A Brief Interview with Molly McArdle

 Molly McArdle (right) will be reading at  Difficult to Name on Saturday, September 9 . Photo also features Captain Janeway (left).

Molly McArdle (right) will be reading at Difficult to Name on Saturday, September 9. Photo also features Captain Janeway (left).

You're writing a book for National Geographic, which is very cool. Can you talk about what the book is about? One time I asked someone that and they said they weren't at a "pitching stage."

I'm not allowed to talk about the title because it hasn't been officially announced yet, but basically I'm writing a coffee-table book about food and wine and travel around the world. It's still insane to me, even though I'm several months into the project, that I'm doing this. Talking about it is harder still, like telling people you low-key won the lottery. In many senses I did, though the terms of my winnings are often exhausting: See the world! But at quadruple speed! And on half the sleep! Of equal importance is the fact that this is my job, one which I've worked towards for many years and which I'm good at. I haven't reconciled the dissonance between the incredible, opulent experiences I've had since starting this project (which feel very much unearned) and the knowledge that this is my legit work (which I have earned). I'm not sure I ever will.

What are you working on this fall?

Right now the National Geographic book is front and center. That being said, I long-ago blocked off a chunk of time starting later this month to finish this revision of my novel, which I'm very excited and nervous and nauseous about. I find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to work as a freelance writer full time and to simultaneously write fiction: I only have so many hours of writing in me in a day. So I have to make the conscious effort (financial, temporal, mental, etc.) to shift gears.

What can people expect from your reading?