite city?

You only have six hours to spend there. What do you do?
I’m stressed just thinking about it. Six? Really? Six? Okay, I’d definitely get a falafel -- in lafa, rather than in pita. And I’d order it in Hebrew, because that makes me feel bilingual and worldly. And then…I don’t know! How much time do I have left? I’m freaking out.

What food do you love?
I love Cool Ranch Doritos, even though I’m a vegetarian. I know. That’s gross.

What food have you vowed never to touch again?
I don’t eat pork, but one night in a bar, I ate fried pork rinds thinking they were Funyons. And then I felt dizzy with disgust.

What’s on your nightstand?
Stacks of books

What inspires you?
I’m inspired by people, especially the ones who feed pigeons from park benches with fresh artisan bread, or keep mini bottles of liquor in their purses, or squint their eyes at me and tell me about the colors of my aura, or wear too much perfume or laugh too loudly, but have no idea that they’re laughing too loudly.

What are you working on now?
A novel about transformation through loss, set at a weight-loss camp for kids in North Carolina.

Tell us about your process.
I wish I had a process. A person with a process is a person with a mission -- a person with a good ponytail and the right lipstick and a briefcase. Definitely computer. No pen. Morning, nighttime, afternoon ... whenever I can get to it. Free form. Definitely free form. People who outline are my heroes.

Lift your head and look around. What do you see?
Wow. My apartment is a mess.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve been writing since I was four years old. I’ve always done it. I’ve always wanted to do it.

If you couldn’t write books, what would you be doing?
Feeling jealous of people who could ... maybe making Voodoo dolls of them.

To date, what moment in your career has made you happiest?
Selling my novel. It was amazing. I had a pretty good idea that the offer was coming in that morning, so I was electrified with nervous energy. I went to a kick-boxing class at the gym, but kept my cell phone propped against the wall. Sure enough, it rang while I was fighting an imaginary villain. It was my agent. I ran outside while she read me the offer and I sobbed and jumped up and down outside New York Sports Club, wearing green jogging shorts and two sports bras.

What question do you get asked about your writing most often?
“How much of it is autobiographical?” One of the protagonists in my novel sort of ... um ... finds her solace in the arms of men. People are always really curious about how I came up with her. They ask, “How much of this is autobiographical?” But I think half the time they’re really asking, “Are you a slut?”

What’s the question you’d like to be asked?
I’d like to be asked many questions: “Are you comfortable?” “Is there anything I can do to make you happier?” “Can I take you shopping?” “Will you lick the bowl?” “Would you care for a foot massage?” “May I book you on Oprah?” “French fries or onion rings?” “Shiraz or Chianti?” “Can you hold my puppy for a minute?”

Please tell us about your most recent book.
My novel, Who By Fire, is a family story set in Israel in 2002 that explores what happens when we try to rescue the people we love.

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