Category Archives: Reviews and Interviews

My writing bio featured in UConn Today

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A few months ago I had the pleasure of being interviewed for an alumnus feature article for UConn Today. It was a real honor for two important reasons. One: UConn was, and always will be, near and dear to me. And two: as a student, I worked at UConn Today. I researched, wrote, and edited articles for the publication. I know first-hand the amount of work that goes into these features. And I also know that the features are generally reserved for some pretty spiffy individuals (I wrote a piece for them after Michael J. Fox gave a talk on campus, for example).

But I do have to say, being interviewed by a former coworker was a little embarrassing. And reading his feature makes me blush the full-faced blush of a virgin on her wedding night. 

I guess I’ve never been too fond of being in the spotlight. Probably why  chose the life of a writer and not that of an actor. Anyway, hope you enjoy! From the article:

The first two years after graduation have been busy for Timothy Stobierski ’11 (CLAS).

Stobierski’s first collection of poetry – Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer – was released by River Otter Press in the fall of 2012. A short time later, he learned that six of his poems had been nominated for a coveted Pushcart Prize, the literary awards handed out annually by Pushcart Press to honor the best short stories, poetry, and essays published by small presses in America. And a few months ago, he was invited to talk about his book on “The Faith Middleton Show” for Connecticut Public Radio and WNPR.

Not bad for a first-time young author.

English professor Regina Barreca – who mentored Stobierski as a student in her creative non-fiction class and authored the preface to his book – has this to say about her former student’s first published work: “Stobierski’s insight into the shadowed corners and sealed-off cupboards of family life … illustrate both his knowledge of and his willingness to subvert conventional form. … While Stobierski has a remarkable perspective on the potential claustrophobia of family and familiarity, the flashing sharpness of his wit, his awareness of the dangers of intimacy, and his fierce involvement with the nuances of language guards his poems against sentimentality. The undercurrent of possible – even if unpremeditated – savagery is rarely far from the surface of even his lightest pieces.”

Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer is filled with bits and pieces of Stobierski’s life fused with dreamscapes from his imagination that are at times beautifully romantic and, at others, hauntingly dark. Stobierski says his poetry often gives a voice to characters that otherwise might not be heard. Themes of family, sustenance, and loneliness emerge in poems both poignant and playful. Stobierski, who cites Billy Collins as one of his favorite artists, admits he has a fascination with words. His playful style is evident in poems like “Falling to Pieces”:

I fell to pieces today in the kitchen/where a shard of me got stuck/in my older brother’s toe./I asked him if it hurt and he said no;/I asked if I could have it back and he said/finders keepers/and scampered away/to compare it to the other bits of me/he’s hoarded over the years.

The piece ends on a soft note.

“I’m going to fall to pieces tomorrow in the bedroom/somewhere in the void between the sheets,/and you’re going to do the same./We’ll look at the pieces and trade with each other/and if you end up with the green of my right eye,/I’ll take your irrational fear of socks and say/fair trade/and we can work on putting each other back together,/stronger for the glue.

Stobierski plays with the reader again in “Gastronomica,” where he offers a new take on a boyfriend sampling his girlfriend’s cooking.

My girlfriend puts her heart and soul/into everything she cooks,/and it’s nice to know she loves me enough/to tear out those essentials and share –/don’t get me wrong –/but I don’t think she realizes just how chewy valves can be,/or how difficult it is to eat a waffled soul,/however much syrup is applied./Some things go down easier than others, /and Eggos are certainly kinder on the stomach.

Stobierski says he wrote most of the poems featured in the book during his last two years of college, when he was working for UConn’s literary journal, the Long River Review. He credits Barreca, associate professor Penelope Pelizzon, and English professors-in-residence Sharon Bryan and Darcie Dennigan with having the most significant influence on his writing.

The title of the book comes from a poem that Stobierski wrote while attending classes at UConn. While Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer tells us the story of the first time Stobierski was stung by a bee, it also reflects a larger tale of a young man’s struggle to find himself and his place in a world fraught with bees of all sorts.

There was a brother once – whether he was mine/I can’t recall – but he taught me the syntax/the secret language of bees./I was eight, and he had just scooped /a bumblebee out of our dog’s water dish,/and it sat there in his palm, vibrating itself dry./It was a wet cat of a bee;/it had gone too close to the water’s edge and fallen in/and would have drowned, /save this brother fished him out./It stayed nestled in his hand ‘til dry,/and that next spring my mother’s roses bloomed/with a fervor I’ve not seen before nor since.

