John Corey Whaley Revealed
About John Corey Whaley
What is your birthdate?:1/19
Previous occupations:I've been an assistant to a Folklorist and a teacher. There may or may not have been some sandwich making at a certain sub chain in my past as well.
Favorite job:Writing was, is, and will always be my favorite job.
High school and/or college:I went to high school in my hometown, Springhill, Louisiana. I earned my Bachelors and my Masters from Louisiana Tech University.
Name of your favorite composer or music artist?:Sufjan Stevens.
Favorite movie:To Kill a Mockingbird / The Hours. It's a dead tie.
Favorite television show:30 Rock
- Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
- A. Formerly cynical with a renewed sense of wonderment.
- Q. What is your motto or maxim?
- A. Good writing is never forced.
- Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
- A. Perfect happiness? If it exists, I think it's less of a situation and more of a mental state. I don't think anyone, no matter what, can find perfect happiness until they understand exactly who they are and how every little thing they do can effect the world around them. I think perfect happiness would be a world where everyone is constantly striving to understand everyone else.
- Q. What’s your greatest fear?
- A. Tornados. And Sharks. And also being buried alive.
- Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
- A. I'd like to be walking across the Brooklyn Bridge.
- Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
- A. Edgar Allan Poe-but only because we're both writers and we share the same birthday.
- Q. Which living person do you most admire?
- A. Harper Lee-for writing a book that will never cease to be of vast importance.
- Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
- A. I tend to say "cool" a lot. And also "awesome." I guess it could be worse.
- Q. What do you regret most?
- A. I regret waiting until my mid-twenties to really start seeing the world. I think I should have taken more risks when I was younger and worried less about being ready to grow up.
- Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
- A. I would really like to play the mandolin or the violin. I'd also like to be a good singer.
- Q. What is your greatest achievement?
- A. Aside from getting my first novel published, I'd say my greatest achievement has been teaching public school for five years without freaking out.
- Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
- A. I tend to find humor in almost everything-even when I shouldn't.
- Q. What’s your best quality?
- A. Open-mindedness.
- Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
- A. I'd like to see what it's like to be any kind of bird, but just for a few hours or so.
- Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
- A. I have an annoying tendency to correct peoples' grammar. I try to restrain it, but I often fail.
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
- A. Atticus Finch.
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
- A. The Misfit from Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find".
- Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
- A. If I could meet any historical character, I think it would have to be William Shakespeare. I'd like to ask him a lot, but mostly questions about Macbeth.
- Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
- A. The use of double negatives or the misuse of the words "lay" and lie".
- Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
- A. Well, I'm a teacher, so I should say "teaching". Okay, we'll go with that...
- Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
- A. I'd like to be a travel writer.
- Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
- A. Kindness, open-mindedness, and a good sense of humor.
- Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
- A. Pizza. It would definitely be pizza.
- Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
- A. "Casimir Pulaski Day" by Sufjan Stevens, "Hey Jude" by the Beatles, "Staring at the Sun" by TV on the Radio, "Nocturne in C-Sharp Minor" by Frederick Chopin, and "Cliquot" by Beirut.
On Books and Writing
- Q. Who are your favorite authors?
- A. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Jonathan Safran Foer
- Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
- A. 1. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
2. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
- Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
- A. I love rereading The Catcher in the Rye.
- Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
- A. Yes. Wait until a story comes to you that you have to write; wanting isn't good enough.
- Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
- A. "What is an asshat?" AND "Does it have a happy ending?"