Author Revealed

About Chris Bohjalian

Q. What is your birthdate?

A. 8/1

Q. Previous occupations

A. Advertising executive

Q. Favorite job

A. Novelist

Q. High school and/or college

A. Bronxville High School; Amherst College

Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?

A. WAY too humiliating

Q. Favorite movie

A. The Right Stuff OR Sophie's Choice

Q. Favorite television show

A. The Office

Revealing Questions

Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?

A. Spectacularly blessed -- though still challenged by my iPhone

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. "Have we learned nothing?"

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?

A. I am always happiest when I am with my wife and my daughter.And when we are together in -- Warning, Mid-Life Novelist Cliche Dead Ahead -- Italy, I am especially content. Give me my family, a bicycle, and a bottle of wine and I am one happy fellow.

Q. What’s your greatest fear?

A. Well, that's a cheery question. When we get past the basics -- fearing for my wife and my daughter's safety and worrying about their health and happiness -- leaving behind a mediocre body of work when I die.

Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

A. A village called Montisi in Italy.

Q. With whom in history do you most identify?

A. F. Scott Fitzgerald -- not in terms of talent, but perhaps in terms of demons.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. Barack Obama

Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?

A. Phantasmagoric

Q. What do you regret most?

A. Oh, Lord, I could fill library shelves with books of my regrets. But here is one: My first novel. It is the single worst first novel ever published, bar none.

Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

A. Singing well enough to be in a musical in the West End or on Broadway.

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. Raising a wondrous and big-hearted daughter, who happens to have the voice of an angel.

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?

A. Impatience and micro-management.

Q. What’s your best quality?

A. I am dogged. Alas, that's as good as it gets.

Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?

A. A very pampered cat. Also, a Major League baseball pitcher wouldn't be bad. Or a Tony awarding winning actor.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

A. Atticus Finch

Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?

A. I tend to prefer moral ambiguity to straight out evil.

Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?

A. George Bush. What were you thinking? Really, now? What?

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?

A. Loud cell phone conversations on beaches or airlines before the main cabin door has shut.

Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?

A. I like to cook.

Q. What’s your fantasy profession?

A. Broadway actor; baseball pitcher.

Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?

A. Generosity; curiosity; a good sense of humor.

Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

A. Pecorino cheese

Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?

A. Really, it would be embarrassing. Awfully embarassing. TOO embarrassing.

On Books and Writing

Q. Who are your favorite authors?

A. John Irving, Pat Barker, Ian McEwan, Joyce Carol Oates

Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

A. To Kill a Mockingbird The Cider House Rules Sophie's Choice The Joyous Season The Great Gatsby

Q. Is there a book you love to reread?

A. The Great Gatsby

Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

A. Care so deeply about the subject - find it so extraordinary - that you are willing to give it at least a year or two of your life.

Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?

A. I loved Midwives and I thought you were a woman!

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