My Life in 8 Words
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. If you carry an umbrella it won't rain.
Q. What’s your best quality?
A. I'm incredibly honest (to the point where some might consider it a flaw). For a less controversial choice, I'll drop everything to help a friend.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A. Rocky Balboa, Batman. I guess I like 'em in that sublime space between the human and the ridiculous.
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. Good question. In the field of writing, I'm jealous of those guys who can put together plots like clockwork, especially when it all comes together and connects. This covers all sorts of genres, from Alan Moore to a million mystery authors to the "Seinfeld" writing team.
Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. My brand image will suffer if I don't say "Shakespeare" here. But I've visited his grave twice (and you have to pay, you know) and there's nothing to say. I think I'd ask a very simple but revealing question, like, which play did you personally enjoy most, or which part would you have enjoyed playing. Look, I've met a lot of famous people and every time I've tried to ask a deep question it's gone nowhere.
May 05, 2014I have begun contributing in highly intermittent and erratic fashion to Off the Shelf, Simon & Schuster's new blog for people to talk about favorite books from the past. (And not just ones published by S&S, I swear. Seriously, I'm doing quite a bit of advertising for their competition.)
For scheduling reasons I don't fully understand this is Bertocci week over at Off the Shelf, and not one but three posts from me will be on offer by Friday—a two-part reading list for fans of my mashup Two Gentlemen of Lebowski, and a review of one of my favorite humor books, Red Lobster, White Trash and the Blue Lagoon by Joe... see more
July 02, 2013In the publishing industry, we have what are called "comp titles". When we pitch a book, we point out books that are similar to it that have succeeded in the marketplace.
Today, a book very similar to my own Two Gentlemen of Lebowski comes out. I won't mention its name because my publisher owns this blog and my limit of bad taste stops juuuuust short of plugging my competition on a page that my publisher pays to host.
Suffice to say that it's a Shakespeare-movie mashup, and that there's a 99.8% chance I was its comp title.
I have surprisingly unmixed feelings about this.
First off, it's a relief to know that... see more
May 21, 2012If you're reading this blog, chances are you liked my take on "The Big Lebowski".
Well, my newest pop culture project also deals with a movie… my favorite movie of all time.
May 11, 2011Well, another year’s gone by and apparently no one’s asked me to deliver the commencement address at any of the finer universities. No graduations, no convocations. Not so much as a toast to deliver.
What follows is the speech I’d have given to a gathering of English majors, had anyone invited me.
It’s an honor to be here today.
I woulda paused and made some ad lib pleasantries here. Mentioned the Dean by name. Thanked the other speakers and distinguished guests. You know, turned on the natural charm.
Your program notes may have told you that my qualification for this gig was... see more