Enjoy getting to know, Jan Maher:
Thank you for joining me today. Tell us in three words how you would best describe your writing.
The extraordinary ordinary.
Your book, Earth As It Is, was released in January of 2017. Share a passage that you’d like for us to enjoy.
While Anne was asking Mrs. Hesher the secret to making a hearty, lump-free sauce so she could surprise Charlie with biscuits and gravy for supper that night, Charlie was sitting at Anne’s dressing table, reminiscing about his mother’s dress and fox fur. He couldn’t know that Mrs. Hesher was dabbing a big of cologne behind Anne’s ears, counseling her with a wink and a twinkle in her eye to woo her husband with the scent. He couldn’t know she was sending Anne on her way home at that very moment.
You’ve been presented with the opportunity to be a best-selling author, but can never write again, or write forever, but never have a bestseller. Which scenario sounds more tempting?
Write forever, definitely.
If you could live on a college campus and never leave, or live in a small town but be able to travel, which one would you choose?
Small town. I’ve already chosen!
Okay, how about in an amusement park or in an airport?
I would go bonkers in either one. I’m an introvert and I need quiet and fresh air.
And how about Australia or Scotland?
Who is your favorite 90’s band (I’m thinking Counting Crows, Blink 182, Hootie & the Blowfish)?
You realize I’m 71, right? That said, Pearl Jam came out of Seattle, where I lived for decades, and their members did a lot of good in the community with their money, so I’ve always appreciated them for that. In our house, Weird Al was probably the one we most agreed on across the generations. I remember liking some of Rage Against the Machine.
Are there any good bands out there today that we’ll talk about in 50 years?
I don’t know enough of the contemporary music scene to answer that, but I bet we’ll still be talking about the Beatles in another 50 years.
And what about your favorite comedy on TV (My favorite is still The Office)?
Is there anything you’re currently working on?
A sequel to my first two novels, and a collection of short stories.
Who is your favorite author and if you could ask him/her one question, what would it be?
Toni Morrison. I would ask her what question she would most like to be asked.
Ocean or mountains? Ocean
Yogurt or ice cream? Ice cream
M&M’s or Skittles? No
Jimmy Fallon or Stephen Colbert? Colbert
Happy or sad ending to a novel? Happyish
Beer or wine? Wine
Flying or driving? Train
Hemingway or Twain? Twain
You’re stranded on a desert island and you can take two things with you, as well as two people. What and who are you bringing?
My spouse and my nephew (who is studying wilderness survival); a blank journal and a good knife.
You’re able to sit down with any leader in world history. Who would you choose, what would you talk about, and would you rather have him/her over to your house or meet at their place of royalty?
Vaclav Havel, my house, to talk about courage and creativity in times of repression and how he managed to become the world’s first playwright president.
You can wish for one thing and one thing only, not world peace and no more wishes. What’s it gonna be?
Jan Maher’s novel Earth As It Is is published by Indiana University Break Away Books. Other writing credits include a novel, Heaven, Indiana; plays Ismene & Intruders, and Most Dangerous Women: Bringing History to Life through Readers’ Theater. She holds a PhD from The Union Institute and University in Interdisciplinary Studies and is a senior scholar at the Institute for Ethics in Public Life, State University of New York at Plattsburgh. Her website address is http://www.janmaher.com. She is on Twitter and Facebook as well.