Some men wear a beard of bees,/some harvest honey,/some acupunct their clients with a sting on the joints/to relieve a decade-old arthritic ache./To each his own./I sit in the clover and listen to bee songs –/their hungry songs, their happy songs,/their working songs, their lusting songs – I listen/and whisper my response and we are brothers, sisters/in the clover.

Looking forward, he says he would love to make a living as a writer and that he will always write. He has had several internships in the publishing world and enjoyed them, but is currently employed as an assistant to a project manager at a software development firm. He misses the college atmosphere.

“UConn was extremely influential on me,” Stobierski says. “It was a big four years of my life. It helped me come to terms with myself as a writer and as a person. It’s your first time away from home, you’re experimenting with different personalities, who you are and who you want to be. I can’t think of a place I would have rather spent those years than at UConn.”

You can read the full feature here. What has your experience been with alumni publications? Have you ever been interviewed by a friend or colleague? I sense a follow-up post coming along…

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Sundog Lit reviews Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer

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While googling myself yesterday (I do it often) I stumbled across a review of my book, Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer, on the Sundog Lit blog. It’s always such a wonderful surprise to learn what someone else thinks about your work — whether good or bad, at least they read it — and to see that they took the time to spread the word about it.

I’m glad to know that, according to this reviewer, I don’t suffer from any of the common pitfalls that plague so much of today’s poetry:

I don’t presume to know what makes a good poem or a bad poem.  Poetry can be fairly subjective.  But there are certain things that make me close my eyes in pity and sympathy for both the poet and the poem.  One is overused metaphors. … Then there’s the “I” illness.

Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer ‘s poems have none of these things.  The author gives us perfectly formed poems, ones that last for three lines to ones that last for a couple of pages.  His poems play with different structures, and end up perfectly suited to the poems themselves, and become part of the poem seamlessly.

The complement on form is another dear one for me — poets painstakingly seek the best form for each poem that they write. Form is important: it can influence pacing, meaning, everything, really. A good poem is one that cannot be divorced from the form that it is written in; a good poem makes the form become a part of it. I’m glad to see that I’ve succeeded in this struggle.

I’m also extremely proud to know that my book offers variety — hopefully enough to please anyone who picks up a copy:

I think what I loved about this collection of poems was the complexity of what Stobierski writes about.  He doesn’t just focus on love, or abandonment, or guilt, or sex or any one of the other things that poetry can often center around.  He gives us an offering of life, peeling it and separating it like an orange.  He talks about good love, bad love, Mario painting and Degas, abuse, the roots of your family and how the beginning travels to the end.  He talks about religion.  He talks about watching someone with Alzheimer’s.

For the full review, click here.

It seems to me that poetry, more than any other form of literature, is prone to any number of catastrophic miscalculations. Every time I send a submission out, I am plagued by the thought that my work just isn’t good enough — that I’ve fallen victim to one of these errors. But when I find a review from someone that I’ve never met, who truly enjoyed my work, it all feels worth it.

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‘Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer’ Reviewed on The Lit Pub

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The Lit Pub has published a review of my book, Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer, which is (in my opinion) extremely awesome. What makes the fact even more awesome, though, is the fact that this is the first review that my book has received.

Might I recommend a hearty ‘Hurrah!’ for that?

Written by David S. Atkinson, author of Bones Buried in the Dirt, the review examines a few of my poems and is, really, exactly the kind of review that an author should want. I’m grateful that someone has taken the time to not only read my book, but also to write about it. It’s a great honor.

From the review:

“I found the writing to be very approachable. That may not be a big deal for some of you, but I’m not exactly a poetry scholar. I like reading poetry, but I haven’t devoted the same kind of rigor to its study that I have to fiction.

All together, these poems span an impressive range. Whatever you are looking for, it’s probably here. And, more importantly, along the way you will likely find things you should have been looking for without knowing that you should have.”

This is probably the single greatest thing that the reviewer could have said about my work. When I write poetry, I try to write it so that it can be understood by people who may not have the strongest poetic background. I try to write so that anyone could pick up the poetry and understand it and (hopefully) enjoy it. Poetry is for everyone, not just for people who have had the opportunity to take a course on it or devote a lot of time to its study.

