My son, who is in middle-school, had to interview someone in the family on his or her profession, so after much debate he interviewed me, his mom, on her second-career adventure as a writer. I would highly recommend this as an exercise for any mother and son because it gave us a chance to talk about me rather than him, though in the process we talked about him too-- about how you get from middle school to anywhere else in this world, which I didn't realize seemed to him an improbable journey. We discussed his aspirations, his dreams, his desire to do big and good things in the world. But since this was an interview with me, here are the answers to the 20-questions he asked about my career -- from the answers you can imagine the questions, or not:
1. My mom is a writer.
2. Her responsibility is to write at least 5 days a week and to complete edits in the time designated by her editor.
3. She works in my house.
4. She works indoors.
5. She works in an office crowded with papers, books and notes. She does a lot of research on the internet and in the library, and even, travels to locations she is writing about in her work.
6. She loves to read. Sometimes she reads more than one book at a time. I don’t know how she does this but she makes me go to the library with her so I can testify to the fact that she read a lot.
7. She believes that the more she writes the better she becomes as a writer.
8. There are no requirements for this job. However, my mother has a B.S. in English and Communications, worked for twenty years in cable television, and recently completed her Master of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing.
9. No, there is no special clothing.
10. Normally, she works 25-30 hours a week depending on deadlines. When she is finishing a novel, she works all the time and forgets to make us dinner.
11. It’s a year-round job.
12. Both men and women write.
13. It can be done anywhere.
14. My mother has a high satisfaction in her job.
15. No, she’s self-employed.
16. No, because she’s self-employed.
17. She believes you need life experience to write fiction, a love of novels, and a good command of grammar.
18. Yes, she wanted to write since third grade.
19. She doesn’t particularly like semi-colons. She calls them the bastards of grammar. She says it is okay for a writer to use all kinds of words including “bastards” when writing.
20. No, she’s self-employed.
Interview conducted by Michael Bock for a middle school class project.
His mother, Caroline Bock, has a new novel –BEFORE MY EYES– to be published by St. Martin’s Press on 2.11.14. More at www.carolinebock.com