Art, Writing, // July 10, 2014
Pat LaMarche – WRITER/ACTIVIST
1. Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Pat LaMarche and I’m a writer and an activist.
2. Why writing?
That’s like asking, “Why breathing?” From the time I learned to read and write, I have been writing stories. When my mom died I found a whole bunch of little kid stories in my little kid handwriting. I wrote my first multi-chapter book entitled “Around the House” when I was 8.
3. What is your earliest memory of wanting to be a writer?
I didn’t think about writing as a career until my senior year in college. Writing for a living seemed frivolous and impractical.
4. What are your favorite subject(s) and style(s)?
I write mostly non-fiction although I’ve dabbled in fiction. Actually, truth-be-told, I’m published mostly for my non-fiction. I guess being a journalist for a living precludes inventing too many stories.
I most like to write about people and their interactions with each other and fate. I write a lot of sad stuff, because so many people live sad lives. Most people triumph over the sadness, but not without feeling the pain.
5. How do you work and approach your subject?
I think a long time about things before I write about them. The best writing I do has been running around my head for a long time. Spontaneous great ideas generally get written somewhere as a note and then mature before I write them down for good.
6. What are your favorite written works, writers?
I love John Steinbeck, Victor Hugo, Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King: Writers that write about real people but use fiction to color the stories.
7. What are the best responses you have had to your work?
Just recently I was invited to be the keynote speaker for the Vonnegut Memorial Library for their “Night of Vonnegut.” That was pretty special. My new book brought praise from the likes of Senator Mike Gravel and labor leader James Hoffa. That was pretty cool. Because I write about poverty, I have been paired up with national homeless advocate Diane Nilan for the last few years. We raise hell on behalf of the downtrodden. We named ourselves the Babes of Wrath ala Steinbeck.
8. What do you like about your work?
I witness great courage. I meet silent heroes. I get to tell their stories.
9. What advice would you give to other writers?
Find a good proofreader and never let them go.
10. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
Recently I have worked with real visual artists who have lent beauty and imagery to my words. I wrote my first children’s book. I hope to be collaborating more fully with visual artists. Oh, and I hope I’ll be verbally slapping the living daylights out of people who despise the poor.