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Amy Hunter at Ambivalent Muse was recently interviewed by Joan, another blogger. Joan asked Amy five questions and Amy posted the answers on her blog. This is a bit of twist on the typical blog meme in that the questions are more personal.

Amy offered to come up with five questions for any reader who wanted to be interviewed in a similar manner. I was game.

Her questions are in bold. My answers are not.

1. You like to Frankenstein the talent pool. Who would you pair yourself with, and why?

I actually haven’t given this much thought. Mostly because I have too much fun pairing other talented people. While there are creative people I admire (Dave Matthews, Trent Reznor, Neil Gaiman, Bono, Enya, Moby, Christopher Moore, etc., etc.) and I think it’d be fun to work with any one of them on a project, I’m very aware of how unrealistic this is. We don’t travel in the same circles and I’m not sure I could offer them anything in the way of talent that they can’t already find in the creative people they are surrounded by.

I could see myself working with an illustrator, having something I’ve written illustrated by another artist. One of my sons (or both), if they would like to, or maybe Adam Phillips of Bitey of Brackenwood, or Rob Sheridan, artistic director of NIN, who is also an illustrator. There are tons of marvelous illustrators out there and I’d want someone to work with who could capture what I’ve written and make it visual in an interesting way.

2. Working for a museum sounds interesting. How did you end up in that career?

Completely by accident. I was an art major in college (and, yes, I do see the irony in wanting to work with an illustrator when I could just as well create my own drawings). During my final quarter, I was pregnant with Eldest Son. Between my three pregnancies, I held a variety of part-time jobs, one of which was as an administrative assistant with the local tourism bureau. When I got pregnant with Young Son, I got monstrously sick and resigned from the tourism job because I was in no condition to work. I stayed home with the children until Young Son was 17 months old. At that time, I saw an ad in the newspaper for an office assistant at the local historical society. Turns out that my husband’s parents were involved with the society, so I asked if I could apply for the job, thinking the nepotism thing would disqualify me. They said they couldn’t NOT let me apply because that would be discriminatory the other way, so the board put together a personnel committee and that’s who hired me. I’ve been there since – going on 13 years now.

The work is very interesting because there is so much variety to it. Whatever you can think of as happening in a museum, I’ve probably done it, from bookkeeping to research to building exhibits to writing newsletters and books to designing our website to leading tours to accessioning artifacts to cleaning the bathrooms to . . . the list goes on and on. I’m currently writing a technical leaflet that will teach people how to research the history of their homes.

3. Have you always lived in smaller towns and cities, and would you ever move to a big city?

I’ve lived in one small city for the majority of my life, where I currently live in Central Minnesota. When I was teeny tiny, my parents moved us around to places like St. Cloud, Minnesota, and Racine and Madison, Wisconsin. My dad worked for Woolworth’s, which is what brought him to town. The company kept moving him around. When it decided my dad should go to a rough area of Chicago, my dad quit and we moved back to town.

When I was in college, I lived in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and my Hubby and I lived in the Twin Cities for a couple of months while he went to a technical school there, so I’ve spent a little time in bigger cities. I like the fact that big cities have public transportation.

I can’t say whether I’d move to a big city. I like small town life, but when my family and I went to visit my brother in Portland, we really enjoyed it. Portland is a big city that feels like a small one.

4. I don’t remember you blogging about pets. Do you have any or have you ever had any?

We have three cats, Stinky, Inky & Rosalyn. When I was growing up, we had lots of different pets (a snake, turtles, dogs, cats, birds, a hamster, fish), most of which I had to take care of. by default because my siblings didn’t want to take the time. I love our kitties, but am determined not to have pets that require too much care because we are constantly on the go and I wouldn’t want to have to leave them.

5.  With a nod to Neil Gaiman: If you could keep your current life and the things you love, but you also had an “other Mary” who could live a different life, what would “other Mary” do? There’s nothing sinister about the “other Mary” world, by the way–you simply get to enjoy two lives.

Should the “other Mary” have button eyes?

Hmm. I am already living the life I want to live, so from that respect, there doesn’t need to be another Mary. If I had an “other Mary” roaming around, I think I would want her to have an excellent singing voice. My own singing voice is GAK! It would be interesting to try on a different career, either naturopathy with an emphasis in acupuncture, or electrician. I’ve had some experience with both in my “this Mary” life, and both would take the dedication of another lifetime to do well.

The beauty of being a writer is that I can investigate these interests and more and assign them to my characters, all of whom have a little bit of the “other Mary” in them.

Good questions, Amy! Thanks for interviewing me.

Anybody else want me to interview them? Let me know …

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