Marissa Bell Toffoli

Interview With Writer Bruce Littlefield

In books, humor, journalism, memoir, nonfiction, writing on July 10, 2013 at 11:47 am

Bruce Littlefield (and Westminster). Photo courtesy of the author (and dog).

Bruce Littlefield (and Westminster). Photo courtesy of the author (and dog).

An introduction to Bruce Littlefield, author of Moving In: Tales of an Unlicensed Marriage, which chronicles the first year of home ownership with his partner of 20 years, Scott Stewart. Littlefield’s other books include Airstream LivingGarage Sale America, Merry Christmas AmericaThe Bedtime Book for Dogs and the best-selling My Two Moms (written with civil rights advocate Zach Wahls), and Use What You’ve Got (written with ABC Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran). Originally from South Carolina, Bruce has designed and owned two award-winning restaurants, and Edgewater Farm, his 1940’s Catskills farmhouse, which he renovated and decorated himself, has been featured in numerous publications. Bruce’s number one tip for a happy life is, “Laugh. A lot!”

Quick Facts on Bruce Littlefield

  • Website: http://www.brucelittlefield.com
  • Home: New York City, New York
  • Comfort food: French fries!
  • Top reads: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Quincunx by Charles Palliser, Jumpstart Your Brain by Doug Hall, Green Eggs & Ham by Dr. Seuss, and Moving In: Tales of an Unlicensed Marriage by ME!
  • Current reads: South of Broad by Pat Conroy

What are you working on at the moment?  

Besides my house renovation, Dinner is Served, the adventures of my restaurant days.

What made you want to write Moving In: Tales of an Unlicensed Marriage?

Scott promised he’d finally let me renovate the house!

What do you hope readers will take away from your story?

A lot of laughs. And the realization that no matter same or opposite gender, there’s one in every couple who likes to make things look good and one who’ll walk across a newly cleaned kitchen floor in muddy shoes to see the results.

How do you choose your next book topic? What usually draws you to a story?

“I like to write about what interests me.”

It usually picks me. I like to write about what interests me. It gives me an excuse to find out more about something (or someone) that intrigues me.

Where and when do you prefer to write?

On the front porch at Edgewater Farm.

Do you listen to anything while you write?

Yes. I love the sound of the stream next to my house, and I also love the one-namers: Pink, Rihanna, Beyonce, Adele, Cher…

It’s been said writers can do their work from any place, where would you most want to live and write?

Right where I do!

Do you have a philosophy for how and why you write?

I write because I have to. I love telling a good story. When I write, I hope to capture a scene, a moment in time, so that someone else will get to enjoy it as much as I did.

“I hope to capture a scene,

a moment in time, so that someone else

will get to enjoy it as much as I did.”

What do you find most challenging about writing?

The blank page.

How have your goals as a writer changed over time?

When I was in third grade, I wrote in my Snoopy diary about my love of Claudia Velez and her “I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E” caramel cookies made with evaporated milk, hoping she’d be flattered and bring me more.  It worked.  Today, I’m hoping people will love my writing and bring me caramel cookies. 

Has your work in design influenced your work as a journalist? What about the other way around?

Both give me an eye for detail.  And much of my design ideas work their way into my books.

Is there a quote about writing that motivates or inspires you?

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.” ― Saul Bellow 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Always carry a notebook to write down your own genius thoughts and the clever things other people say. Do some freebies: write for your local paper, for your alma mater’s publication, or just write something for your grandma, because like gymnasts and singers, writers need to work at it to nail it. I always explain book writing this way: write a page a day and in a year you’ll have a book.

“Writers need to work at it to nail it.”

What’s the best advice you’ve been given as a writer?

Keep files of things that interest you. I have files on everything from holidays to inspiring quotes. When I went to write my book on garage-saling or Christmas or dogs, I had files chock-full of morsels to inspire ideas. When you asked for my favorite quote on writing, I pulled out my “Great Quotes” file.

Is there a question you find surprising that people ask you about your work?

People seem to always be interested in when I write. “Do you write early in the morning?” “Do you write late at night?” The answer is: I write whenever I have a deadline.

When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?

Garden. Workout. Read magazines. (And I often do those while I’m writing.) Just today I answered these questions while simultaneously transplanting three truckloads of pachysandra to prepare for my kitchen addition!

About Bruce Littlefield

Best-selling author and TV personality Bruce Littlefield is an arbiter of American fun. Hailed as a “lifestyle authority” by The New York Times and as a “modern day Erma Bombeck” by NPR, he is seen on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s Early Show, and ABC’s The View. He is the author of Airstream Living, Garage Sale America, Merry Christmas America, The Bedtime Book for Dogs and co-writer of the best-selling My Two Moms with civil rights advocate Zach Wahls, and Use What You’ve Got with ABC Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran. Originally from South Carolina, Bruce has designed and owned two award-winning restaurants, and Edgewater Farm, his 1940’s Catskills farmhouse, which he renovated and decorated himself, has been featured in numerous publications. His latest book, Moving In: Tales of an Unlicensed Marriage chronicles the first year of home ownership with his partner of 20 years, Scott Stewart, one of Manhattan’s top realtors.

Buy Moving In: Tales of an Unlicensed Marriage, preferably at your local independent bookstore.

[Toffoli, Marissa B. “Interview With Writer Bruce Littlefield.” Words With Writers (July 10, 2013), https://wordswithwriters.com/2013/07/10/bruce-littlefield.]

Moving In by Bruce Littlefield

Moving In by Bruce Littlefield

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