Your bio says your favorite genre is “takes place in an old hotel.” I love the specificity of that! Do you have a favorite “old hotel” book, or one that you think best represents the genre?
I think anything Agatha Christie wrote set in a hotel or boarding house (most recently, I read N or M?) exemplifies what I love about hotel stories. There are always secret nooks and crannies, everyone knows more than they let on, and time is always of the essence because guests are coming and going. Some other, more recent favorites: Bellwether Rhapsody by Kate Racculia, One by One by Ruth Ware, and The Return by Rachel Harrison.
You’re a writer yourself, right? What sorts of things do you write?
I struggle with maintaining momentum, so anything I write tends to be on the shorter side. Now that I’m out of school and in a more technical job where I don’t have to write anything other than meeting minutes, I’m exploring what holds my attention best. So far this year, I’ve written a script for a 20 minute long video about green buildings in South Dakota (probably the most proud of anything I’ve ever been, you can watch here), a handful of short fanfiction that veer pretty close to self-inserts, and I’m working on some reflection pieces about a conference I went to and the nature of my industry. I’m more comfortable with technical writing, but I’m trying to explore creative writing as well!
What interests you most as a reader: plot, setting, character, writing style, other?
I’m a big fan of setting. It’s usually the make or break point for a book for me — if I don’t like the time period or the location, I’m unlikely to pick it up at all. The weirder the better, too.
This is your first Cannonball, right? (Accomplished while writing papers, graduating college, and moving cities, no less!) Has it gone as you expected?
It’s actually gone better! When I first signed up, my main goal was to not forget I’d done it by December, which I do for a lot of things. I’ve certainly gravitated towards a round-up post every couple of months to account for the chaos I inject into my own life, but participating in this challenge has made me think about the books I read more deeply and with more care. I’d call the experiment a success!
It’s pumpkin spice season! What’s your favorite fall/holiday food?
I’m a big big fan of apple cider donuts (pro tip: if you buy the ones from Trader Joe’s, or probably any others, and microwave them for 20 seconds, they taste exactly like French toast sticks). I also love ginger snaps. Big fan of cinnamon in general.