What was your first publication?
This novel, The Good Mother of Marseille, is my first airplane out of the hangar. I consider to be my first publication. If you mean in journals, it was a poem, but so long ago in my twenties that I have no idea what it was. I have always written poetry, even when I was a child. Only recently did I begin to publish poetry again—my poem “Ambulance Rides” in The American Journal of Poetry. I began to write on our mom’s electric typewriter at age seven, or so the story goes, and I was writing poetry. I don’t know where I got the idea at seven to write in verse—perhaps from the Bible.