About John Corey Whaley
Q. What is your birthdate?
Q. Previous occupations
A. 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.
Q. Favorite job
A. Writing was, is, and will always be my favorite job.
Q. High school and/or college
A. I went to high school in my hometown, Springhill, Louisiana. I earned my Bachelors and my Masters from Louisiana Tech University.
Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?
A. Sufjan Stevens.
Q. Favorite movie
A. To Kill a Mockingbird / The Hours. It's a dead tie.
Q. Favorite television show
A. 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?
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.Harper LeeJ.D. SalingerSherman AlexieDave EggersDavid LevithanJonathan Safran FoerFlannery O'Connor
Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A. 1. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger2. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee5. 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?"