A Brief Interview with Emily St. John Mandel

Emily St. John Mandel ( Station Eleven ) will be reading at  The Difficult to Name Reading Series on Sat. Nov. 15  

Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven) will be reading at The Difficult to Name Reading Series on Sat. Nov. 15 

RS: Your latest novel, Station Eleven, is a finalist for the National Book Award. Have things been a little more hectic since you received the news? Or is it all exciting?

EM: Both. It's exciting, also I find myself desperately pressed for time and perpetually behind on email. Every day I go to my day job, which I'm reluctant to give up for health insurance reasons, and around that I do photo shoots and interviews and events. I feel extremely fortunate. I miss having time to write. I am typing this one-handed on my iPad on the F train between my day job and home.

You're a great champion for other writers in New York, appearing at readings and keeping up an active presence on Twitter. What advice do you have for writers trying to strike a balance between writing and having a presence online/going to events?

I only occasionally go to events, truth be told. I used to go to more, but what I've found is that I can work a day job and write a novel every two or three years and review books, but I can't do those things and go to events on a regular basis. My advice to writers is to only go to as many events and maintain as much of an online presence as you can without compromising your work. The work is more important.