March 24th, 2008
I recently did a Q&A with Cat Morley of the UK-based online craft community Cut Out & Keep. Cat asked me who my working class heroes are, and I liked the question so much (it was a first for me!) I thought I’d post my answer here.
I love the same funny writers everyone else does: David Sedaris, Sarah Vowell, Anne Lamott, Steve Almond… But I’d have to say my real heroes are the freelancers on the rise whose work I’ve come to know and love in the past few years, several of whom I’ve come to know personally: writer Judy McGuire, who’s as snarky and funny as they come; writer/illustrator Ellen Forney, whose performances of her work impress the hell out of me; writer Diane Mapes, whose ongoing news of book deals, newspaper columns, and assignments from enviable publications keeps me reaching for more too; writer/instructor Angela Fountas, who got a couple of kickass grants [last] year and does a tremendous job of giving back to emerging writers; writer/blogger Ariel Meadow Stallings, who’s got the online social media thing down; illustrator Nina Frenkel, who’s one of the most talented and prolific thirty-somethings I’ve ever met; erotica writer/editor Rachel Kramer Bussel, who besides being mind-bogglingly prolific is pretty dang fearless — I mean, if writing erotica isn’t literally putting your ass on the line, I don’t know what is.
I don’t think someone has to be a stranger who’s been pulling in six figures for the last decade to be a hero. The successes all these women have achieved feel accessible and within reach to me, which I find all the more inspiring. It’s not as daunting as comparing yourself to, say, Michael Chabon or J.K. Rowling and thinking, “Will I ever be that brilliant or rich, will I, will I?”
What about you gals/guys? Who are your working class heroes? Your mom? Sis? BFF? Fave blogger/designer/photog/coder/translator? Let’s hear it. And if you want to read the rest of my Q&A with Cat, it’s here.