The Writer’s Handful with Samantha Hoffman
Week seven of The Writer’s Handful welcomes Samantha Hoffman, whose debut novel, What More Could You Wish For, is delightful. And Samantha has a really good story about its origins…but you are going to have to go to her website to find out more. All you are going to get here is Samantha’s gracious answers to my little questions and a nudge from me that you might want to think about this book for your book club.
1. Did you write today? If yes, what? If no, why not?
I did write today. Yay! My deal is that I write for at least five minutes every day, which means I always get something done. I rarely write for just the five minutes but somehow it seems less daunting knowing that if that’s all I can manage it will still suffice. What’s five minutes, right?
2. What’s the first thing (story, poem, song, etc.) you remember writing, and how old were you when you wrote it?
I wrote a short story in third grade. I lived for years with guilt that I was a plagiarist because I’d read a story I loved and then rewrote it for my class. It wasn’t til I was older that I realized that that’s done all the time and stopped feeling guilty. Anyway, my teacher, Mrs. Allen, read that story aloud to the class. I consider that my first published work, and the beginning of my literary career.
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Patricia Ann McNair has lived 98 percent of her life in the Midwest. She’s managed a gas station, sold pots and pans door to door, tended bar and breaded mushrooms, worked on the trading floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and taught aerobics. Today she is an Associate Professor in the Fiction Writing Department of Columbia College Chicago, where she received the Excellence in Teaching Award as well as a nomination for the Carnegie Foundation’s US Professor of the Year.
McNair’s fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in various anthologies, magazines, and journals including American Fiction: Best Unpublished Short Stories by Emerging Writers, Other Voices, F Magazine, Superstition Review,Dunes Review, River Teeth, Fourth Genre, Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, and others. She is also published in The Truth of the Matter: Art and Craft in Creative Nonfiction edited by Dinty W. Moore. She’s received numerous Illinois Arts Council Awards and Pushcart Prize nominations in fiction and nonfiction.
McNair divides her time between city and small town with her husband, the visual artist Philip Hartigan (www.philiphartigan.com).