Hell’s   Bottom,   Sky   Bridge,   Stars   Go   Blue,   Red   Lightning,   The   Blue   Hour,Making   friends   with Death...      All   these   wonderful   books   (and   many   others)   were   written   by   American   writer Laura   Pritchett.   She      is   a   really   talented   writer   now   devoting   her   considerable   energy   and enthusiasm    to    fiction    and    nonfiction — so    determined,    so    bright    that    she    will    bring    out something   terrific.   She   has   been   awarded   the   PEN   USA   Award   for   Fiction,   the   High   Plains Literary   Award,   the   Milkweed   National   Fiction   Prize,   the   WILLA   Fiction   Award,   and   others. We guarantee if you read  first page of one of her books you'll read the last JBN:   You   have   amazing   story   about   how   everything   starts   for   you   in   your   writing career. Can we say that some parts of your books are kind of family anthem?   Laura   Pritchett:   I   knew   I   wanted   to   be   a   writer   when   I   was   about   seven,   recorded   in   my   first diary   as:   “I   want   to   become   a   riter   someday.”      I   loved   books   early—for   a   few   years   there, they   were   my   best   friends.   Since   then,   I’ve   been   writing   what   I   know,   which   includes   life   on   a family   farm   and   the   natural   world   of   the American   West.   But   no,   my   novels   are   not   based   on my    family.    Sometimes    I    use    specific    knowledge—such    as    my    father’s    experience    with Alzheimer’s—to    inform    a    novel,    but    I    do    not    write    about    my    family    directly.    I’m    fairly estranged   from   many   of   them,   in   fact—we   share   very   different   political   and   religious   views (and   I   don’t   think   most   of   them   have   read   my   books).   If   anything,   I   hope   my   work   is   an anthem to the natural world and the broader human heart.     JBN: Looking back, what did you do right that helped you break in? Laura   Pritchett:   I   was   very   persistent.   I   was   able   to   deal   with   the   inevitable   rejections   and just   keep   plugging   along.   I’m   a   very   steady   worker.   Day   in,   day   out,   I   just   write.   I   was   also wise   enough   to   seek   mentors,   which   was   important,   given   that   I   didn’t   come   from   a   literary   family   or   have   any   connections.   Kent   Haruf was   a   great   mentor;   his   books   were   a   huge   influence   on   me   –   and   I   believe   he’ll   go   down   in   history   as   one   of   the   greats.   He   was   a humble   man   and   a   generous   mentor.   Before   that,   Emilie   Buchwald,   who   was   the   editor   in   chief   at   Milkweed   Editions,   was   an   important mentor. I kept reaching out to people, I kept writing, I kept reading.   JBN:   How   you   create   your   characters?   Do   you   know   from   beginning   would   be   positive   or   negative?   Did   you   have   situations when you liked some character and then he/she ceased to mean a lot to you? Laura   Pritchett:    I   listen   to   them. They   come   into   my   mind   and   I   just   hear   what   they   have   to   say.   I’ve   always   loved   my   characters.   Sure, I get frustrated with them. I sometimes think they’re making bad decisions. But they are my children, in a sense, and I adore them. JBN: What Biggest learning experience with writing books for you? Laura   Pritchett:   How   hard   it   is   to   make   it   as   a   writer.   You   can   do   the   work,   and   win   awards,   and   not   be   able   to   pay   the   bills   with writing. Year after year, book after book. That was a tough learning experience. I have yet to make a livable wage on my books. JBN: As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal? Laura Pritchett: The bear. (And I love that question, by the way). Bears (on the whole) are slow, steady, curious, playful, aware.  JBN: What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex? Laura   Pritchett:      Well,   some   men   might   write   in   and   argue   (which   I   welcome),   but   when   I   write   from   a   male’s   POV,   I   pull   back   on   the self-introspection.   My   female   characters   spend   a   lot   of   time   processing   and   are   highly   self-aware.   And,   um,   for   better   or   worse,   I   just don’t think men do that on the same level.   