In one word: Freedom. In Atlanta, I can go try funky ethnic food that would never fly in Pulaski. I can hop on the interstate and take off to anywhere if I so please. I can buy tarot cards, go to bars, get thoroughly debauched. I can meet all sorts of people. And most importantly, the whole damn town doesn't know every single thing I do and think it's their business.
2) Does it annoy the hell outta you that many people identify Pulaski with the KKK? (Remembering my old roommate's issues with that...) What would you want people to know about Pulaski?
Yeah, it does annoy me. I'd like people to know that for all I bitch about Pulaski, the fact that it's been forced by the Klan to confront its past has made it one of the few small Southern towns where race relations are actually decent. I think we can learn a lesson from Pulaski about the importance of confronting the past and dealing with it in order to get past it.
3) How did you get into writing, and what's the piece that you've written that you're the most proud of?
As long as I can remember, I've always been a writer. As a kid, I'd make little booklets and fill them with goofy poems about polar bears. It's not what I became so much as what I am, even if I have neglected it. The piece I'm proudest of is a blank-verse poem titled "The Elegy I Pray I Never Write." One of my professors, A. Manette Ansay (who is now an Oprah author), assigned it to see what I could do. I wrote it for scarcrest. She told me the first nine lines were good enough for a national journal.
4) On Sex and the City, there was an episode about "deal breakers" in relationships. What would you consider to be your "deal breakers"?
Ummm... Not that I always have the balls to listen to my dealbreakers... Being an idiot. Being ridiculously self-centered. Having no ambition whatsoever. Being insensitive to my emotional needs. Being boring. Hating cats.
5) If you could have everyone in the world read one book, what would it be and why?
Damn, this is tough... do I pick something for its aesthetics, or for its instructional value? Is there a book that could make everyone be a good person? Hell, I dunno if there's a book that everyone could react to in a positive way. I'll say The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald both for its lessons on the futility of wealth and its lyrical beauty. But I reserve the right to change my mind if I think of something more appropriate.