Amy Hassinger

recorded in Champaign/Urbana, IL

 

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Amy Hassinger

I’m Amy Hassinger and I live in Urbana, Illinois


The Knox Writers’ House

How did you get here?


Hassinger

Ah, it’s a long and winding road of a story. [Laughs.] I grew up in Newton, Massachusetts. And then, moved out to California for a couple years, I met my now-husband and we moved to Maine. He was working on his Masters and eventually his PhD and his advisor moved to Iowa, so we moved to Iowa. He finished his PhD, we moved to Michigan, and now we’re here. So. [Laughs.] We’ve done sort of the Midwest tour.


KWH

Do you participate in a writing community here?


Hassinger

I do. Just this year, I guess it’s been a year—last summer, I started a writers’ group, of which Audrey is a part. We meet once a month and share our writing. It’s really good. It’s so easy to get isolated as a writer, especially if you’re not connected—well, some of the writers here are connected to the University, so they have a kind of a built in community, though I don’t know if they would necessarily say that. I value that a lot, that writers’ group.


KWH

Do you think it’s important for a writer to be part of a community?


Hassinger

You know, I think it depends on the writer. I’m somewhere between an extrovert and an introvert. A lot of writers are more introverted and don’t necessarily want that. It also depends where in a book I am. I worked on the novel I’m working on now for a few years before I felt like I really wanted to share it with anybody. Then, I got to a point where I thought, “I’ve really got to get people to start reading this because, you know, I’m going crazy in my own head.” But especially with novels, you have to get yourself far enough along that your vision isn’t going to be completely knocked out of whack by other people commenting on what you’re doing. Last summer was when I got to that point. And I was feeling isolated, just wanting to make connections with other writers. Obviously, I’m biased, but there’s almost nobody else’s company I enjoy more than the company of other writers. Writers tend to be very open-minded people, they tend to be very curious. It’s a way of looking at the world you don’t necessarily find in a lot of other people.

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