For this interview, we visit with Rebecca Kai Dotlich, poet and children’s book author:
Which celebrity, living or not, do you wish would invite you to a coffee shop?
As most of my friends know, that would be Billy Collins. And then Meryl Streep would stop by too of course.
Favorite city to visit?
I’m not a far and wide traveler, but the city I’ve always wanted to visit is any city in Switzerland.
Which book do you find yourself recommending passionately?
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. Friendly Fire by C.D.B. Bryan. On Writing: a memoir of the craft by Stephen King. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy.
What’s your favorite late-night snack?
I haven’t eaten late-night snacks since my college days at Indiana University. Strombolis. Delivered.
Most cherished childhood memory?
Oh, so many. Piling into the station wagon on a summer night to go to the drive-in in our pajamas. Watching Roy Rogers and Sky King on Saturday mornings. The smell of baby dolls and new saddle oxfords.
First love 8th grade, Dennis. First date, high school and I am pretty sure it involved a double date and a drive-in.
Tea? Coffee? Milk? Soda? What’s your favorite go-to drink?
Coffee. Growing up, there was always a pot percolating in our house. My grandmother made me coffee from a very young age. She added lots of cream and sugar and called it Boston coffee. I still love it that way.
Favorite season of the year?
Fall. Why? The chill in the air. The freshness. The newness. Reminds me of new beginnings, sweaters, and school supplies.
What’s your dream vacation?
Being in a little town with bookstores, art museums, cobblestone streets, lamplights and nothing but time.
What gives you shivers?
Heights. Burgess Meredith. (Twilight Zone. “Time Enough At Last.”)
Morning person? Night person?
All of my young adult and adult life I was both. Easy up at 5 and to bed after midnight or 1 o’clock. Now I’m more of a morning person.
What’s your hidden talent?
Nada. Except maybe a good recall of song lyrics. And baking darn good Christmas cookies. Oh yes, and imaginative concept photography. (uh-huh, well it’s on the bucket list.)
Your favorite candy as a kid?
Sky Bar. Rock candy (icy clear, never colors.)
Is Pluto a planet?
Wait, I have to google that . . . seems it depends on the year, the poor guy keeps getting demoted. His head must be spinning.
Brother and sisters or an only child? How did that shape your life?
A big brother and a little sister. Big brother ruled the land of siblings, so I am used to not squawking much when it comes to following rules suggestions. He also taught me by example that books in the hand, on the shelf and splattered on the bed are the best treasures of all. Little sister passed me the opportunity to rule in the land of siblings. And also to feel responsible to look out for someone, which fortunately or unfortunately I still feel compelled to do.
Your hope for the world?
Besides peace, love and kindness, it would be for the eradication of bullying, and more understanding of, and compassion for, depression and other mental health issues, especially for our youth.