Author Revealed

About Denise Kiernan

Q. What is your birthdate?

A. 7/31

Q. Previous occupations

A. teacher, counselor, waitress, janitor, babysitter, papergirl, tutor, secretary, dispenser of unwanted advice

Q. Favorite job

A. Writing. No competition.

Q. High school and/or college

A. Graduated from North Carolina School of the Arts and New York University.

Q. Favorite movie

A. Come on, seriously? OK. Empire Strikes Back at the Dangerous Liaisons of Apocalypse Now in LA...Confidential.

Q. Favorite television show

A. Twin Peaks. No, Arrested Development. No, Twin Peaks. Wait—The Wire.

Revealing Questions

Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?

A. loving living writing striving planning adjusting laughing changing

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. Everything is falling into place...until it isn't. Then just wing it.

On Books and Writing

Q. Who are your favorite authors?

A. Yikes, that's a tough one. William Faulkner, for sure. Margaret Atwood has to be up there. Jeanette Winterson never disappoints. Tom Robbins reminds me of college. William Shakespeare is beautifully bawdy. Joan Didion. Right now, I'm into Lee Child. Nora Ephron delights on so many levels and in so many different literary forms.However, if I have to choose just one all-time favorite author, that would have to be my husband, Joseph D'Agnese.

Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

A. First of all, I reserve the right to completely change this list at any time. As with most creative works, the impact of these books has as much to do with who I was when I read them as it does with the works themselves. Books are like rivers—you can never step into the same one twice. That said, when I've dipped back into these, they still hold up.Are You There God? It's Me, MargaretBrave New WorldLord Of the RingsAs I Lay Dying/Light in August (I cheated!)The Water is Wide

Q. Is there a book you love to reread?

A. No. I feel too guilty and stressed about all the ones I have yet to read a first time.

Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

A. Get through your first draft as quickly as you feasibly can without rereading and without judging your work—or yourself