Marilyn Holdsworth

Broken Pieces - Rachel Thompson

Friday, November 8, 2013

Author Interview – Reagan Chesnut @reaganchesnut

Image of Reagan M. Chesnut

What is your least favorite quality about yourself?

I’m still painfully shy.  I’m lucky that my husband is so outgoing!

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?

“Try again.  Fail again.  Fail better.” Samuel Beckett.  This is the quote I live my life by.  I learned a while ago that you can’t ignore failure.  I can’t stand the culture of “You haven’t failed.  It’ll work out next time!”  Actually, you have failed.  You’ll probably fail again, and that’s ok.  In order to succeed, you have to give yourself a moment to allow yourself to fully experience and claim your failures.  We all fail.  We have to learn from those failures. The next time we might fail again, but as Beckett says, we fail better.  We learn.  Eventually we succeed.

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?

I moved to another country on my own and successfully lived, studied, and worked there for 6 years. It has lead me to so many other things, such as my husband and, of course, our son.  I’m very proud of having taken the first step.

What is your favorite color?

Royal blue.

What is your favorite food?

Mashed potatoes.

What’s your favorite place in the entire world?

Skellig Michael off the West coast of Ireland.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing?

My father has a deep love of reading and learning.  That man goes through more books than anyone else I know.  From a young age, he would read me books that were beyond the recommended age level.  We were reading The Hobbit before I went into school.  I have no doubt that he is the reason I love reading and writing so much, and I’m trying to pass that on to my son.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I found a poem about a sailboat in one of my own kindergarten files about a year ago.  I’d say it probably started around then.

When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing since I could.  It became an outlet in middle school when I was bullied heavily.  I wrote poetry and submitted it to magazines. From then I got the submission bug and would submit short stories and poems every now and then throughout high school and college.  In grad school I became seriously interested in finding production companies for my work.  It’s only within the last two years I’ve returned to fiction.

When did you first know you could be a writer?

I don’t know that there was a moment because I don’t think there’s a “could be” about it.  I write, so I’m a writer.  I think there was more of an “I am” moment when I got my first finished manuscript, like “Oh, man, I’m a writer!”

What genre are you most comfortable writing?

I’m most comfortable writing for the stage.  It was an extension of myself to write The Little Boy, Who Was Precious, but I’m glad I did it, because I don’t think I knew I could until I did.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My parents had done so much for my family in our first year back in the US, and I had no money to buy them a Christmas present.  I wanted to give them something they could have as a memento of their first Christmas as grandparents, so I wrote them a book.

Who or what influenced your writing once you began?

For The Little Boy… I was influenced by the books my parents read to me as a child.  They had more text than a lot of my son’s books do now.  I wanted to write something more challenging than the 500 word children’s book.

Who or what influenced your writing over the years?

I think I find a little bit of influence in the works every author and playwright I read.

Reagan Chesnut

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Genre – Children’s

Rating – G

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