When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I didn’t think of myself as a writer until I swept the awards at San Francisco State University. I was denied admission into the MFA Program before this unprecedented achievement, with the majority of tenured professors voting against me. So, I waltzed into the Creative Writing office and knocked on the Chair’s door, who happened to be Frances Mayes (UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN). I told Frances I had an appointment with SFSU’s president to discuss me being denied, and she suddenly said I was worthy of being admitted. That’s when I realized how much of getting ahead as a writer was political and that the majority of professors didn’t know their butts from holes in the ground.