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The South Dakota Festival of Books is rapidly approaching: Sept. 26-28 in Sioux Falls. I’m excited to be presenting a writing workshop there along with doing a reading. Too bad my reading is at the same time as Tony Earley (Jim the Boy). Fortunately he’s also giving a writing process talk, so I look forward to that. And Kate DiCamillo is the keynote speaker. It’s always nice to hear her speak!

I answered a few questions for the festival coordinators, and those are online here. An excerpt:

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3. Who is your favorite author and why?

I really enjoy Alison Bechdel, the graphic memoirist. I find her work to be so smart and intelligent, yet accessible. She expertly uses metaphor to create a deeper meaning and brings her stories full circle. In terms of crafting an essay, I have found no one to be better. She also is most gracious with her fans.

4. If you have to give one piece of succinct advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?

Trust yourself. Early readers may want to shape your work, and you may be tempted to take the advice of people who have more experience than you. But only you can know your voice and know the style of writing that’s comfortable for you.

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Other questions include one fact about me that nobody knows (except probably my mom and sister) and the strangest question I’ve been asked related to my writing. Click on the link for those answers!