Robert Reid, author of the forthcoming memoir Arctic Circle: Birth & Rebirth in the Land of the Caribou, has been featured in an interview at Foreword Magazine. His advice to young writers is particularly interesting, since by-the-by Godine had the good fortune to nab his timely memoir. Here is a brief excerpt from the piece:
“Who shaped your ideas of what it means to be a writer?”
“That’s a complex question but I can mention two early influences. One was my mother, who taught me that the imagination is a powerful thing, and who gave me both the means to find it and the courage to use it. She made of my pre-school years a kind of wonderland. We did magic tricks, flew kites, designed costumes that enabled us to visit other planets. She saw to it that invisible but friendly beings left messages and prizes for me at unexpected locations around the house. One activity in particular must have contributed to the fostering of my creative courage. I would sit before a typewriter and tell my mother I was going to write a story for her. This was long before I knew how to read or write, but somehow those limitations didn’t deter me. I would sit up very straight, address the typewriter, and begin typing madly. Over the next minute or so I would churn out a page of complete gibberish. Satisfied that I was finished, I would hand the paper to my mother, who would take a glance and then begin reading. . . . ”
You can read the rest of the interview at ForeWord Magazine.