About Alan Katz
Q. What is your birthdate?
Q. Previous occupations
A. I've delivered newspapers, worked in my dad's children's shoe store, I wrote animated series, game shows, variety shows, TV commercials, and webisodes.
Q. Favorite job
A. My favorite job was writing for The Rosie O'Donnell Show for five years; every morning was a blank slate to fill with funny stuff. A great challenge!
Q. High school and/or college
A. Francis Lewis High School in Flushing, New York, then Queens College in (you guessed it) Queens
Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?
A. I really enjoy James Taylor.
Q. Favorite movie
A. My all-time favorite movie is The Jerk (with Steve Martin). Okay, you can joke about that if you want.
Q. Favorite television show
A. My favorite TV show is Curb Your Enthusiasm on HBO.
Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
A. Wonderful family, grateful doing what I enjoy most.
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. Keep reading, keep laughing.
Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. Perfect happiness is the moment when all my kids have done their homework and are busy with pre-bedtime activities that are personally satisfying and enriching for them, yet not overly noisy. I've never actually experienced that moment, but I hear it's wonderful.
Q. What’s your greatest fear?
A. My greatest fear is that each of my kids won't do all they can to maximize their incredible potential.
Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. Cooperstown, at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Never been there, but have always wanted to go.
Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
A. I have great affection for many humorists who are no longer with us; notably Jack Benny and Steve Allen
Q. Which living person do you most admire?
A. Not one living person; five. My wife Rose and our four kids.
Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. Clean your room. No one listens.
Q. What do you regret most?
A. I regret not brushing my teeth better as a kid. I now know if you just wet the toothbrush at bedtime, it doesn't actually help your teeth.
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. I'd love to be more musical. I don't play any instruments, and wish I could.
Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. My greatest achievement is developing the ability to make people laugh.
Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
A. My greatest flaw is procrastination. Can I tell you more about this later?
Q. What’s your best quality?
A. My best quality is my ability the humor in any situation.
Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A. I would be me. It's all I know how to do.
Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
A. My bushy eyebrows and bushy smile.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A. The joker
Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. I'd like to meet Abner Doubleday and thank him for inventing baseball. I'd also sing him songs from "Going, Going, Gone," 'cause I get the sense he'd love parody tunes about sports.
Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. Bad, inconsiderate drivers.
Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A. Writing is pretty much all I do.
Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
A. As a writer, I'm living my fantasy profession.
Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. The ability to laugh, the ability to laugh, and the ability to laugh.
Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. My favorite song is "American Pie." I have 4,235 choices for spots 2 through 5.
On Books and Writing
Q. Who are your favorite authors?
A. My favorite authors are Dan Gutman, Andrew Clements and Elise Broach.
Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A. I figure I've read well over 3,000 books; while there's no way pick the five best, it's usually true my favorite book is the NEXT one I'm going to read. In general, I love reading biographies and books about sports and entertainment.
Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
A. The Almanac. I crave information, and there's so such of it in there. I buy a new almanac every year!
Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
A. Write every day, whether it's a sentence or a novel, make sure you write something.
Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
A. My readers ask when I'm going to write a chapter book; I tell them I'm working on it (which I am!).