I was on Oprah’s show recently talking about the people who impacted me the most. One was a teacher and one was my soccer coach. I didn’t even go into my family, who had the most influence.
I have good relationships with Hillary Clinton, Joseph Biden and especially Richard Holbrooke – he is my teacher. I learned a lot of great things from him.
My younger sister had kids before I did, and managed to earn a master’s degree while raising them as a single parent. Now she’s a brilliant second-grade teacher. I’m in awe of her ability to juggle everything and still be a great mother.
When I was a child I used to read books by Gerald Durrell, who founded Jersey Zoo. He had a job collecting animals for zoos and for a long time that is what I wanted to do. Later when I was a teenager I had a fantastic English teacher called Mrs. Stafford. Her enthusiasm made me decide to be a writer.