The fact that this has actually come through in the final product makes me proud; nothing could please me more.

You can find the rest of the review here.

As always, feel free to share your thoughts! What has your experience with reviews been? What has your experience with poetry been like?

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My interview with the Long River Review

After the reading that I gave last Wednesday at UConn in support of the Long River Review‘s 2013 issue, I was interviewed by one of the student editor’s about my book, my writing, and the editing process.

The staff of the journal is amazing, and I’m certainly glad to see that the journal is in passionate and capable hands since my departure (I was the Creative Non-Fiction editor for the journal for the 2011 issue).

Below, find the text from the interview, along with a link to the original posting. Keep reading if you’d like a generalized view of the publishing process. Or if you’d like to know my favorite animal, color, and word (in that order).

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After graduating UConn in 2011, former Long River Review editor Timothy Stobierski went on to publish his first book of poetry, Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer (River Otter Press, 2012). Several poems in Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer have since been nominated for a Pushcart prize. On March 27th he came back to UConn to do a reading of his poetry in support of Long River Review’s 2013 issue. The following interview was conducted after the reading by Long River Review’s Catherine Findorak.

LRR: You mentioned during the reading that you started writing at a young age. What exactly started that for you? When did you start getting serious about your writing?

TS: Well, I first started writing in second grade, because every day in second grade we had an assignment where we had to write a journal entry. At the end of writing, everyone would have to read theirs out loud. At one point I remember writing one that was a bit long, so my teacher wouldn’t let me read it out loud–which I was happy about because I hated reading stuff out loud. I realized that if I just kept writing longer and longer pieces, I would never have to read them out loud. Even if I volunteered, just to throw my teacher off balance, I wouldn’t be able to, so that was awesome. Around sixth grade is when I sort of started writing the first poems that I can remember actually writing, saved on my computer that I can look at, which are horrible. And then, you know, it just sort of grew from there.

LRR: Do you still hate reading them out loud?

TS: Yes and no. As long as I don’t make eye contact while I’m reading them out loud, it’s fine. With you guys, you’re all wonderful lovers of literature, so I hope that it was bearable.

LRR: Of course. It was awesome.

TS: To family, I can absolutely not read them out loud. Or to people that I know. If you want to read it, you can read it. I am not reading it to you.

LRR: I’m the same way. So, you were an editor at the Long River Review, and your first poems were published in the Long River Review as well. How did your experience at UConn shape you as a poet?

TS: Good question. Well, actually, I would say at least more than half of the poems in this book [Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer] were written while I was a student at UConn. They were things that were inspired by either the classes I was taking with Darcie Dennigan, or Sharon Bryan,  Penelope Pelizzon, or they were inspired by things that happened, as often is the case with poetry or with any kind of writing. Life creeps in. In terms of the publishing side of things, I really credit Gina Barrecca with that, because as a part of her creative non-fiction workshop course she forced us to send work out or we failed the class. That sort of got me in the mode for sending stuff out. And the Long River Review showed me what the publishing and editing process was like. It’s sort of like a cheat sheet, because you know what the editors are going to want, just in terms of what makes their life easier. And, of course, the Long River Review will always be my favorite lit journal, because it was the first journal that published one of my poems.

LRR: Who are your favorite poets—your influences?

TS: For a long time when I was first starting out at UConn I was really into Emily Dickinson, because I had a class where we had to read a lot of Emily Dickinson. I tried writing like her, which is impossible. I don’t think she really impacted my style now—or, not obviously, it might be in there somewhere—but for a few years that was sort of what I wrote. And, again, it was probably god-awful. Other poets that impacted my style…Darcie Dennigan—I had a workshop course with her, so that’s one way she impacted it. Another way she impacted it was in her book Corinna A-Maying the Apocalypse there were a couple of poems that I really enjoyed, that I tried to copy in some of my poems. My poem “A Family Saga” is sort of written as a parallel to one of her poems, “Seven Generations of Stephen Bruneros.” Billy Collins I love, because he’s just a fun poet to read. And Emerson—like I was saying during the reading, I hated him for a long time, and I don’t really know why I did. Now I won’t say I love him, but I appreciate his style and the themes in his poetry.

LRR: You mentioned during the reading that in one of your poems you tried to sort of mimic, or respond in a way to an Emerson poem because of a class assignment. Did the act of doing that help you to appreciate his poetry more?

