About Adam Bertocci
Q. What is your birthdate?
Q. Previous occupations
A. Previous? I haven't quit my day job. I am a Final Cut Pro editor freelancing in film, television and whatever else you can think of. Before that, I was an assistant editor, and before that, a scrappy intern trying to become those last two things. Sorry, I have very few interests. I didn't spend a year on a sailing ship or healing the sick in India or anything.
Q. Favorite job
A. I worked in a Final Cut Pro lab in college. I got paid to sit there, surrounded by Macs, watching movies and playing on the Internet. I still miss that job.
Q. High school and/or college
A. I attended Bronxville High School in a tiny WASP suburb, and then went to Northwestern University, where I majored in radio-tv-film with a minor in English lit. I did the minor because I wasn't really up for the full spectrum, I just wanted to study Shakespeare. Bizarrely, I guess it paid off.
Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?
A. The Beatles. John had the iconoclastic spirit, but Paul was the better songwriter. I've learned to live with the split.
Q. Favorite movie
A. Ghostbusters. The perfect comedy.
Q. Favorite television show
A. Of all time: "Black Adder". Of all time, American: "Frasier". Currently running: "Glee".
Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
A. A series of unmitigated failures I'd never trade.
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. If you carry an umbrella it won't rain.
Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. There's no such thing in this world, at least not for me. I've learned that the goal isn't to get rid of all the things that make you sad. It's more a case of having them and being happy anyway.
Q. What’s your greatest fear?
A. Unending financial woes. Also, unpunctuality. My recurring nightmare is being late for something.
Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. I'm one of those guys who gets hives if he strays too far from New York.
Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
A. I was named for the Biblical Adam and I've come to appreciate it as the years go on. He represents man's infinite capacity to screw up.
Q. Which living person do you most admire?
A. It wouldn't be anyone you'd have heard of. I've learned it's best not to put much stock in larger-than-life role models.
Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. I've been using "God help me / us / us all" and its variants a lot lately. This strikes me as troubling on more than one level.
Q. What do you regret most?
A. Waiting till after college to educate myself on investments and financial literacy and the like. I could have made wiser choices with my money than just saving in a bank, and thus lost so much more in the late-2000s crash.
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. What is your greatest achievement?
A. My short films. They're my children. No, they're not famous, they're not flashy, they weren't an industry "calling card", they didn't land me an agent or a manager or a deal. They're something more important; they're part of me.
Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
A. I'm the last of the world's great pessimists. I believe that not only is the glass half empty, but the water's been poisoned and someone is planning to force it down my throat at an inconvenient moment.
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. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A. I think I'd enjoy being a house cat, and what's more, I think I'd be pretty good at it.
Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
A. I have a speech impediment. Nothing too crippling on the clarity end. Unfortunately it makes everything I say sound like it was spoken by the Comic Book Guy from "The Simpsons".
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. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A. Darth Vader. No contest.
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.
Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. Apostrophe misuse, specifically of the "I have two dog's" variety. No! No! Stop doing this, people!
Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A. I'm a video editor. It's important to have a day job you like, folks.
Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
A. Writer. (It's still a fantasy for me until you hear otherwise.) Also, movie titles designer.
Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. Honesty, humility and—I don't know if there's one good word for this, but I like people with a strong sense of themselves, their strengths and weaknesses, the whole meta thing.
Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A. Pizza. It's literally in my DNA; my mother ate pizza five days a week while she was pregnant, right up till the day she stopped working, which wasn't that far away from my arrival.
Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. "Let it Be" by The Beatles; "Pop Goes the World" by Men Without Hats; "Breakthru" by Queen; "Hardware Store" by Weird Al Yankovic; "And She Was" by Talking Heads
On Books and Writing
Q. Who are your favorite authors?
A. I don't think about 'favorite authors' in that way, but I guess I could list the authors who I will trust anything from—I see their name on the spine, I think, oh, I'll read that. Here's a good ten in alphabetical order: Douglas Adams, Dave Barry, Ray Carney, Michael Crichton, Robert Cormier, Roger Ebert, Alan Moore, Joe Queenan, William Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde. This is probably not a complete list. In all honesty, I'm not the most well-read person on the planet.
Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A. The top three I'm sure on, the bottom two are kind of revolving positions, but regardless. "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams "The Lord of the Rings" by JRR Tolkien "Watchmen" by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons "Fade" by Robert Cormier "The Pushcart War" by Jean Merrill
Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
A. I keep yearly compilations of "The Onion" near my bed. They make comforting night-time reading.
Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
A. Do not under any circumstances take career advice from me.
Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
A. Unfortunately, "full of win" and "epic", with "FTW" bringing up the rear. This is what happens when the bulk of your audience is on the Internet. Frankly, I'd much rather hear people say they hated my work.