with Jane Rosenberg LaForge:
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
Jane: I suppose I started writing in fourth grade, when my class did a magazine project and the teacher noticed that I had something to say. My first influences were probably the poetry my father read to me–Poe, Edward Arlington Robinson, very general American literature. He also read A.E. Houseman to me, “Terence, This Is Stupid Stuff.”
Q2: Who are some of your biggest influences today?
Jane: That’s hard to say. I studied with Kate Braverman many years ago and she’s still in my head. My favorite writer is usually the one I’m reading right now, and I’ve been reading a lot of Robert Fisk; he’s a journalist who covered the Middle East for many years. He passed away last year.
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing?
Jane: I grew up in Los Angeles. (My new novel takes place in Los Angeles; that’s a little obvious.) I haven’t lived there for 26 years but I still pine for the place. That homesickness is a huge influence on my work. I am always remembering, trying to recreate, or perhaps capture anew the way the air feels there, the heat, the wind. I miss the sounds of the neighborhood I grew up in, the voices of my grandparents and parents. I miss the dryness, or I should say, the crispness, because the dry thing–drought–isn’t working out too well for everyone. I miss being small and everything looking big to me for a reason–because I was young. Now I’m just small because of my genes.
Q4: Have any travels away from home influenced your work/describe?
Jane: I traveled to Ireland with my family a few years back and then wrote a novel about an Irish soldier in World War I–does that count? That’s probably the most direct influence travel has had in my work. The absence–or my absence–from home also is huge.
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Jane: I’ve wanted to be a writer for so long, I don’t think there was any pivotal moment. It’s just always been there
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Jane: Spending time with my husband and daughter; and friends; doting on my cats; reading.
Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?
My newest book of poems is Medusa’s Daughter, a collection about my mother. You can buy it here: https://animalheartpress.net/medusas-daughter/
My new novel is Sisterhood of the Infamous, a story of sibling rivalry, punk rock, and murder. You can buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/Sisterhood-Infamous-Jane-Rosenberg-LaForge/dp/1734383534
Q8: One of your favorite lines from a poem of yours?
“…and when I speak/my voice leaves me silent.” This is from a poem I’m working on entitled “Girl in a Green Dress.”
Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?
Jane: I’d have to say my husband, because if he wasn’t around to support me emotionally and financially, I wouldn’t be able to write at all.