About: I write every single day, first by hand and and then typing on my battered Mac. I've been writing all my life, though I didn't really get going on books until I was 29. I had to get fired from a few jobs first.
I received my MFA from Columbia University, and have won fellowships to the MacDowell Colony and the Sewanee Writers Conference. My three year old also recently awarded me the Macaroni Prize for Books With No Pictures.
My books have been translated into Spanish, German, and Turkish. (Turkish??) I read all of the time...about two to three books a week. I'll also read anything that looks interesting. Mark Twain, Hunger Games, Proust, 50 Shades of Whatever. I'm curious. Don't always make it past page 20. But I always get to 20.
When I was younger, I could write anywhere. I didn’t have the luxury of “creating” my space; I would just squat in coffee shops, libraries, the laundromat, wherever. For a while, I worked as an editor at a financial company; I had a lot of downtime, so I would write on the trading floor with men in blue shouting over my head. I don’t like to be precious about where I work, because that opens the door to excuses. Oh, the light’s not right! Better blow it off and have a sandwich.
My apartment during the time I started my first book, Girls in Trucks, was a tiny, cramped hole in New York. That was the place I really committed to being a writer. I’d get up at five, write for eight hours, take a run, eat some noodles, write four hours more, then have a drink. I’d often smoke at the desk. It was a miserable, lonely period of life, but I remember being so in tune there. So very hungry to write.
For that reason, now that I have choices of where to write, I’m always trying to emulate that apartment. I live in the country with my family, in a rambling house with lots of good rooms with views of horses. People always come in and say, Wow! How inspiring! But my favourite place to write in the house is a weird little cell the size of a closet. I don’t know what it was originally used for, but it’s dark and tiny, with one little window that looks out at a pine tree. I don’t neaten it ever. There are books and papers all over the place. I make certain to turn off the Internet before I go in, or else I’ll just hide from my family and watch movies.
I have a Thesaurus and a Dictionary in here somewhere. On the wall I’ve tacked up pictures of: Eudora Welty, typing in Jackson, Ernest Hemingway, scrawling in Key West, my daughter, my daughter again, a map of Perugia, Italy, ripped from a 1947 Baedekers’, a contract for a vacation rental I need to follow up on, and a news photo of Sophia Loren checking out Jane Mansfield’s cleavage. It works for me. I fight for time and stay in here until my family pounds on the door for me to make eggs or find a wallet or drive someone to school or the doctor. At which point I print out what I’m working on so I can edit it during life’s blank spaces. That way when I go back into the room, I’ve fooled myself into thinking I’ve done new work, which I really think is the whole trick.
SOME OF Katie Crouch WORKS: