1. What are your favorite: Hobbies? Desserts? Places to visit? Movies?
I’m a big reader, music, film and travel person. I like to cook as well. In my imagination, I’m a house person — I live in a 1920′s bungalow and as I said — in my imagination – I’m all about fixing it up in a funky, eclectic style and do endless research on that score… but let’s just say, the reality doesn’t quite match up to the fantasy yet.
I’m not a huge dessert person, but if I had to choose, I’d say fruit pies, cobblers and such are my favorites. I like a grown-up tasting dessert that has a hint of spice or depth to it – I made some lemon-rosemary cookies this past Christmas that were just fabulous.
I love to travel anywhere new, country or city. In terms of natural landscape, the beach is my favorite place. The sea really suggests eternity to me.
My favorite film is really The Third Man. I love the aesthetic of it, but also the moral core, wrapped in so much ambiguity. Just like life.
I’m going to have to say Harriet the Spy. I know I’m supposed to say the Bible — but that’s a given. I’m also supposed to say something weighty like Crime and Punishment. But honestly, when you talk about influence — real influence on how I have seen myself throughout my life, I have to tip my notebook to Harriet. I read it a dozen times as a child, something I really never thought about until about ten years ago. I did a lot of repeat reading as a child, but Harriet was the most well-worn of my books, and I pondered why. Well, it didn’t take too long — Harriet was a writer. She was interested in the world around her, determined to observe and take note, and a realist. I see now why the character resonated so much with me.
3. Do your children like to read? Are there any special books you read together with them?
All of my five children are readers, and they all have different tastes and styles of reading. Of the older (adult) sons — one is attached to his e-reader like it’s a lifeline, and another, although quite the techno-geek in some respects, will probably never read anything but books on paper. My daughter learned to read when she was three and for her, physical books and the stories they have given her through her life, are what makes home for her. I still read aloud every night to the two younger boys and for the past few months, we’ve been working our way through the Little House books. I am struck once again by how beautifully written they are and how universal they are in their final impact on the reader. The boys really enjoy them, and the books — with their depictions of perseverance and family cooperation are also pretty useful (I admit) as disciplinary tools… “Would Laura and Mary complain about this? I think not!”
4. What hopes do you have for your book, Wish You Were Here?
My hopes are simple, and twofold. First, that anyone experiencing loss find a word, a phrase, a scene or a story in this book that gives them hope and the sure knowledge that they are not alone, in any sense. And secondly — more prosaically — that travelers will take a look at Sicily as a destination. It’s such a beautiful, fascinating and rich part of the world, and completely undeserving of any negative reputation it has. We loved it and hope to return someday.
Click here to read an excerpt of Wish You Were Here!
Click here to visit Amy’s website.