To celebrate the release of her new novel Hole in the Middle, Kendra Fortmeyer tells us a little bit about the author behind the book. 

Kendra Fortmeyer

Kendra Fortmeyer

When given the option, I prefer to believe in magic.

When I was 21 years old, my left lung spontaneously collapsed. It was my second day on the job as a forest ranger and I was very stubborn about showing weakness, so I didn’t tell anybody. Instead, I climbed a fire tower, took my driving test, and participated in a CPR class -- at which point I finally (and breathlessly) told my supervisor I probably needed to go to the hospital. I’d always been very healthy, and this was the first time my body betrayed me. It led me to think a lot about what we mean when we talk about the “flaws” in our bodies – and how isn’t a perfect body one with a beating heart and pumping lungs? How beautifully our bodies keep us alive.

I grew up in the country and had favorite trees. I live in a city now and still have favorite trees, although there are fewer to choose from.

As a child, I alphabetized all of my books by author last name. This is normal. Writing prices in each of them, establishing a late fee system, and parading your little sister in front of them in the guise of “playing library” is, perhaps, less so. Particularly when you try to collect the fines. That my sister 1) wasn’t scared off of books and 2) still speaks to me are facts for which I am deeply and quietly grateful.

I love my mother, father and sister very much. I feel I must have this on the record as most of the stories I write feature 1) no father, 2) only children, and 3) insane mothers. I’m sorry, slash, it’s not personal, slash, I don’t know, either.

I can’t write unless I’m reading, and reading good fiction. It’s like my tank runs dry – I have no words, no rhythm, no drive.

I also like to be near a window – my fiancé says that I'm like a house plant.

We bought our first house this spring, with lovely old oak trees and a huge garden. My fierce-burning goal (at the bottom of a long to-do list) is to put a Little Free Library in the front yard.

I can’t remember when I first considered myself a feminist. I think I’ve always been one, even before I knew the word. It just makes sense.

My blood type is also a life lesson: B positive.