Seven Questions For . . . Virginia Heffernan

One of my favorite things about running The Picture Book Club has been the people it has led me to. Some are old friends who have offered new mentorship and support, some are fellow book people or entrepreneurs whom I've met through my work, and others are visionaries who inspire me from afar. I'm thrilled to introduce a few of them here.

-YiLing Chen-Josephson, Founder, The Picture Book Club

Q: What do you do?

I'm an author, journalist and critic. For my sins (I've always wanted to say that! Next up: "whilst!") I am also a consultant to tech startups and VCs.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about doing what you do?

Ooh everything. Working out ideas over time; testing my convictions and revising them in a wide range of sometimes-bruising arenas. Also supporting my family. 

Q: What's something you find challenging about what you do?

Same thing I like about it -- really taking in (as a reporter and reader) new evidence and opposing ideas and trying to let challenges to my thinking give me "grit" and resilience instead of...pain. 

Q: What is something you’re proud of?

Amazing harmony in my family life, after considerable upheaval a few years ago. 

Q: Who is someone who inspires you that you know personally?

Kevin Kelly, the writer, philosopher and co-founder of Wired, whose exuberant and kaleidoscopic prose, venturesome projects and technospiritual life are straight-to-the-veins inspiration for me.

And Ginia Bellafante, in a different key, who has a wonderfully sly style that, in her Times column "Big City," closes her subtle cases about urban life and conflicts before you know you're being persuaded.

Q: Who is someone who inspires you that you've never met?

George Eliot.

Q: What’s a picture book you remember as a favorite from your childhood?

Look Out for Pirates!




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The Picture Book Club will make a donation to Equality Now, the charity chosen by Virginia, for every purchaser who mentions this Q+A.