As a small town Kansas guy I don’t get too many opportunities to say “I knew him/her when .”

I first met Pintip Dunn in Kindergarten back in September of [redacted to keep Pin from killing me for telling her age]. Little did I know that that soft spoken girl would be a Harvard graduate, best selling author, and a woman who makes me proud to say “I knew her when.” I give to you now my interview with Pintip Dunn.

Steve: Tell us where you come from, like the basic stuff that goes beyond the dust jacket.

Pintip: My parents immigrated to the United States from Thailand, and I grew up in Parsons, Kansas, where I lived until I left home for college. Since then, I have lived in or near Boston, D.C., New Haven, and San Francisco. Now I’m back in D.C. (a suburb in Maryland) and have been here for the last decade.

S: You graduated law school. What made you decide to write instead of practicing law?

P: I’ve always wanted to be an author, ever since I was six years old, but I didn’t start writing fiction until after college. At some point, I realized that I wouldn’t be happy unless I was pursuing my passion. I transitioned by becoming a stay-at-home mom for a few years, and instead of going back to the law, I devoted my time and energy to writing instead.

S: What thought process do you use when you’re writing? Are you the “write in silence” type, or the “I’m ready to rock and write” type?

P: Oh, I write in complete silence. It might have started because I have fibromyalgia/RSI and therefore can’t type on a keyboard. I used voice dictation for years, and the program needs silence in background noise in order to work. Now, I write all my books on my smart phone (the keys are close enough together that I can tap them without pain), but I guess the habit stuck.

S: Where were you when you found out you had become a NY Times bestselling author, and what was your reaction?

P: I was in Bangkok, Thailand, on vacation with my family. There’s a 12-hour time difference, so I woke up at 7 am, local time, to a flurry of text messages. The first message I saw was from my friend, who was congratulating me on hitting the NYT list. The second message was from my agent, who *never* texts me, telling me to check my email. I was so confused because the list wasn’t even on my radar. I opened my email, and both my email and social media had exploded overnight. I found my agent’s email, which explained everything. At this point, my friends, agent, and editor had all known for several hours. It was utterly surreal.

S: If you weren’t a writer, what would you want to do?

P: I’ve asked myself this question several times, and I’ve never come up with a good answer. I’d definitely like to do something in the creative field. My answer also depends on whether the question is based on my real — or wholly fictional — abilities. If fictional, I’d love to do a wide variety of things — cook, dance, act! The possibilities are endless. If real, I’d probably go back to the law or do something writing-related such as edit or teach.

S: Those of us lucky enough to know you know you’re a notorious foodie, with an Instagram account that follows you gastronomical adventures. How did you become immersed in food culture? 

P: I just love food. My family loves food, my husband loves food, my in-laws love food. So, I’ve always been and are currently surrounded by good food. It is one of the true joys of life.

And this last one.

S: Any message you’d like to relay to both your fans and people yet to pick up your books?

P: I’d like to say this (and this is also a message I tell myself constantly): Life is short. Live every day fully, so at the end of your days, you don’t have any regrets.

In my opinion the soft spoken girl I met in Washington Elementary years ago has come a long way.

Visit the website for her new book, Girl On The Verge