TS: I think in the long run, yeah. That’s probably why Darcie had us do that—it was to realize first how difficult it is to write in a certain style or a certain voice, and to put yourself in their shoes to see how you’re constrained by what you can say because of how you say it. If you realize the different kind of voices you can use, you can sort of use them to your benefit.

LRR: Can you talk a little bit about your process for editing? You mentioned a lot of poems in this book you wrote while you were at UConn, and I guess last year you were sending this out to be published. How long does it take you from when you first start writing a poem, to when you’re sending it out, for you to have a poem that’s finished?

TS: Sometimes one write through is all I need, and I feel like it’s ready to be published. I’m probably wrong, but sometimes I get it down in one go, and I decide to send it out while it’s still there before I decide to go back and delete everything. Other times there are poems that I write and I’ll put them aside for a few months. I’ll look back at them, I’ll make a few tweaks and I’ll put them aside for a year, and then I’ll go back and I’ll be like, ‘what the hell is this crap?’ Actually one of the poems in my book “Miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes” is one of those poems. I wrote it, and I absolutely hated it the first time I looked back after writing it. Like, what the hell did I do, what did I massacre to get this horrible poem? And then when I went back to it with fresh eyes about a year later, I realized that it wasn’t complete crap. It needed some tweaking around. But I sent it to a friend who I trusted with their eye—I trusted their editing ability—and they said they enjoyed it. So I figured it couldn’t be terrible.

LRR: This is kind of a hard question. What makes a poem successful? What sort of things do you look for—either while you’re reading poetry, or in your own poetry?

TS: That’s not that difficult of a question, because I figured at some point someone was going to ask me either what the book was about, or what the process was like. I kind of went over this in my head and came to a pretty sound conclusion–in my mind, anyway. When I write a poem, regardless of whether there’s a storyline that goes to the poem, whether there’s a certain plot, whether there’s a certain play with language–which in some of my poetry, you’ll find– what I try to do is to make the reader feel something. And if the reader reads or listens to a poem and comes away not feeling the emotion that I set out to make them feel, then I sort of failed in that aspect. Sometimes a poem can take a reader in different directions, and that’s not necessarily a failure. But overall, a good poet, in my mind anyway, is someone who is able to make the reader feel something. Hopefully feel something other than hate for the poet.

LRR: That’s a good answer. Can you describe the experience of having your first book published? What’s some advice you’d give to young writers who would like to one day have a book published?

TS: The first thing is the process—with a book of poetry it depends on the press that you’re submitting to. Some presses will only want the first, say, 10 poems of your manuscript, or they’ll want the whole thing. And if it’s the first 10 poems, just pick the 10 strongest, that’s what you want to use. The press that published my book wanted the full manuscript—that was about 80 pages. So I sent it out to the editor, who I didn’t know beforehand, so it was kind of a blind call. I heard back about a month later with an email saying that the editor was interested in pursuing it. The next step in the process was drafting up a contract, which the publisher takes care of and sends to you. If you have any kind of clout or if there are certain things you are adamant about—like if you want a certain percentage of royalties, or if you want to retain reprint permissions, that’s where you’d sort of iron out those details. I was so happy to have a book of poetry published in my name that I didn’t really care at all about any of that, and I just signed the contract and sent it back. And I’m personally fine with it the way it is. With River Otter Press, which published my book, all of the profits from my book and a few other books they’ve published in the last couple of months go back into letting the press publish more books, which is something I’m more than happy to help with.

Then you go into a few rounds of editing. First it’d be structural editing. If there’s anything the editor or editors—I actually worked with three editors for this—if they think that a poem needs work, on the structure, or on the language, if they don’t think that it’s quite right, that’s what you’ll focus on first. Then after the big edits are taken care of, you’re going to go through and read it, probably four or five or six or twelve times, for copyediting. You’re looking for the misplaced comma, or the extra space between words. It’s really tedious, and it’s really difficult to do, especially when it’s your work, and when it’s something you’ve had to read about twenty times. It sort of just starts to go over your head. You’re not even paying attention by the end of it. For that process, it’s so awesome to have a number of different eyes looking at it. For me I had the editor-in-chief of the press, the poetry editor, and myself plus a few friends I had read through it once to hopefully catch any glaring mistakes. After that the publisher then has control over the rest of the processes. Picking a cover image, if there will be a cover image, is something that hopefully you’ll have some say in. I did. I’m actually the one that suggested this picture. But a lot of times, especially at bigger presses, you won’t. They’re going to try to pick a picture that will make the reader want to buy your book. It might not be something that you originally envisioned as being the cover of your book, but they do have your interests at heart. They want your book to sell. And they come at it from a marketing perspective, while you come at it from a literary perspective.

