Five With Gail Konop Baker

Today's Five With guest is a newcomer to Pilcrow Lit Fest, Gail Konop Baker, author of Cancer Is A Bitch, Or, I'd Rather Be Having A Midlife Crisis.

1. What are you working on now?

I’m writing a proposal for a book called ANATOMY OF A MARRIAGE.

Sex Love Sex Sex work Sex Nest Sex Kids Money Work Exhaustion sex Money Work Boredom Temptation Baggage Trauma Regret obligatory sex Frustration was that sex? Temptation Re-negotiation… or Bust.

My husband hasn’t seen the tagline yet…

2. What is your favorite part of literary festivals and why?

The palpable synergy of people gathering in the name of loving the word.

3. Who are your favorite small press mover/shaker types at the minute?

I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer this question but I do love small presses and lit mags and really they’re the only ones who have ever paid much attention to my writing… but I think I’ll say Literary Mama because they took a chance on my Bare-breasted Mama column and didn’t censor, didn’t try to rein me in. And they pride themselves on providing voice to the edgy, the unconventional, the marginalized, the other.

Also, I’ll add Amy Guth. I get a sense she has the energy to move and shake and make things happen...

4. Thanks, Gail! Which author do you wish was coming to Pilcrow Lit Fest this year who is not?

Grace Paley. I know she’s dead but I met her years ago at Dan and Whit’s in Vermont (Dan and Whit's?-ag) before I was published and after she gave one of her amazing readings and talks and said something like (and I paraphrase), Don’t write unless you have to, unless you feel it in your sternum (and she pounded on her chest). I didn’t realize at the time that I probably didn’t feel it strongly enough in my sternum, that it took years of struggle for me to feel it so intensely in my sternum that I thought I might choke. And I guess I wish she could see me at my first lit fest as a published writer. Also she always gave a reading that took the top off of my head.

5. If you were in charge of picking a theme song for Pilcrow Lit fest this year, what would it be?

Not to be self-serving but I’d pick “Mother’s Little Helper” from the CANCER IS A BITCH playlist (yes, there is a playlist that goes with my memoir). Originally I included it at the end of the book but it wasn’t practical to keep it in but if you e-mail me I’ll send you a CD of it!

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