Q: What traumatic childhood experiences have influenced your writing?
A: Well, I remember one time, my big sister and I went fishing in the pond behind our house. A giant anaconda came swimming up to us and chased us, on land, all the way back to the house. Ho-ho! Those were scary times!
Q: A giant anaconda? In suburban Connecticut?
A: Listen, I'm not going to lie to you. Times were tough growing up in a rich Connecticut town, in a two-parent household with a sister who was my best friend and my hero. You can imagine how that might scar a child. So maybe I just thought it was an anaconda. I'll give you that. But here's what I know. It was a gigantic snake, and it intended to swallow us whole.
Q: My my, that does sound like you had it rough in the 'hood.
A: Listen, you don't know what I endured. Having to hide the fact that my parents were still together and happily married. Doing well in school, not doing drugs (which honestly, I never even saw, because my friends didn't do them, either.) And, of course, dodging man-eating snakes at home. It was rough. Of course it influenced my writing.
Q: Funny you say that, because you haven't put any snakes, man-eating or otherwise, in any of your works.
A: Looking back on that incident, I can't exactly swear it was a giant bloodthirsty anaconda that chased us all the way home. It might have been a muskrat. And maybe it didn't follow us. I'll have to call my sister and see how she remembers it.
I honestly don't know where I get my story ideas from. My mom always said I had a wild imagination, so maybe that's it.
I still think it was the snake.