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Five Questions with Lelah Baker-Rabe

1) When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Like a lot of writers, I've been writing since I was a kid. I came up with my first pen name around age nine--Luanna Claypoole, which would have made a pretty great historical romance author name, I always thought. But I didn't seriously decide to write fiction that other people might eventually read until I graduated college and realized that of all the jobs in the world, writer was both the most difficult and most appealing.

2.) What do you love most about writing?

I love the magical alchemy of sitting down at a computer and typing sentences that have somehow formed between the thoughts and images swirling around in my head and my fingers touching a keyboard. Writing is a mental exercise that has a physical component. Sometimes I feel like my body only exists as a conduit between my brain and the page.

3) What do you love most about teaching writing?

Everyone is on their own creative journey, but it's nice to know that though we may be on individual paths, we're not alone. I think writers can go a bit crazy if we don't have other writers to talk to, gain encouragement from, and commiserate with. It's wonderful when a small comment can unlock a major shift in someone's craft or process.

4) What are you reading right now?

I've been on a rom-com kick lately. I tore through both Jasmine Guillory's The Proposal and Christina Lauren's Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating. Guillory and Lauren are sharp, funny writers whose characters feel like they could be my friends.

5) What's your favorite writing quote?

"For me, writing has always been best when it's intimate, as sexy as skin on skin." --Stephen King

**Learn to write fiction this summer in Lelah's Intro. to Fiction workshop on Thursday afternoons

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