JBN: Colors for you means a lot. Can you tell us about your philosophy of color? What is your favorite one? Laura   Pritchett:   Periwinkle   blue,   or   the   color   of   the   sky   at   “the   blue   hour,”   the   color   of   dusk.   Color   is   very   important   to   me—just   look   at my   titles.   Of   all   the   ways   I   perceive   the   world,   I   think   my   attention   to   color   is   the   most   prominent.   I   yak   about   various   variations   all   the time. Maybe in some previous life, I was a painter.   JBN: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones? Laura   Pritchett:   Just   a   few   times   per   year.   Most   are   kind,   and   I’m   deeply   appreciative   of   people   who   take   the   time.   To   me,   that’s literary   community   –   a   gift   and   an   act   of   service.   I   try   to   review   other   writers’   books   for   the   same   reason. A   few   of   the   reviews   hurt,   sure: some   are   uniformed   (accusing   me   of   not   doing   research,   when   I   most   certainly   did)   or   just   cruel   or   ridiculous   (telling   me   that   I’ll   go   to hell for writing about sex, for example).  Ah, humanity! JBN:   I   love   the   name   of   your   new   book:   Making   Friends   With   Death: A   Field   Guide   for Your   Impending   Last   Breath!   Did   it   take long to create it? Laura   Pritchett:   Yes,   I   worked   on   that   in   various   ways   for   about   8   years.   It   was   very   hard   to   sell   ---   not   everyone   wanted   such   a guidebook.   But   I’m   really   proud   of   it,   and   I   think   it’s   truly   helpful   (both   for   oneself,   or   for   helping   loved   ones   go   through   the   process).   It’s an odd duck for me – not what I usually write – but I had to write it. I had to make peace with my own mortality.  JBN: You are also coach for another writers. What do you like about that job? Laura   Pritchett:   I   love   that   part   of   my   life.   I   get   to   curl   up   (at   home,   in   pajamas,   with   a   cup   of   coffee)   and   read   other   people’s   work. How   great   is   that?   And   I   think   having   a   good   reader   really   helps   writers   (myself   included)   see   what   they’re   not   seeing.   So   I   think   my work is valuable; it saves people a lot of time and work. I put a lot of effort and care into it, and that feels good.   JBN: What was the book that most influenced your life — and why? What books are on your nightstand? Laura   Pritchett:    That’s   a   touch   question!   So   many   books   influenced   me,   but   three   come   to   mind:   Les   Miserables   by   Victor   Hugo;   The Grapes   of   Wrath,   by   Steinbeck;   and   My   Antonia   by   Willa   Cather.   And   what   am   I   reading   now?   One   fiction   and   one   nonfiction.   The nonfiction   is   Rising   by   Elizabeth   Rush   –   and   I’m   just   loving   it.   It’s   not   just   a   book   about   the   calamities   of   rising   sea   levels   and   the   lost habitats   and   homes—it’s   also   a   moving   rumination   on   the   rise   of   women   as   investigative   reporters,   the   rise   of   tangible   solutions,   the rise   of   human   endeavor   and   flexibility.   I’m   also   reading   Great Tide   Rising   by   Kathleen   Dean   Moore   because   a)   I   like   to   keep   up   with   the other   authors   that      Counterpoint   publishes,   and   b)   I   love   her   nonfiction   work,   and   c)   I’m   teaching   with   her   at   Fishtrap   (a   writing workshop in Oregon) in July. Funny that they both have “rise” in the title. Maybe I should say I planned it that way. JBN: How do you usually relax? Laura Pritchett: Walking. I walk and walk. JBN: What’s next? Laura Pritchett:  My first play! I was revising it today. It opens in Fort Collins, Colorado, on April 9. More about it at www.basbleu.org JBN: Give please your readers three "Good to Know" facts about you. Laura   Pritchett:   I    have   two   children,   now   teenagers,   whom   I   adore.   They   give   me   hope   that   this   world   will   change   for   the   better. They’re both very politically engaged. I have climbed into a bear den with a tranquilized bear. I love to sleep in --- and wake up quietly.  
Johnson’s Billings News
Hosted by Johnson Computing
They are read.  We are Quoted!!!
