05 April 2007

Fusion Interview

Fusion, the weekly newspaper that ran the interview with me last week, is apparently "in transition." That means they haven't updated their website, so I haven't been able to post a link to the interview. So, for your reading pleasure, here's the Q&A I submitted, prior to meeting with the writer.

Hometown: I'm an Air Force brat and I grew up all over the world. My parents settled in Plattsburgh NY, so I generally consider that "home." I'm living in New Hartford now.
Biggest inspiration: My kids. They have so much energy and joy and wonder, and they make me laugh every day. And in the case of the Boomer Sisters books, they literally inspired me.

Artists (Authors) who influence you: President Theodore Roosevelt, G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis are my literary heroes, for the amazing scope, range, quality and influence of their writings. They influence everything I write. The Boomer Sisters books in particular were influenced by Chesterton's "Manalive," Stanley Kiesel's "The War Between the Pitiful Teachers and the Splendid Kids," Andrew Clements' "Frindle," and Eleanor Cameron's "Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet." My latest project is titled The Desert, and it's heavily influenced by Martin Bell and Ed Hayes.

Medium of choice: Spiral notebooks, college rule. Oh, and ball point pens. I went through 4 when I wrote "The Boomer Sisters Meet Champy." I seem to do most of my writing at 30,000 feet, when I'm flying somewhere for my day job.

My favorite piece: I know it sounds cliche, but what ever I'm working on now. I just finished a collection of short stories (for adults) titled "The Desert," and I love how it came out. Details are at http://TheDesertBook.googlepages.com.

Where to find my stuff: At the moment, my books are available at Lulu.com, the Village Toyshop in New Hartford and a few places in Plattsburgh. In the future, they will be everywhere (or at least at Amazon, which is the same as everywhere).

Craziest thing I've ever done for my art: Write a novel in 30 days, two years in a row. It was part of National Novel Writing Month, which is monkey-barrels of exhausting, caffeine-fuelled fun. I got up before 5 am almost every day for a month, because it was the only time I could set aside to write. Plus, in college I almost accidentally killed myself on stage in front of 250 people when I performed a home-made version of Houdini's water escape, but that doesn't have anything to do with my writing (yet). Obviously, I managed to get out, but it was close.

What I have to create before I die: I'm really impressed by the way G.K. Chesterton wrote in so many different genres - he did science fiction, detective novels, theology, politics, economics, travel books, histories, biographies... and I'm sure I'm missing a few. My objective is to create something like that. I want to write such a diverse set of books across so many different subjects that nobody except for my mom would be interested in reading them all.

Biggest misconception about artists: A lot of people think self-published books are low quality... and most of the time, that's true. But some really amazing books were originally self-published. Beatrix Potter self-published Peter Rabbit. James Joyce, Walt Whitman, TS Elliot and Henry David Thoreau all published their own stuff. These days, writers chose to self-publish for a lot of reasons, and it's not always because they can't convince a traditional publisher to buy it.

The book I'd want to see hanging on the NYT best seller list: Manalive, Orthodoxy or The Napoleon of Notting Hill, all by G.K. Chesterton. They are all brilliant, funny, thought-provoking books. They really should be read more widely than they are.

If you had an unlimited budget and could buy three pieces of art whose work would they be? First, I would love to own an original drawing by G.K. Chesterton (he was an artist as well as a writer). Winston Churchill is another fantastic writer, and he was a remarkable painter too, so I'll take one of his. Finally, I've always liked Jackson Pollock, so he'd be my #3.


Deb said...

I'd like to hear more about this water escape that almost went badly in college! I don't think I've ever heard that story!

Gabe Mounce said...

He's making it up. Right?