Smash Lits with Sara Crowley

Read Laura Valeri’s fiction piece, What They Know


1) How do you organise your book shelves?

By genre (fiction, poetry, signed poetry books) and by book height. 🙂

2) What was the last text you sent?

Probably something like “Where are you?”

3) Do you have a poster/picture on your wall? Describe it.

A black and white photo of an alligator in the Okefenokee Swamp which my husband Joel took when he was young and crazy.  He got so close that the alligator hissed at him wide mouth.

4) Bacon VS Tofu—who wins? Why?

I’ll go with fried Tofu, though, as an Italian, I’m more of a sausage person myself.

5) You have to swap places with one other writer for a week. Who and why?

It would have to be Ann Patchett. I’d want to soak in her aura, sit with her things, touch her books and smell them, like maybe some of her brilliance will stick.  I could do Elizabeth Gilbert, too, get some of that yoga vibes on me, travel the world.

6) What is the oldest piece of clothing in your wardrobe?

A pink leather jacket I wore only once on a date with a college guy. I was a high school senior.

7) Do you believe human beings can spontaneously combust?

I myself spontaneously combust several times per week.

8) Have you ever had your fortune told? Has it come true?

A super santera in Miami once described in great detail the man I was about to meet, that I’d marry him, that the marriage would be cold at first but would slowly warm up over time. I didn’t like what I heard. A few weeks later, at an airport in Chicago, I met a man who fit the description (and she had been pretty detailed about it). We ended up making out—a weird story, flight delayed for hours, all of us shuffled from one terminal to the next, and by the time we finally boarded, everyone on the flight was drunk, even some of the flight attendants.  I was afraid of the prophecy so I didn’t go with him when he begged me to follow him to Naples, where he was headed, and after that I did not answer his phone calls. Who knows if any of it was real?

9) What’s your favourite sweet?

Chocolate soufflé.

10) What would your karaoke song be?

Fiona Apple’s “Shadow Boxer.”

11) What word or words make you cringe?

“Nucular.” “Irregardless.” “We appreciated the chance to read your work.”

12) Do you have any recurring dreams?

I’m on an island and a volcano erupts, ashes are falling thickly, and I’m trying to get to the beach, to the water.  I’ve had this dream so often, it makes me believe in past lives.

13) Who is your favourite TV detective?

Sherlock as played by Benedict Cumberbatch, of course.

14) What makes the wind blow?

Not sure, but I think Dick Cheney is behind it.

15) How do you stop procrastinating and get on with writing?

When it’s time to go to sleep and I’ve realized the entire day is behind me, that’s when I’m finally able to get on with it.

16) What’s your favourite swear?

I’ll have to go with the f-word. It’s functional, flexible, adaptable. But my mother once yelled: “Ugly dogs, disgusting and rabid.” It sounds even better in Italian.

17) What would you do if you were invisible for the day?

I’d deliver warm baked goods to my favorite people’s doorsteps.

18) Mermaid, dinosaur or unicorn?

I’ll have to go with mermaid: Ocean. Beaches. Music.

19) What is your favourite cheese?


20) What question should I have asked you?

Wine or beer? (The answer is Prosecco).