J. California Cooper (one of my favorite storytellers!) tells Marita Golden she loved telling stories with – and to – her paper dolls growing up.
M.G.: I read in an article that you played with paper dolls.
C.C.: Until I was 18.
M.G.: What did you like about paper dolls?
CC: You could tell a story. And that was that. The fact is, they were paper, so they couldn’t do it without you. It was the fact that you had somebody who could stand there and say, “Oh Howard, don’t do that.” My mother said you could put me in a room by myself and shut the door and you’d think a crowd of people were in there if you didn’t know I was in there by myself, because I talked to myself.
M.G.: And you were never alone when you were in your world of imagination.
C.C.: Right. That’s why when I was 18, my mother got scared and thought I was retarded or something….
I loved this book because it affirmed so much of what I knew, experienced, and felt as a writer, and because reading it feels like being in the company of a bunch of people who “Get it!”
Do you have a favorite book about writing or the writing life? If so, do share. And tell us why.