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Getting to know: Terese Svoboda.

September 2, 2011 \am\30 11:00 am

[In which WWAATD asks vapid questions culled from various teen magazines to non-vapid, non-teenager types.]

Full Name: Terese Svoboda (That’s as full as it gets)

Age: Old enough.

Height: Tall enough.

Currently Live: NYC, summers in Greenport.

Hometown: Ogallala, Nebraska

Instruments: Harp.

Car: None.

Secret Talent: Read Bohemian Girl, my newest novel, and maybe it won’t be so secret anymore.

What is the best thing about your job? Job? Oh, yes—I write 24/7 and the best thing about it is that I don’t have to be anything else, a woman with hobbies.

What was your most embarrassing audition moment? A phone interview at blissful Yaddo. What was my teaching methodology? I dunno.

If you could live in any past era which would it be and why? I’m exploring thirties New York for a new novel called Rich Uncle. Swank, quiet, sociable.

Who is your role model and why? Today it’s Muriel Rukeyser, a tough woman of will and passion.

What do you do for fun? Write. Seriously.

Do you have a good luck charm? Damn, that’s what I need.

Wackiest fan encounter: A woman who dressed up as a pirate for my reading of Pirate Talk or Mermalade who spoke pirate.

Before I die, I want to: Lie on the beach at Pukapuka. I almost did a long time ago but the boat never came. It’s the furthest flung Polynesian island where I set my second novel, A Drink Called Paradise.

When I fly I have to have: Have a mss. to rewrite. All that uninterrupted time (see above “fun.”)

If I had to spend $10 at my favorite fast food joint, I’d order: DQ barbecue. Do they still make them? People who confuse me with Trailer Girl in my novella will be pleased.

My coolest article of clothing: A backless gold lame blouse. Maybe the blouse is lame but at least I can imagine I’m getting admiring looks I can’t see.

My first financial splurge was: A reel-to-reel tape recorder. I wanted a monkey, but my mother was pregnant with baby number eight and forbade me.

When friends come over, we: Examine each other’s spouses for wear.

Do you like to cook? If so, what? I do but not as often as required. I have been known to consider ketchup, pickle and stale bread combos. My novels have a certain notoriety for their bad food.

TV show I never miss: House.

If you could interview any celeb whom would it be and why? Hugh Laurie. To watch him walk. Okay, Javier Bardem.

Anything about yourself you wish you could change? Mitochondria.

I’ll eat sushi, but not: Raw egg on Korean food. Yes to caviar.

What are your best and worst subjects in school? I liked them all—wait, I hated phys ed.

If you could be granted 3 wishes, they’d be…Oh, no, I’m not falling for that one. You always end up with a sausage on your nose.

If I could gay-marry anyone in the world, he/she would be … Penelope Cruz. So she spends a lot of time with Javier Bardem.

Where on earth are you most dying to go? Back to South Sudan. I spent a year there translating Cleaned The Crocodile’s Teeth: Nuer Song, and two days decades later finding vice president Machar so I could give him a copy. To be in a country that is struggling with real revolution!

What’s the last thing that made you cry? My dad being sad at my mother’s funeral.

Do you ever wish you could just be a normal kid? No.

What would people be surprised to know about you? I wore red glasses in my adolescence.

If you had to name one song as your theme song, what would it be? “Sally” by Gogol Bordello.

Have you had a starstruck Hollywood experience? Who was it with? Breastfeeding at Kevin Bacon’s mother-in-law’s house. His wife, Kyra Sedgwick, apologized for interrupting me.


Favorite Actor/Actress: Hugh Laurie

Favorite Movie: How I Won the War with John Lennon

Favorite Body Part: Collarbone. I never have to exercise it.

Favorite Singer: My dad.

Favorite Song: “She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain.”

Favorite Candy: Fudge, the darker the better

Favorite Philosopher: Wittgenstein. Check out the house he designed.

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Mango gelato (does gelato count?).

Favorite Sport: Bicycling.

Favorite Sports Team: I bet on them all.

Favorite Athlete: They all look good.

Favorite Book: Oy! You can’t do that. Okay, well, today it’s Senselessness by Horacio Castellanos. Creepy, about a guy who’s editing an atrocity report.

Cell Phone or iPod: None.

Summer or Winter: Winter. Fewer distractions.

Ice Skating or Gymnastics: I can’t stand up on skates.

LA or New York: NYNYNYNY. I once spent a year away and pined nonstop.

Skiing or Snowboarding: Sledding on innertubes.

Chocolate or Flowers: Flowers.

Dogs or Cats: Dogs rule.


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