Katie, you write about relationships in your novels, including difficult relationships between men and women. Did you have difficult relationships in your own life?
Absolutely yes. I’ve lived most of my life with a broken man-meter. Indeed, I dated a lot of dogs before I married my husband. Among the many dogs, there was the Man-Child, for example, and the Alcoholic, and the Liar. I’m not sure how I was able to figure out that my now-husband of eight years, Michael, was such a good person, so good that I should hang on to him forever.
I never did grow a working man-meter. What I did have was a simple rule that my mother gave to me. She said, “Katie, look for the three Rs: Responsible, Reliable, and Respectable.” That rule got some serious eye-rolls from me throughout my teens and twenties. When I hit thirty, though, I began to see its merit. When I met my husband, he hit all three Rs, at least to me (and that was good enough—I mean, isn’t “respectable kind of subjective”?).
Michael and I met at a wedding reception at a grand old country club. There was a big brass band, and it struck up a tune. Suddenly, he was standing before me: very tall, wearing a well-cut suit—slim to fit his slim build—with dark, squarish glasses and a short, neatly trimmed beard. He held out his hand to me.
“Would you like to dance?” he said.
I nearly rolled my eyes. Yes, of course I would like to dance. I loved dancing. I used to dance mambo and salsa and all sorts of things every weekend when I was in graduate school.
He introduced himself. “I’m Michael Pryal, like Trial.”
I laughed. “And I’m a lawyer.”
I had doubts that this Michael person would be able to put two steps together properly. I doubted any of the guys at the wedding would be able to put two steps together properly. I’d been to far to many weddings in my thirty years to have high hopes.
But he was cute—were his eyes really that green?—and he was tall and lanky, with broad shoulders, and I thought, Yes. Let’s see what happens. So I put my hand in his.
He tiled his head, listening to the music. “I believe this is a foxtrot.”
We swept onto the dance floor, his lead confident, and I nearly burst out laughing. I had been so, so wrong. The next song was an upbeat swing, and a-twirling I went. We were married less than a year later.
If readers are wondering the hero Timmy in ENTANGLEMENT has some features of my husband, they would be correct. But I never worry what Michael will think about me using him in my writing, though, because Michael never reads my books. It’s a blessing, actually. I can poach from his life all I want and he never knows.
Katie enjoys her three professions—novelist, freelance journalist, and lawyer—for one reason: her love of the written word. Fiction or nonfiction, Katie thrives on putting thoughts to paper and sharing them with the world. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where the energy of the campus and cafes inspires her writing. She is the author of ENTANGLEMENT: A Novel (Velvet Morning Press 2015) and LOVE AND ENTROPY: A Novella (Velvet Morning Press 2015), and a contributor to the anthology CHRISTMAS, ACTUALLY (Velvet Morning Press 2015). You can grab a free copy of Katie’s writing guide, WRITING ISN’T SEXY, by subscribing to her email list.
Katie contributes regularly to THE HUFFINGTON POST, THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, THE TOAST, DAME MAGAZINE and other national venues. She earned her master’s degree in creative writing from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins, where she attended on a fellowship. Katie has published five books on writing, the most recent with Oxford University Press, and although she has impeccable grammar, she would never correct yours.
Katie is a member of the Tall Poppy Writers (http://tallpoppies.org/), a community of writing professionals committed to connecting authors with each other and with readers. You can find her on Twitter at @krgpryal, on Facebook at facebook.com/katieroseguestpryal, and via her writing newsletter, WRITING ISN’T SEXY (no really, it isn’t), at bit.ly/pryalnews.
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ENTANGLEMENT: A Novel – http://amzn.to/20JFUcy