It wasn't hard to find our August Trelle Girl Boss. She's a compulsive spaghetti-eater, travels to fantastic places (check out her Scotland guide), and is releasing an amazing novel on Sept 9th.
Meet Alaina Isbouts.
We asked her a few of our favorite girl boss questions, and we guarantee you'll be impressed with her as much as we are!
What sparked your interest to begin your current career path?
I’ve known since I was in fifth grade that I wanted to be a writer. We had to write an essay for a D.A.R.E. contest and the winner would read their essay aloud at an assembly. I won, and as I read my essay aloud I realized that was what I wanted to do forever (writing, not public speaking!). My ideal job would have been at a magazine, but it was shortly after college that magazines began to fold by the fistful and there were no staff writing jobs anymore. It wasn’t until my husband got a job offer that took us to Boston that I was able to leave my job I didn’t love and start writing full-time. It was a natural transition for me, and within a few weeks of us settling in Boston I started working on the book. Since then I’ve tried to keep the momentum going with essays, which is my real passion.
What inspires you?
As a writer of nonfiction, it’s almost always true stories, usually things that have happened to me. I often times feel that I haven’t truly processed something until I’ve written about it, and a lot of my work explores past hurts, childhood experiences, or things from my adolescence. I’d say 99% of the time my inspiration strikes when I’m alone. It’s best when I can have time inside my own head. I have a home office, but my favorite place to write is Union Station terminal in Denver — I just love the energy of people coming and going.
What do you do when you feel like you have run out of motivation or are uninspired?
I stop. I’ve found the worst thing I can do is force it — if I keep writing after I’ve lost the moment, it’ll all have to be re-written later, anyway. So I usually switch gears. Work on a different project, listen to music, paint. I like to change my scenery if I can, though that’s not always possible. Get up to the mountains or away to the beach, or even just take a train ride and people watch with my headphones on. That helps me a lot, just zoning out and listening to music. My mind wanders and inspiration can strike.
What do you enjoy doing outside of your career?
My husband and I are big travelers, with and without our kids. We leave the country at least once a year, and take our kids with us pretty much wherever else we go. In the last year we’ve visited Ireland, Scotland, Hawaii, LA, New York (twice), Montreal, Columbus, and Boston, and will be leaving for New Orleans soon. I’m also a big hockey fan, so going to Avalanche games is one of my favorite things. I love to read, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the occasional binge-watch of a good TV show. Right now I’m all about The Americans.
What are the things you always pack for a trip?
I’m the perennial overpacker. I’d rather have something and not need it than the other way around. But I don’t go anywhere without my Damn Good Face Wash, Toner, and Oil; a good book (never an eBook), my Line A Day Journal, my DSLR, and my cell phone. I like trying to dress for where I’m traveling, and never travel with a blow-dryer, straightener, and only with minimal makeup. I’m much more wake-up-and-go when I travel than I am at home, for some weird reason.
Favorite places in Boston?
I’ve got such a soft spot for the North End. I easily could — and have — spent a day sampling bolognese and popping into bakeries. We used to live in the South End, right on Tremont Street, which will always be one of my favorite parts of Boston, too. I’ve said a hundred times that I think the food scene in Boston is better than New York, and I have a hard time not going to my same favorite restaurants when I’m back in Boston. Cinquecento, Gaslight, Saraceno’s, Stella, Flour, the Buttery… I can never get enough. In case you can’t tell, my favorite thing to do in Boston is definitely eat.
(Okay. Enough said. We love her.)
Oh God, I hate to admit it, but Grey’s Anatomy. I’m fully aware of how bad it is, but sometimes when my husband is out of town, and I’ve put my kids to bed, I just need to zone out. I’ve tried to quit watching that show like four times and just can’t stop. It’s the worst.