  Colours of Laura Pritchett
Interview
Tradition
Hell’s     Bottom,     Sky     Bridge, Stars   Go   Blue,   Red   Lightning, The   Blue   Hour,Making   friends with      Death...            All      these wonderful    books    (and    many others)       were       written       by American          writer          Laura Pritchett.     She          is     a     really talented    writer    now    devoting her    considerable    energy    and enthusiasm      to      fiction      and nonfiction — so   determined,   so bright    that    she    will    bring    out something     terrific.     She     has been    awarded    the    PEN    USA Award    for    Fiction,    the    High Plains     Literary     Award,     the Milkweed       National       Fiction Prize,      the      WILLA      Fiction Award,       and       others.       We guarantee   if   you   read      first   page   of   one   of   her   books   you'll   read the last JBN: You   have   amazing   story   about   how   everything   starts   for you   in   your   writing   career.   Can   we   say   that   some   parts   of your books are kind of family anthem?   Laura   Pritchett:   I   knew   I   wanted   to   be   a   writer   when   I   was   about seven,   recorded   in   my   first   diary   as:   “I   want   to   become   a   riter someday.”      I   loved   books   early—for   a   few   years   there,   they   were my   best   friends.   Since   then,   I’ve   been   writing   what   I   know,   which includes    life    on    a    family    farm    and    the    natural    world    of    the American   West.   But   no,   my   novels   are   not   based   on   my   family. Sometimes    I    use    specific    knowledge—such    as    my    father’s experience   with   Alzheimer’s—to   inform   a   novel,   but   I   do   not   write about   my   family   directly.   I’m   fairly   estranged   from   many   of   them,   in fact—we   share   very   different   political   and   religious   views   (and   I don’t   think   most   of   them   have   read   my   books).   If   anything,   I   hope my   work   is   an   anthem   to   the   natural   world   and   the   broader   human heart.     JBN:   Looking   back,   what   did   you   do   right   that   helped   you break in? Laura   Pritchett:   I   was   very   persistent.   I   was   able   to   deal   with   the inevitable    rejections    and    just    keep    plugging    along.    I’m    a    very steady   worker.   Day   in,   day   out,   I   just   write.   I   was   also   wise   enough to   seek   mentors,   which   was   important,   given   that   I   didn’t   come from   a   literary   family   or   have   any   connections.   Kent   Haruf   was   a great   mentor;   his   books   were   a   huge   influence   on   me   –   and   I believe   he’ll   go   down   in   history   as   one   of   the   greats.   He   was   a humble     man     and     a     generous     mentor.     Before     that,     Emilie Buchwald,   who   was   the   editor   in   chief   at   Milkweed   Editions,   was an   important   mentor.   I   kept   reaching   out   to   people,   I   kept   writing,   I kept reading.   JBN:   How   you   create   your   characters?   Do   you   know   from beginning    would    be    positive    or    negative?    Did    you    have situations   when   you   liked   some   character   and   then   he/she ceased to mean a lot to you? Laura   Pritchett:    I   listen   to   them.   They   come   into   my   mind   and   I just   hear   what   they   have   to   say.   I’ve   always   loved   my   characters. Sure,   I   get   frustrated   with   them.   I   sometimes   think   they’re   making bad   decisions.   But   they   are   my   children,   in   a   sense,   and   I   adore them. JBN:   What   Biggest   learning   experience   with   writing   books   for you? Laura   Pritchett:   How   hard   it   is   to   make   it   as   a   writer.   You   can   do the   work,   and   win   awards,   and   not   be   able   to   pay   the   bills   with writing.    Year    after    year,    book    after    book.    That    was    a    tough learning   experience.   I   have   yet   to   make   a   livable   wage   on   my books. JBN:     As     a     writer,     what     would     you     choose     as     your mascot/avatar/spirit animal? Laura   Pritchett:   The   bear.   (And   I   love   that   question,   by   the   way). Bears (on the whole) are slow, steady, curious, playful, aware.  JBN:   What’s   the   most   difficult   thing   about   writing   characters from the opposite sex? Laura   Pritchett:      Well,   some   men   might   write   in   and   argue   (which I   welcome),   but   when   I   write   from   a   male’s   POV,   I   pull   back   on   the self-introspection.    My    female    characters    spend    a    lot    of    time processing    and    are    highly    self-aware.    