MEET THE MEMBERS

Paige Hassall has been a member of WLT since January of this year and will be attending the 2014 Summer Writing Retreat in Alpine next month. She lives in Sugar Land, TX.

HassallHeadshot

Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?

I am working on my first novel, which is still defining itself. It has a young protagonist and elements of fantasy, but I hope and believe the story, themes, and characters will appeal to readers from young adult on up. I also took a couple of writing classes last year that focused on creative non-fiction, and this, too, is an area I would like to pursue.

Scribe: What authors would you like to have coffee or a beer with and which beverage?

Fyodor Dostoevsky, C.S. Lewis, Ayn Rand, Yann Martel, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Ann Patchett. Ideally, all together. And coffee. I no longer drink. Besides, I fear adding alcohol to that party could end in bloodshed!

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?

Wow. I don’t think any book I would want to be alone with indefinitely would have the benefit of keeping me sane. I would have to go for deeply engaged and essentially hopeful. Maybe The Brothers Karamazov, or Patchett’s Bel Canto.

Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?

I have learned that Texas is incredibly fertile ground for writers, with an amazing support network. I’m so grateful for the generosity of experienced writers, agents and publishers, and for an opportunity to connect with fellow sojourners on this path. I just can’t wait for Alpine!!

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?

I am working on arranging my life to make room for completing my first novel at long last. I see it as part of a trilogy and have hopes of traditional publication. But I also know that gifted writing comes not from the best-laid plans, but from being present and allowing it to happen. It’s a beautiful and fascinating process.

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion! 

I have a BA in Russian Language and Literature from the University of Pennsylvania (1986). I went on from there to graduate studies at Berkeley before realizing, ruefully, that I was not made for the bonds of traditional academia. I have been blessed with so many opportunities to experience life and art in this world, including working for the San Francisco Opera and American Ballet Theatre, living and traveling in Europe, Russia, and Africa, a brief stint as a ballroom dancer, and another as an interior designer… I now teach at a small Episcopal school in Richmond, Texas, and, at 50, I feel at last that my time has come to write.

If you’d like to learn more about our Summer Writing Retreat in Alpine or register for one of our workshops, you can find more information here:

http://www.writersleague.org/37/Summer-Writing-Retreat

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