After the cover issue, the press puts it into production in terms of layout. You get a wonderful copyrights page, and all kinds of stuff. You might have a cheesy author photo taken.  Then you’re just dealing with layout and making sure the paragraphs line up and that all indenting is correct. Especially with poetry, where lines are jagged and whatnot, you want to just make sure things are the way they should be. Then just before it’s sent to print, you will go through it probably twenty times in one day because you are freaking out about whether or not you missed anything, and then it goes to print. And depending on the publisher, depending on how large the order is, and the printer, it could be anywhere from a month, to three months, or a year—well, hopefully not a year, that’s a long time– before you have the book done and for sale and on Amazon and hopefully bookstores. Lots of bookstores won’t carry something by a small literary press.

LRR: I feel like that’s true for a lot of poetry.

TS: Well, poetry in general, yeah. Poetry is not seen as a moneymaker. And in reality, it’s not. Unless you are a bestselling poet, like Billy Collins, you’re not going to make generally any money from poetry, and you should just be resigned to that. You might get some fame and glory—maybe. But you shouldn’t go in it expecting a big paycheck or anything. But yeah, once it’s done and printed, you should receive some author copies, that’ll be settled in your contract… After that, you’re just going around and publicizing it. You’re sending out queries to reviewers seeing if they’ll carry your book on their blog. If you know anyone who is a book reviewer, you’ll send them a copy, usually for free, just hoping that they’ll read it and like it and write a review about it. Or read it and hate it and write a review about it. Because really as long as there’s something out there, it’s better than nothing.

The end of the process is the despair with which you look at your book’s Amazon ranking, which will always, always, just crush a little bit of your soul. Except for that first day that it’s released and everyone you know has gone on Amazon to buy it. Because then it’s like, oh, #15,000? That’s awesome! And then–I think, at last look, my book was something like #2,064,104.

That’s in a very large nutshell the process that I went through. The one [piece of advice] I can say without a doubt is that if you’re a writer of any sort, you need to submit. It’s something that will be hard when you’re not used to it—when you’re first starting out. You won’t want to, because either you are expecting it to come back as a rejection, or you just don’t think it’s any good—you yourself don’t think it’s any good, or you don’t think someone else is going to think it’s good. Then you just wind up keeping it in your bottom drawer somewhere, or in all likelihood on your computer. But you have to force yourself to send something out.

When you get a rejection—because you will get a rejection—just keep submitting it. If you think there’s validity in the editor’s statement that there’s something wrong with your work,  go back and edit it, go back and read through it again, and see if you can change it and make it better. But keep sending it out there. Unless you think that it’s a lost cause, which sometimes is the case, and then you just move on to your next work.

The other thing that I would say for advice would just be that you’re going to need someone else to read your work if you want to be a writer. That’s sort of what completes the process of being a writer–having someone there to read it. And most of the time, everyone is not going to agree with you, with what you’re saying. They might not think it’s that good, or they might not think you have any valid statements in it. You want to take their comments under consideration, but you don’t want their comments to shape your work. Again, if after 25 years of writing, you haven’t had anything published because you haven’t budged to anyone’s criticism, you might want to go back and reevaluate everything. If someone offers constructive edits and criticism—take it, but don’t let someone else’s ideas of what your work should be becomes your idea of what your work should be.

LRR: That’s good advice. I have three more very important questions. What is your favorite word, your favorite animal, and favorite color?

TS: My favorite animal is a tiger. No special kind of tiger, just the regular orange, black and white ones. My favorite color is green, because my eyes are green and I’m egotistical. My favorite word…whenever this kind of question comes I usually go to the word “defenestrate” which means “to throw something or someone out a window.”

LRR: Interesting. I didn’t know that word.

TS: I learned that from Gina Barecca, actually. I tend to like words that were common but aren’t common anymore, like “haberdashery”. Things like that. I guess if you want to put one on record, go with “defenestrate”.

