This week I have the honor of bringing to you a brand new author of a brand new book that is making a great big splash in the literary world. The Bird Sisters made its debut yesterday and is receiving all kinds of fabulous praise. She is also surprisingly humble and genuine for someone whose novel is generating such a buzz. In getting to know each other, Rebecca and I have found we share a love of many things, including our kids, running and chasing words around a page. I am so thrilled for her as her book finds wings and makes its way out into the world. Below is a Q&A with this worthy new author!
What is your favorite quality in a person?
Kindness. Hands down. Depending on how you look at it, this world can be a tough place to live in. Being kind to other people can tip the balance in a positive direction. Even if it’s a small kindness—holding a door for someone, carrying a bag of groceries, or hugging a person who needs to be hugged—it makes a difference.
What is your least favorite?
Meanness. It’s just so unnecessary.
What is your greatest fear?
Flying. I am in the middle of working on this particular fear because I have to do so much of it this spring. The people who fall asleep on planes or read books or just generally look relaxed 30,000 feet above the earth constantly amaze me. I want to be like them. I really do. Maybe one day you’ll see me sleeping, and you’ll know I made it past this fear. But if you see me biting my fingernails and tightening my seat belt, I wouldn’t be too surprised. Maybe you can lean over and tell me it’s going to be all right.
Who is your greatest love?
My daughter and my husband. We are a little team, and I am thankful for the us-ness of us every day. Or at least I try to be. My daughter constantly amazes me with her adventurous spirit and her wild and creative imagination. She’s a good person to learn strength from. And my husband is a great supporter and calming force in my life. When I think something isn’t possible, he reminds me that it usually is.
What is your idea of a perfect day?
During my perfect day, it is spring. The flowers are coming up, and the breeze is warm, which I welcome after a hard Midwestern winter. My daughter and husband are with me, and we’re all walking to the park, where we’ll have a picnic and play. It’s a simple day, but it’s lovely to be sitting on green grass beneath a warm sun again.
What place do you love?
Wisconsin. The hills. The river. The land. I should have a t-shirt made up or a bumper sticker—that’s how much I love my home state. Or little cow earrings. Something.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
I’d have liked to be an artist, but if you saw my stick figures, you’d know why that dream didn’t exactly work out.
Which person, living or dead, do you most admire?
I admire Carol Shields so very much. She was one of the few writers who wrote beautifully about happiness and joy on an everyday level. She was smart and witty and full of humor. I am still sad that she passed away several years ago, but her writing still thrills me every time I pick up one of her books.
What are the words you live by?
BIO: Rebecca Rasmussen is the author of the novel The Bird Sisters, forthcoming from Crown Publishers on April 12th, 2011. She lives in St. Louis with her husband and daughter and loves to bake pies. Visit Rebecca at http://www.thebirdsisters.com for more information or to order the book.