O : Now that the book's been out a few weeks, have you heard any funny stories from readers?

Alice: Yes! I got an e-mail from a woman who said, "[They thought] I was a tumor. I'm 59 and my mother was very much like you—she'd been told she was infertile. She'd been married to my father for 15 years, and when she said, 'I think I'm pregnant,' he sent her to a psychiatrist. But she persisted and went to a doctor who said, 'Oh dear, you have a large tumor; we'll operate on Monday, but go to the hospital for blood tests on Saturday.' She went for blood tests and they said, 'Guess what, you're pregnant!' She said, 'I was going to be surgically removed on a Monday but luckily my mother carried me to term, and here I am 59 years later.'"

O : When you finally decided to perform your story what was the most difficult aspect of doing it in front of an audience?

Alice: Performing it wasn't the raw terrifying experience I'd anticipated it would be. Once I figured it out, it was fulfilling and healing to share with people directly. And the timing—performing it after writing the book—certainly helped because I had already really worked through my emotions. I was in a different place.

O : What are you reading this summer?

Alice: I just finished a memoir called The Patron Saint of Used Cars and Second Chances by Mark Millhone, and I'm in the middle of a memoir called It Hit Me Like a Ton of Bricks by Catherine Lloyd Burns.

I'm reading a lot of children's books too—I finished the last in the Percy Jackson series to try to keep up with Eliana, and I'm finally getting around to reading The Hobbit , to catch up with the rest of my family. Michael read Julia The Lord of the Rings when she was little, and has started to read it to Eliana. I want to catch up and be part of the fun.

Start reading What I Thought I Knew and watch a video of Alice's performance.


Next Story