Bio and About Me
As a teenager Thalia Chaltas wanted to do everything, and she envied people who knew without question what their life goal was.  Thalia did preliminary training to be a kinesiologist, a helicopter pilot, and a fire fighter, and has at times been a bus driver, a ropes course instructor, and a contralto in an a capella group. Along the way she has played lots of volleyball, written poetry, and collected children’s books. And eventually, that anvil fell from the sky and she realized writing was what all this previous intensive training was for.

She has kept every poem she has ever written – except one.  Because she can’t find it.

Thalia lives in California with her daughter. 
BECAUSE I AM FURNITURE is her first novel.

Where do I write?

First, I will tell you where I usually do not write.  At home!  Why?  Because most of my life is there!  Laundry in a pile. A new blackberry ice cream to create.  Dust bunnies to pet.  Very distracting.

The Coffee Shop
The Coffee Shop is where there are people to look at, eavesdrop on, be inspired by.  It is the creativity gathering place.  It is not usually a revision place because if anyone finds out I am a writer, they sit down and interrupt me for a long time.  The Coffee Shop is a very good first draft place.

The Library
The Library is where there is a quiet cubicle.  Cubicles are boring on purpose. I get more done because it is boring to look at a cubicle and the only thing left to do there is what I came to do.  Write.  (No reading the books around me.)  The Library is a very good revision place.

The Beach
The Beach is where there aren't as many people as The Coffee Shop, but is not as boring as The Library.  It doesn't have to be on the water, but there should be some nature, because nature is more natural than a coffee shop or library cubicle, and therefore you write differently.  The Beach in Santa Barbara for me is usually Hendry's Beach.  The Beach in New Hampshire might be Odiorne Point State Park.  The Beach in St. Louis, Missouri, might be Forest Park.  The Beach in New Orleans might be Woldenberg Park.

I have written things in the NYC subway station, which is at times like the library cubicle (125th Street on the 1 after midnight) and at times like the coffee shop (14th Street at rush hour).  And yes, there is nature there.  Ever see those jumping mice down in the tracks?  Tiny.  But they can jump eight inches straight up.  Pretty cool to watch.  Nature. I'm telling you.

The Beach is a good "What I've Written So Far is Boring and I Need a Fresh Outlook" place.

At Home
I actually can write at home, but I'd better have a looming, glowering deadline to get anything done.  And in order to ignore those adorable dust bunnies around me, I have to pretend I am in a cubicle in a dungeon below sea level in Western Holland.  I have heard that Western Holland is mostly under water already, so there's pressure to write quickly and well.


Favorite Embarrassing Childhood Moment:
The only day I wore that red polka-dotted underwear.  I usually didn't care in first grade if I wore a skirt on the monkey bars and showed my bloomers. But I forgot about the red polka-dots this one day, and the boy I had a crush on (the fastest runner on the playground - is there any other criterion?) saw those undies.  He was probably horrified and could have been scarred for life, but I still know Matt, and he seems okay now.

Favorite Subjects in High School:
Science Fiction.  Biology.  Poetry.

Favorite Book When I Was a Teen:
House of Stairs by William Sleator

Favorite Line From a Movie:
"Hello.  My name is Inigo Montoya.  You killed my father.  Prepare to die."

Favorite Sport to Play:

Favorite Sport to Yell For:
Ice Hockey

Favorite Ice Cream: 
Home made vanilla bean - don't laugh, you've never had my ice cream.  I make amazing ice cream. Even vanilla. Especially vanilla.

Favorite Holiday: 
Thanksgiving.  Ain't no religion or creed in the world that can argue with just plain being thankful.

Favorite Pen:
I have an embarrassing number of fountain pens and inks.  But my favorite pen is a green ballpoint.

Favorite Artistic Thing To Do: 
Pottery.  I have been taking ceramics lessons for a number of years now.  When your brain is on overload, there's nothing like rearranging mud for distraction.

Favorite Thing to Do on a Car Trip: 
Crank the music and sing!  If someone else is driving, I will rudely read a book and forsake my passengerly duty of keeping the driver awake.

Favorite Animal: 
The Galapagos Marine Iguana.  Anything that can sneeze the salt out of its system is an incredible creature.  (What - you thought I was going to say a puppy?!)

Favorite Smells:
Cucumber, cedar trees in the sun, fall leaves, and horse sweat.  Not all together, of course.

Favorite Place I've Ever Been Camping:Bryce Canyon, Utah.  You can camp at 8,000 feet at the rim, with the ravens, mule deer, and hundreds of quail.  Then hike down into the canyon and you are on Mars, crazy red rock formations.  Go there.

Favorite Scary Place Ever Visited: 
Dachau, Germany (one of far too many concentration camps from WWII)  I went there when I was eight, and still remember the concrete hallways, worn down by so many feet.  When I stepped inside the 'shower room'  I just stared at the big shower head, imagining gas coming out instead of water, and my hair stood on end. What brings human beings to this?

Favorite Thing Passed Down to Me:
My Mom's jigsaw puzzle of an open box of chocolates.  Very difficult to do!  All those swirls on tops of chocolates, and the little crinkly papers they sit in, jeez.  And then the drool gets everywhere as you work.

Favorite Swear:
@*#@&#**!!!          (that's actually five words)

Thalia Chaltas - 14 years old