with Anne Leigh Parrish:
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
Anne: I wrote a couple of small stories as a child, a few more as a teenager, then became a serious writer in my mid-twenties, after college and graduate school. I don’t recall who influenced my earliest attempts, but in high school, I was a great admirer of Hemingway, Faulkner, and Fitzgerald. Later, my focus shifted to women authors – Virginia Woolf, Eudora Welty, Flannery O’Connor, and Alice Munro.
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?
Anne: I’d say, Tessa Hadley, Rachel Cusk, and Kathryn Davis.
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influenced your work/describe?
Anne: I grew up in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. Although I lived there only until I was fourteen, that area features prominently in my fiction. That said, more of my work in recent years is set in the Pacific Northwest where I’ve lived since 1982. Every time I travel I’m influenced by new scenery and quite often new fiction will come out of something specific – a forest fire in the Methow Valley of Washington State, or the off-season atmosphere of a beach town on the Oregon Coast.
Q4: What do you consider your most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?
Anne: My poetry books, for sure.
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Anne: Not really. But poetry took a long time to find its way to me. Then, late in 2017, I began writing poems and now this is quite an ongoing pursuit and obsession for me.
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Anne: I admit to watching a lot of television, usually a police procedural set in the UK . I’m made for those.
Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?
Anne: My debut poetry collection, the moon won’t be dared, releases this October from Unsolicited Press, and is available for preorder here: ht https://bit.ly/2RU64yC
Q8: One of your favorite lines from a poem/writing of yours or others?
Anne: My favorite line comes from the poet, Mary Oliver: “Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”
Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?
Anne: C. Michael Curtis, Fiction Editor at
The Atlantic Monthly. He mentored me for about eight years, and read every story I sent him. His feedback was enormously useful.
Award-winning author of eleven books
2021 Independent Publisher Book Awards Bronze Medal Winner
2020 Eric Hoffer Grand Prize Short List
2020 Eric Hoffer Award, Honorable Mention, General Fiction Category
2017 Maxy Awards, Best Fiction Winner
2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards Silver Medal Winner
a winter night, my new novel, recently released by Unsolicited Press