LRR: Okay. I think that’s it. Thank you very much!

TS: Thank you for having me!

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‘Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer’ reviewed in The Valley Gazette

That’s me, holding a copy of “Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer”. I really have to work on my tan so I don’t blend into walls so easily. Photo by Susan Hunter.

My book, Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer, received its first review today in The Valley Gazette, a newspaper serving Ansonia, Derby, and Seymour, CT.

The article features an interview and brief review of my book, including how I got started in writing, who had the greatest impact on my writing, and some background information on my publisher, River Otter Press.

It feels great to have a review of my work out there for others to see, and I’m really happy with how it came out. Although I should really work on my marshmallow white complexion. Anyone who wants to take a look at the full review can do so here.

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Long River Review Fundraiser Reading

The 2012 issue of the Long River Review

This past Wednesday I had the pleasure and honor of supporting the Long River Review by participating in their fundraiser/reading for the 2013 issue.

The event featured readings from two of this year’s Wallace Stevens Poetry Contest winners — Nicole Rubin and Ryan McLean — and a wonderful a cappella performance by Notes Over Storrs, followed by a reading from my book Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer. All donations are going towards the production of this year’s issue of the Long River Review. 

The Long River Review is the wonderful award-winning student-run literary journal of my Alma Mater, the University of Connecticut. In addition to being my first experience in the editing business (I was on the staff for the 2010 and 2o11 issues), it was also the first journal to publish any of my work. I am proud to say that the journal is home to my essay He Had Some Tears (my first publication of anything, anywhere, ever), and my poem Falling to Pieces (my first published poem ever). As such, the journal will always hold a special place in my heart.

If you’re looking for some amazing writing and art by UConn students, pick up a copy of this year’s issue, due out on shelves in late April!

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On hearing yourself speak, and other things authors aren’t used to

When I went in for my interview with Faith Middleton last week for a radio interview about my book, I wasn’t worried about too many things. I knew the subject material by heart (it was my book after all), I knew how to get to New Haven, I knew that Faith was going to be a wonderful person and that we were going to have a nice, laid back chat. But the one thing I was worried about was how I was going to sound over the airwaves. Here’s a little secret: I hate the way my voice sounds on recording.

Ever since I was young, I’ve noticed that my voice gets nasally when it’s recorded — either on voicemail or tape or whatever. And I have always hated it. After all, that’s not how I sound. Not to me, anyway. No way, no how. So when I went in for my interview, I was sweating it a little.

During the interview, I had the option of wearing headphones to hear myself as the interview went about. I gracefully declined. When asked why, I told Faith exactly what I just told you — that I hate my voice. And that’s when she told me that I had a “beautiful and resonant voice” — definitely not a compliment I have ever received before. It made me blush a little, I’m sure, but I still decided not to wear the headphones. Even if I sounded like Morgan Freeman, it’d be distracting, I figured.

And then, after the interview was over, I silently promised myself that I wouldn’t listen to it when it finally aired. It just wasn’t something I was comfortable with. But just now, while driving to CVS with the radio on, I heard something that took me by surprise: my voice on the radio.

It didn’t sound anything at all like I thought it would — definitely not as nasally as I remembered normally being on recording. I wouldn’t say that it was beautiful, but it wasn’t half bad. It sounded, in all honesty, the way I sound when I talk. I liked it. I liked the fact that I sounded the way that I sound to myself. But was also a little surreal. Actually hearing my voice coming from my car’s little radio speakers was strange. I just wasn’t used to it.

But if you’re lucky enough to become a published author, I’ve realized, you’ve got to get used to doing things that you aren’t used to. You’re going to hear yourself on the radio. You’re going to speak in front of large groups even if you’re paralyzed with fright. You’re going to see your mug in the local newspaper and online. It’s all going to strike you as strange — as if you-as-author is a separate entity from you-as-you. And in a way, that’s true. It’s going to be a mask that you put on when you need to, a mask that you take off when you’re home alone and with friends. You might not be used to it, but after a couple of times you will be. What’s the point of owning a mask, after all, if you can’t use it to have a little fun?

I’ll post a link to the interview when it’s available in NPR’s archives. In the meantime, do any of you have any stories about the first time you heard your voice on the radio (or saw your photo or name in print)? I’m dying to hear about it!

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