Saturday, January 31, 2015

Rebecca Scherm Stranded on a Desert Island

Please welcome Rebecca Scherm, author of Unbecoming, as she tackles our Desert Island Interview!

Rebecca Scherm holds an MFA from the Helen Zell Writers Program at the University of Michigan, where she currently teaches. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Jezebel, Subtropics, The Hairpin, Hobart, McSweeney’s  Internet Tendency and Fiction Writers Review.

Connect with Rebecca Scherm:
 Website      Facebook     Twitter    Goodreads

Rebecca Scherm Stranded on a Desert Island

     If you could only have one book with you, what would it be? 

This is the hardest question by far. I think Boccaccio's Decameron. I'm going to need a lot of stories to sustain me.

What one luxury item would you want to be stranded with? 

Lillet Blanc to mix with my rainwater and lots of it.

What is the one practical item you would want to have with you to use? 

A Swiss Army multitool! I have seen people drill coconuts with that thing, and I would have to learn.

Would you enjoy the solitude, even briefly, or would it drive you crazy? 

I would enjoy the solitude until the exact moment that I realized it would not end.

If you could be stranded with one other person, who would you want it to be? 

My husband! No one else could put up with me in that environment. 

What modern technology would you miss the most?

At first I thought the internet, the constant connection, but I wonder if the answer is simpler and more grim: antibiotics, ibuprofen.

What food or beverage would you miss the most? 

Cheese. I don't see that happening in my lifetime there, unless the island has goats.

How many days do you think you would cope without rescue? 

Cope? I would not cope. But if you mean survive? If I had my glasses, about 360. If I didn't, I'd be picked off my predators within minutes.

What is the first thing you would do when rescued? 


What would be your first Tweet or Facebook update upon your return? 

I doubt I would have any interest in social media at that point. Wouldn't it be overwhelming? Every day I feel on the edge of deactivation; surviving life alone on an island would no doubt push me over.


On the grubby outskirts of Paris, Grace restores bric-a-brac, mends teapots, re-sets gems. She calls herself Julie, says she’s from California, and slips back to a rented room at night.  Furtively, she checks her hometown newspaper online.  Back in Garland, Tennessee, two young men have been paroled and Grace knows that once they are free, her life will not be her own.   

Riley Graham was the charming, favored small-town son who made Grace his own when the two were very young.  Embraced by Riley’s family, especially his  mother,  Grace polished her role as surrogate daughter and idealized girlfriend.  But she stumbles over a dark passion for Riley’s best friend, and flees Garland for Manhattan, NYU, and a seedy job with an art appraiser to pave her way into the competitive social scene.   This leads only to dropping out  and landing back home, broke and shaken.  There, using her new skills and a knack for re-invention, Grace begins methodically to plan a robbery of a local historical museum with Riley and his friends. The heist goes bad—but not before Grace is on a plane to Prague with a stolen canvas rolled in her bag, a new haircut and a new name.  And so begins a cat-and-mouse waiting game as Grace’s web of deception and lies unravels. Which part of her past will catch up with her first?

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