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Tuesday, 20 November 2007
Getting to Know Feather Schwartz Foster
Topic: Author Interview


Feather Schwartz Foster the person:

1.  What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

 Independent; Head-oriented; Questioning

 2.  How do you think others would describe you?

 Depends on the person.  My husband would say, "Complicated.:  My daughter would say, "Somewhat remote, but interesting."  My closest friends would say, "Elusive - you have to know her intuitively."  My casual friends would say, "....but really interesting!"

3.  Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

History.  You can learn Sooooooo much. 

4.  Do you have any pets?  If so, introduce us to them.

 Scooter - my little white Westie.  Age 11 and a half.  Positively adorable.  If he were not a dog, he would be a happy-face.

5.  What is your most precious memory?

 I have several.  Thankfully, I am OLD enough to have several.

 6.  What is your most embarrassing memory?

Are you for real???  Do you think I would tell you?

 7.  If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

Probably be a professor or something like that.

8. In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

She was a decent person.  She was kind, harmed nobody deliberately, and helped when she could.  She enjoyed living and learning and loving.May she rest in peace.

Feather Schwartz Foster the writer:

9.   Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?

 What do you mean by a "real" writer? 

If it means that I was a "good" writer, I knew it by 5th grade.

If it means that I was good enough to earn money from it, I knew it by the end of high school.

If it means that I was good enough to earn A LOT OF MONEY from it, ah, I'm still working on that first million.

10.  What is going on with your writing these days?

 I have three books currently in print:  "LADIES: A Conjecture of Personalities," (Historical Fiction) about the OLD First Ladies - Martha Washington thru Mamie Eisenhower; "Garfield's Train," (historical fiction)  - about the death of President Garfield in Long Branch, NJ in 1881; and "T: An Auto-Biography" (children's - grades 3-8 or so) - about a Model-T Ford.  

Do not let the history part intimidate you.  I am a zippy and lively writer, and most people have found the books to be delightful rather than dull and boring.

I also have an e-book out called "On the Road with the Old Gals" - a little how-to-ish book about some of the lessons I've learned via promoting my books by lecturing.

I'm currently providing a monthly column for an e-zine called "SALUTE" - devoted primarily to a veteran's market.  My column is called "CinCs: Commander-in-Chiefs" - a series of zippy articles about some of our Presidents in their roles as Commander in Chief.  We will probably turn these articles into their own book next year or so.  You can check them out at and scroll down to "SALUTE."  It's free.

 I am also working on a non-fiction called "Presidential Lovebirds" - a series of comparative essays about some (repeat SOME, not All) Presidential marriages.  Very interesting - and written in a lively (not dull and boring) manner.

11.  What are your future goals for your writing?

 I would like people I admire intellectually to read, enjoy, and respect my books, understanding them for exactly what they purport to do: entertain(ish), but make people aware of the importance and delight of history, and perhaps even love it.

12.  Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

Filled with terrible habits.

Totally undisciplined.

But.... On the up side, I bring my own reference materials (I have an excellent personal library) to my town library, and work there in longhand.  I can get more done in 2 or 3 hours at the library than I can in a week at home.

In the summer, I multi-task.  I go to one of our local parks and bring my books and my "Lovebirds."  I work on my book and work on my tan.

13.  Why do you write?

To clarify my own thoughts.

14.  What writer most inspires you?  Why?

I enjoy writers who impart their thoughts/information well.  I seldom read fiction, since I only have a finite time to read and tend to "read heavy, write light."  That being said, I enjoy reading Gore Vidal, since he, too, loves history, and is a phenomenally good writer.  And Max Byrd, for ditto reasons.

McCullough and Doris Goodwin are two of my favorite historians - they write like they talk.  That's the best kind of writing!

15.  How do you define your writing?

Eminently readable.

16. In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

I read her stuff!

Feather Schwartz Foster the details:

17.  Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website?  Blog?; or

18.  Is there a place where readers can reach you?

See above.  There is a place to contact/email me.

19.  Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

LADIES: A Conjecture of Personalities

Garfield's Train

T: An Auto-Biography

On the Road with the Old Gals (e-book)

(The first three are easily obtainable at or barnes and noble.  I will be happy to provide autographed copies if anybody wishes to contact me through my website.)

20. For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

They will get a new look at history - and probably enjoy it.

In conclusion:

21. Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers-what would you like them to know about you and your writing?

Several months ago, I did a talk for a women's group, and there was a gal there - around 35 or so - who came to me afterwards and said, "Where the hell were YOU when I was going to high school?  I HATED history.  It was so dull and so boring and such a chore to learn.  YOU should have been my teacher!  You just made it my favorite subject!"

I am not a teacher, and never wanted to be one.  People have told me I would be marvelous at it, but alas, they would fire me.  I am much too independent, and challenge rules - if they don't make good sense.  Too much red tape today - they bind your hands with Velcro, epoxy and electro-magnets.

So I write what I humbly think would make history come alive: the personalities behind the people who made history.  Yes, I know I take liberties with them, but I believe they will forgive me.  And I know that a few people might enjoy it enough to read further!




Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 20 November 2007 1:34 AM EST
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