An Alternative Author Interview:
TCL’s Countdown Questions.
This week I’m featuring author
Gretchen Berg’s debut novel “The Operator” impressed me SO much that I needed to ask her to join in my little countdown questions meme. Let’s see how she answered my five, fast, and fun questions.
- If you could visit five (5) places you’ve never been, where would you go and why?
Travel has been a pretty major part of my life, so this will be “five places I am definitely going to visit.” They’re already on my list: 1) Scotland and 2) Germany (I’ve only been to the town of Aachen), for genealogy research; 3) one of the snow/ice hotels in either Norway, Sweden or Finland; 4) the Cotswolds in the UK, for charm and relaxation; and 5) Folegandros, Greek Islands, for sun and relaxation.
- Name four (4) foods or dishes that you enjoy so much that they’ve practically become part of your personality.
1) spinach & fruit smoothies; 2) chai; 3) a great cheese board; 4) my grandma’s 7-layer bars (recipe on p. 156 of The Operator.).
- There is the past, the present, and the future – if you could choose, which of these three (3) would you prefer to live in, and why?
The present. Because it’s now.
- Best and/or worst – you choose which – name two (2) of either your best moments of your life, worst moments of your life, or one of each.
Without being too specific, the best moments in my life happened when I realized I didn’t have to continue doing something I didn’t want to be doing. A little voice in my head popped in and said as much. “You don’t have to…” and it was such a startling realization, whether it was something I thought I had to do, because everyone else was doing it, or it was something I had originally thought was the right thing, but turned out not to be. Those are the kinds of moments I wish for everyone.
- Name one (1) book you’ve read in the past year (or so) that you wish you had written, and why.
I can’t think like that. I can only write like me, and hope to improve that writing, and just admire other writers/books. So, a book that I read in the past couple of years that I thought was so original and outstanding was George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo. But, I still don’t wish that I had written it. I’m not trying to be difficult, I swear.
Thanks Gretchen! (Those 7-Layer bars sound wicked! And… I hear you about that moment when you realize you don’t have to be or do what everyone else thinks you should be or do! I had one of those epiphanies as well.)
Gretchen Berg spent many years working in the fields of education and travel. Her parents had always encouraged her to write, but she waited until she heard “you are a writer” from more trustworthy advisors: a London psychic, and a taxicab driver in Athens, Greece. The taxicab driver also said they had been lovers in a previous life.
After writing a humorous memoir in 2010 Gretchen ventured into the field of genealogy, where she compiled narratives and research reports for clients, while also working on her family’s history. It was during her family research that she came across an interesting bit of information that, when expanded upon, became her debut novel, The Operator (William Morrow/HarperCollins).