Eva Hagberg Fisher on Lifesaving Friendships and the Art of Memoir

I interviewed Eva Hagberg Fisher for the Chicago Review of Books about writing, life, and her brilliant debut memoir, How To Be Loved:


“I had to find the heart of the story, which was really my transformation from someone who was loved but couldn’t feel it, into someone who could feel it. And once that became the central catharsis, everything else—eventually, with tremendous rewriting and editing—fell into place.”

“There’s a great line in The Killing, which I watched with Allison, and I don’t remember it exactly, but it was something about how the hanging out in the car, the driving around, the going to cases, that’s what the point was. It wasn’t the highlights and the plot points, it was the time in between.”

“My fantasy had been that I would go off to the woods and write from page 1 to page 240 and it would pour out of me, and instead if felt like building a car engine—it had to WORK. It has reinforced my beliefs that writing is a very technical skill that gets better with practice, and I was able to write this intensely personal honest book by thinking of it as work—just thinking, okay, does this bit connect to this bit correctly.”

“I read the manuscript out loud to myself every night to see where I felt like skimming or skipping, and then I’d rework that section. I also read the dialogue out loud to myself hundreds of times – deciding if something should be an ellipsis or a hyphen or a semi-colon.”


Complement with three pieces of advice for building a writing careerBarry Eisler on writing Livia Lone, and this radio interview about how creativity is a form of leadership.

Find more Fellow Traveler interviews right here and subscribe to my newsletter to find out when new ones drop.

Eliot Peper is the author of Bandwidth, Borderless, Breach, Cumulus, True Blue, Neon Fever Dream, and the Uncommon Series. He’s helped build technology businesses, survived dengue fever, translated Virgil’s Aeneid from the original Latin, worked as an entrepreneur-in-residence at a venture capital firm, and explored the ancient Himalayan kingdom of Mustang. His books have been praised by the New York Times Book Review, the Verge, Popular Science, Businessweek, TechCrunch, io9, and Ars Technica, and he has been a speaker at places like Google, SXSW, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Comic Con, and Future in Review.

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