Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Writer Wednesday: A Giggly Chat with Mary Roach

Mary Roach

When I decided at Goucher College that I was going to write my thesis about people who worked with death, the first thing that classmates asked was "Have you read Stiff by Mary Roach?"  Inside my head, I was like "Have you met me? I'm kind of a wimp when it comes to all things death related" but my outside voice said, "No, but I intend to."  

When you decide to take on a subject like death and you haven't had much personal experience with it, you read.  I read many books on death and, well,  they were kind of depressing.  But then I read "Stiff."  And let me tell you, I was like Mary Roach where have you been all my life?  I laughed, and I'm talking out LOUD.  Up until that point, nobody but David Sedaris could make me laugh with a book in my hand.  So I sent her an email to let her know that she officially kicked his ass.  And she responded within minutes, cementing my adoration for her.  (I still love you David.  Let's have coffee some time! In France. With pastries.) 

Well, that was a couple of years ago and last week I sent her another email to see if she'd talk to me right here on this blog.  And she said YES!  How cool is that?   

Mary Roach has written four wonderfully fun and informative nonfiction books about cadavers, the afterlife, sex and space. Her newest book, "Gulp" (And no, it's not about the Big Gulp at 7/11) is coming out in 2013.  I talked to her on Saturday, May 12, 2012.  You can listen to our chat right down there.  Just keep in mind that I do not have the mad radio interviewing skills of someone like Terry Gross. There's giggling, some death talk, a little writer stuff and we end with a discussion of our mutual love of tacos in San Francisco.  Enjoy!


14 comments:

  1. I love how you chose to interview her! It's always special hearing the conversation at hand rather than just seeing it written!!!!

    I look forward to future posts! It was great getting to know why she chose to write about death! Such a hard subject for several!

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    1. She preferred talking on the phone,which totally freaked me out initially, and I really dislike transcribing interviews so it worked out well in the end.
      Thanks for commenting!

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  2. San Francisco spoiled me for tacos also. I moved to Oklahoma about a year ago and sadly, there is nothing near a decent taco around these parts.

    I like that you've taken the subject of death on in your blog. After all it happens to us all but most of us are afraid to talk about it. Thanks for opening up the discourse.

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    1. San Francisco spoiled me for a lot of things. I miss it, especially the tacos!

      You're welcome! Thanks for joining the conversation.

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  3. She has a lovely sense of humor and you did a wonderful job with the interview, Pam. Enjoyed the North Dakota tidbit and her suggestion of putting the sweatered body outside, propped next to a tree until the storm passed.

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    1. She was a hoot and the North Dakota part about the dead body set outside is priceless.

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  4. You did a great job with the interview. Loved it!

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  5. I'm catching up on stuff now - I need to wait until the weekend to give this my full attention but I REALLY look forward to doing just that. Be back then!

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  6. Such a cool interview. You guys are getting me more and more interested in getting this topic out there!

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  7. This was great! I loved that we got to hear the conversation instead of seeing it written - it was so neat hearing you guys just bantering back and forth. Lots of personality, you two. You should definitely do this again.

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  8. I will most definitely do this again. I've got a few authors on my wish list, so we'll see who materializes next week.

    Hope you had a good time on your trip!

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Comments are welcome and appreciated!