Interview with Kelly Romo, Author of Whistling Women
09 Dec 2015
Whistling Women is about two estranged sisters, Addie and Wavey. Addie has been hiding out at Sleepy Valley Nudist Colony for fifteen years because of a crime she committed–but the residents are all headed to San Diego as an exhibit at Zoro Gardens Nudist Colony, where fair guests can pay twenty-five cents to gawk at the nudists lounging around in the sun or exercising. Addie wonders if she has it in her to return to San Diego, and if she does, will her sister finally forgive her? It’s told through the eyes of Addie and Rumor, her fifteen-year-old niece who didn’t even know she had an aunt. Whistling Women explores the value of family and the sacrifices required to protect those you love. It is a story of the limited choices women had in the era—especially women who didn’t conform to society’s expectations.
What are you currently craving?
Jamoca Almond Fudge ice cream for sure!
You’re hosting a literary dinner party. Which three writers are invited?
I would invite Barbara Kingsolver, Luis Alberto Urrea, and Alice Hoffman because I’m a history nut and I love learning about other cultures.
What is the one movie that you can quote the most?
Chicago. I love the music, time period, and morbid humor.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
My very first dream job was to work at Winchell’s Donuts and my second was to be a marine biologist.
If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?
Of course my first choice would be Whistling Women. Every reader counts! My second choice would be A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn because I like the personal perspective to history and how historical events impact the average, everyday person.
If you had an extra hour each day, how would you spend it?
I’d spend it walking in the woods or kayaking. Being in nature replenishes me.
What’s your favorite quote or scene from Whistling Women?
My favorite scenes are between Addie and Daisy, especially the one when Daisy is livid because Fred, the fire-proof man from Ripley’s Believe-it-or-not Odditorium, dumped her for another woman.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
My motto would be- Do what you love and the money will follow—even if it’s not a lot of money, at least you’re doing what you love. My favorite quote about creativity is from Pablo Picasso- “Inspiration does exist, but it has to find you working.” My philosophy is to focus on and respect the humanity in each individual.
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