Favorite literary character:
Atticus Finch. He reminds me of my dad.
The Literary character you most relate to from childhood:
Any number of secretive imps who screw up and talk too much—the iconic Scout, and every girl Zilpha Keatley Snyder ever created.
There are so many—just don’t make it sweet.
Favorite type of books to work on:
Fiction makes me better, and nonfiction makes me smarter. Ghostwriting is like taking a master class. YA is so good right now, but I can get into tight plot and gorgeous language, no matter the genre. My special love is line editing. It’s as close as I’ll come to doing surgery. It’s both necessary and beautiful, like cutting out a paper snowflake.
The book you wish you’d written:
I still might write it.
CONNECT WITH LESLIE
Before founding Girl Friday, Lam worked as the executive editor of Seal Press for many years. She has written several books, including Women Who Eat, Ethan Stowell’s New Italian Kitchen, and Uncle Dave’s Cow, and collaborated on many others, among them In the Kitchen with the Pike Place Fish Guys, Mindful Parenting, Gender Intelligence, and Flex. She has an uncommon and lyrical degree, a MAMBA, which is a master’s in business combined with a master’s in English literature. She dropped out of her PhD program in English because they never got to read books, only meta-meta-criticism, which leached her joy.