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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Donna Jo Napoli

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? That’s like asking why breathing is important to me. It’s ingrained in me now. It’s a way of life.

As a medium, I love it because it uses language only to get across an idea. You don’t have a taste or smell or vision or touch or sound put in front of you. You have language trying to evoke those tastes and smells etc. So readers are free to understand the scene in a way that makes sense to them. Reading is a creative act and a deeply personal act.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? I don’t have writer’s block. That might sound snotty, but it’s not. Writing is a disease for me–it’s not a choice.

What is your favorite time to write? Anytime. When my children were small, I had to get used to writing when I could steal a moment. I’ve also always held a full time job teaching.  So writing slid into the interstices–30 minutes here, 10 there, sometimes a whole hour. So now I’m like Pavlov’s dogs–just put me at my writing desk and I’m off and away.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Write what only you can write.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? Control. The illusion that I have some control in my life. I’m the one who decides what will be on that page. What an amazing power to have.

Donna Jo Napoli’s In a Flash is out January 5 with Wendy Lamb Books.