And,    um,    for    better    or worse, I just don’t think men do that on the same level.   JBN:   Colors   for   you   means   a   lot.   Can   you   tell   us   about   your philosophy of color? What is your favorite one? Laura   Pritchett:   Periwinkle   blue,   or   the   color   of   the   sky   at   “the blue   hour,”   the   color   of   dusk.   Color   is   very   important   to   me—just look   at   my   titles.   Of   all   the   ways   I   perceive   the   world,   I   think   my attention    to    color    is    the    most    prominent.    I    yak    about    various variations    all    the    time.    Maybe    in    some    previous    life,    I    was    a painter.   JBN:   Do   you   read   your   book   reviews?   How   do   you   deal   with bad or good ones? Laura   Pritchett:   Just   a   few   times   per   year.   Most   are   kind,   and   I’m deeply   appreciative   of   people   who   take   the   time.   To   me,   that’s literary   community   –   a   gift   and   an   act   of   service.   I   try   to   review other   writers’   books   for   the   same   reason.   A   few   of   the   reviews hurt,    sure:    some    are    uniformed    (accusing    me    of    not    doing research,   when   I   most   certainly   did)   or   just   cruel   or   ridiculous (telling   me   that   I’ll   go   to   hell   for   writing   about   sex,   for   example).     Ah, humanity! JBN:   I   love   the   name   of   your   new   book:   Making   Friends   With Death:   A   Field   Guide   for   Your   Impending   Last   Breath!   Did   it take long to create it? Laura   Pritchett:   Yes,   I   worked   on   that   in   various   ways   for   about   8 years.   It   was   very   hard   to   sell   ---   not   everyone   wanted   such   a guidebook.   But   I’m   really   proud   of   it,   and   I   think   it’s   truly   helpful (both    for    oneself,    or    for    helping    loved    ones    go    through    the process).   It’s   an   odd   duck   for   me   –   not   what   I   usually   write   –   but   I had to write it. I had to make peace with my own mortality.  JBN: You   are   also   coach   for   another   writers.   What   do   you   like about that job? Laura   Pritchett:   I   love   that   part   of   my   life.   I   get   to   curl   up   (at home,   in   pajamas,   with   a   cup   of   coffee)   and   read   other   people’s work.   How   great   is   that?   And   I   think   having   a   good   reader   really helps   writers   (myself   included)   see   what   they’re   not   seeing.   So   I think   my   work   is   valuable;   it   saves   people   a   lot   of   time   and   work.   I put a lot of effort and care into it, and that feels good.   JBN:   What   was   the   book   that   most   influenced   your   life   —   and why? What books are on your nightstand? Laura    Pritchett:     That’s    a    touch    question!    So    many    books influenced   me,   but   three   come   to   mind:   Les   Miserables   by   Victor Hugo;   The   Grapes   of   Wrath,   by   Steinbeck;   and   My   Antonia   by Willa   Cather.   And   what   am   I   reading   now?   One   fiction   and   one nonfiction.   The   nonfiction   is   Rising   by   Elizabeth   Rush   –   and   I’m just   loving   it.   It’s   not   just   a   book   about   the   calamities   of   rising   sea levels    and    the    lost    habitats    and    homes—it’s    also    a    moving rumination   on   the   rise   of   women   as   investigative   reporters,   the rise    of    tangible    solutions,    the    rise    of    human    endeavor    and flexibility.   I’m   also   reading   Great   Tide   Rising   by   Kathleen   Dean Moore   because   a)   I   like   to   keep   up   with   the   other   authors   that     Counterpoint   publishes,   and   b)   I   love   her   nonfiction   work,   and   c) I’m   teaching   with   her   at   Fishtrap   (a   writing   workshop   in   Oregon)   in July. Funny   that   they   both   have   “rise”   in   the   title.   Maybe   I   should   say   I planned it that way. JBN: How do you usually relax? Laura Pritchett: Walking. I walk and walk. JBN: What’s next? Laura   Pritchett:      My   first   play!   I   was   revising   it   today.   It   opens   in Fort     Collins,     Colorado,     on     April     9.     More     about     it     at www.basbleu.org JBN:   Give   please   your   readers   three   "Good   to   Know"   facts about you. Laura   Pritchett:   I    have   two   children,   now   teenagers,   whom   I adore.   They   give   me   hope   that   this   world   will   change   for   the better. They’re both very politically engaged. I have climbed into a bear den with a tranquilized bear. I love to sleep in --- and wake up quietly.  
Johnson’s Billings News
Interview
Hosted by Johnson Computing
They are read.  We are Quoted!!!
  Colours of Laura Pritchett