From First Line: Donna Miscolta's debut novel, When the de la Cruz Family Danced has just been released. Her short fiction has appeared in Calyx, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, New Millennium Writings, Connecticut Review and other journals. Her short story collection, Natalie Wood's Fake Puerto Rican Accent was a finalist for the 2010 Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction. She has received literary awards from 4Culture, Artist Trust, the Bread Loaf/Rona Jaffe Foundation and Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs. She's been an artist-in-residence at Anderson Center, Atlantic Center for the Arts and Hedgebrook, and was recently awarded an NEA-sponsored residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She grew up in National City, California and lives in Seattle, Washington.
Welcome to the First Line blog, Donna!
First Line (FL): Donna, I read that you did not start writing until you were almost forty. Were you always an avid reader, though?
Donna Miscolta (DM): Yes, I’ve always been a reader except for a phase in high school when I sort of zoned out in the lost days of my awkward adolescence. Even the comfort of a good book couldn’t rescue me from a sense of displacement and disorientation – of not fitting in and not knowing who I was and where I belonged. But even then, I considered books things of wonder and thought that the creation of one was reserved for the divinely ordained – which is the reason, I think, it took me so long to give writing a try.
FL: You have a great story about how your novel, When the de la Cruz Family Danced was discovered and eventually published. Would you mind retelling it for us?
DM: The discovery happened after my novel had been turned down by over thirty editors.