Get to know our 2016 winner a little better with this Q & A session
Choose two famous people to meet for drinks. Tell us why.
Walt Whitman and Jack Kerouac. Whitman influenced Kerouac, and Kerouac influenced me to read Whitman.
What were your favorite TV shows as a child or young adult?
Whatever my dad was watching on the family console. The Honeymooners and Carol Burnett first come to mind.
What influenced you as a child?
My family. I was always proud to be a Hesslau—always proud of my dad, the Coach, my mom, the Lunchroom Lady, my four talented brothers, and especially my sister, a person I admired for her charisma and leadership skills.
Favorite movie quote?
“There’s a time for daring and there’s a time for caution, and a wise man understands which is called for.” – John Keating, Dead Poets Society
Cubs or Sox?
I grew up in a Cub house, and I now live in a Sox house. I’m actually more of a basketball fan, and I enjoy college sports more than professional sports.
What TV series would you binge watch?
Who Do You Think You Are?
What’s on your play list?
Bruce Springsteen, Peter Himmelman, and my favorite local band, the Yellowhammers.
When do you write? Do you have any habits or other notable tid-bits about your writing style?
Whenever I can get over to the Friendly Coffee Lounge (Berwyn, IL). If I’m in my writing place, then writing is my focus. As a teacher, I’m most productive during summer breaks.
Computer or Longhand? Why?
Both. Sometimes I need to throw down ideas in a notebook with scratch-outs and arrows before letting loose on the keyboard.
Dogs or cats?
I have two cats.
Favorite misused word.
Bemused. The word baffles me.
I shudder when… or pet peeve…
When people write their emails or posts, and they’re using the wrong word, I admit that there are times when I cringe.