In Which a Librarian asks a Talented Author a Small Number of Questions
Annie Spence worked with us at the Traverse Area District Library as a part-time librarian for a couple of years. It was during that time that she was offered a book deal for her idea of a book featuring love letters to books or break up notes to books. These love letters were to books she had to weed from the library, books found at a friends house just sitting randomly on a coffee table, children’s books she had forgotten about, books she just had to break up with for she couldn’t take it anymore…you get the drift. That idea came to fruition as Dear Fahrenheit 451, Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks. We like to think here at TADL that we played a huge part in this book but honestly, Annie is such a fantastically funny writer and phenomenal librarian, that we knew she was going to go far. She is now an Outreach for Emerging Adults librarian downstate and is working on her next book. One of her pet projects when she was here at TADL was starting a blog–this one in fact, Fine Print. We have decided to turn the tables on her and ask her 3 to 5 (or more!) Questions to Authors.
Q: Your book, Dear Fahrenheit 451 is fantastic, is there a letter you wrote but did not make it in the final copy but you very much wish had?
A: Thank you, Betsy. There were not any letters I wish had made it into the final copy, but there are books and authors I’ve read since Dear Fahrenheit 451 has been published that I wish could have made it in. Ramona Ausubel‘s novels and The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead were books that I would have liked to have written love letters to.
Q: Do you still obsess over Jeffrey Eugenides?
A: I met him! I got the opportunity to go to one of his book readings and gave him my book. He has not asked me to be best friends with him. Yet.
Q: I seem to remember you saying you are working on a novel, how is that going? Especially with your growing family?
A: (Deep exhale). It’s going very slowly. My goal was to have a draft done by the time my youngest son was born. He’s 15 months and I’m not halfway through. I, foolishly, thought I might have more time with the stay-at-home order, but between work and homeschooling and baby, I haven’t had the focus to write. I actually started crying the other day when my older son was reading The Little Engine That Could and the rusty old train said, “I can not, I can not, I can not” because I was really feeling his defeatist attitude that day. So that’s where I’m at right now, identifying with picture book trains. But I’ll conquer it. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.
Q: If you were a dewey number, which one would you be and why?
A: Right now I’m 793: Indoor Amusements. I’ve sewn a shirt, baked a gazillion desserts, dressed up in a fancy dress with nowhere to go, made my own board game, and watched almost every 1990s rom-com I could get my hands on.
Q: I know you love it when people ask, “Can you recommend something good to read?” so, what is your go to book during these crazy times?
A: I always find anything by Amy Krouse Rosenthal comforting, especially Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life and even her children’s books. I also really loved Jenny Slate’s Little Weirds. It was very gentle and goofy.
Q: What do you have on your bedside table right now, or wherever you stash your “to read” pile of books?
A: Let’s see. I have Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, which I’m enjoying very much. Then I have Basic and Exotic Braids Made Easy, I Have The Answer by Kelly Fordon (Michigan author), Chances Are by Richard Russo, and, of course, Baby Says Peekaboo. I have a chaotic nighstand.
Thanks, Annie! You have given us some great recommendations and a little more info about you and what is going on in your life. We miss you and wish you the best and can’t wait for your next book!