When I sold my first book I was working at a restaurant called the Flying Burrito. When the novel was published I felt like I’d been split into versions of myself: burritogrl and writergrl. Burritogrl slung salsa and came home from bad Friday night shifts with beans in her hair. Writergrl did hometown newspaper interviews and appearances at bookstores. It was really weird.

About a year after that first book came out I got an academic job and left behind my waitressing career. I am still nostalgic for it, sometimes. So Burritogrl is gone, for most intents and purposes. But Writergrl remains, the persona I have to take on when I’m doing promotional stuff. Writergrl is much more cheerful and easygoing than I am in real life. She has better clothes, too. But no beans in the hair. That I don’t miss at all.