Smash Lits with Sara Crowley

Read Jennifer L. Vosen’s nonfiction piece, Here’s How It Works

1) What would your superhero power be?

Well, we live in a time when this seems like an important question! I think I would choose the ability to really see inside people, I mean, what they’ve gone through, what makes them tick, how all their life experiences have shaped them, what their fears are, what motivates them and causes them to act as they do, choose as they have. And of course I’m still trying to work all that out inside my own self!

2) What is your favourite kind of cake?

That’s a complicated question. My mom, who is now 94, always says that “cake is not worth dirtying your mouth over.” She frowned on anything that wasn’t Pie! I have grown to love and prefer pie also, but if I go back to that younger me who loved cake, then hands down, Cherry Chip with real, sour cherries on top!! As mentioned in my essay…

3) What was your favourite book as a child?

Pippi Longstalking, no question!

4) What is your default pub drink?

I don’t tend to frequent pubs, except when I studied in London. I couldn’t understand any drink served warm (i.e. their strangely fecund, dark Ales). I do, however, occasionally treat myself to a perfectly lovely, Kahlua and cream.

5) What was the last text you sent?

Communication to my group of lady friends who plan to go to Canada in June to a cabin on the French River! Wahoo!

6) Who is/was your unlikely crush?

I’m 61. Do I get to have a crush? Well, alright. I’ve always thought Robert Redford is easy on the eyes (though he often plays parts where he’s emotionally unavailable and distant, hm….), and then there’s Russel Crowe (whose role and acting in Gladiator was so good—who wouldn’t be drawn to that kind of strength?)

7) Do you have any phobias?

I can’t think of any. Except that I was afraid I’d never get published in The Forge—check!

8) Your writing is music, what style is it?

A mixture of opera and blues?

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

Oh man, I have this long, furry white vest that I wore in college. It garnered me the name “She Wolf.” Epic piece of clothing. I think I’ll revive that nickname, reclaim that wild self.

10) Have you ever had your fortune told?

Nope. I know where my treasure on earth lies. In words and people. Nothing else matters.

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

I make myself leave my house, go to the 3rd floor of the library (the Quiet floor), take out my laptop, open a Word document, and type my name in the upper left corner. That’s the first step, always. Even if I don’t know what to write, even if I seem to have nothing to say. Taking those steps sets things in motion.

12) Do you have a favourite motto/inspirational quote?

Yes, many. But one of my faves is from Faulkner: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Or James Baldwin’s: “No one, after all, can be liked whose human weight and complexity cannot be, or has not been, admitted.”

13) Have you ever seen a ghost?

Yes, my father was a ghost.

14) What did you do last Saturday night?

I drove to Livingston Montana with my husband for an excellent steak dinner and a Livingston Saturday Night!

15) What are your windows like?

They’re beautiful, huge, arched, glorious portals to the Bridger Mountains!

16) What question should I have asked you?

What is your experience with basements?

17) What’s your favourite swear?

How dare you? What are you insinuating?! ☺

18) What word or words make you cringe? 

Derogatory words toward women, racial slurs of any sort, words directed at people that reduce the human experience. As James Baldwin said, “People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.” Let’s not use words that trap us.

19) Who is your favourite TV detective?

It would have to be Andy and Lance from The Detectorists, that weird, wacky British show about treasure hunting.

20) Write me a question for the next Smash List interview I do.

Okay! Glad to help! What one thing would you change about your childhood, if you could? Or: What nickname did you have as a child, and how did it affect you?