Author Revealed

Revealing Questions

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

A. swaying in the dark, my son Ford asleep

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. Build the logic of your world and adhere to it unfailingly

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?

A. Sunday morning breakfast, winter, sitting before the fire with the New York Times, my beautiful wife playing with my son Ford on the rug. Being unashamed of what you do, and who you are.

Q. What’s your greatest fear?

A. regret

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

A. on a 45 foot sailboat skirting the Great Barrier Reef

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. my wife

Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?

A. But here's the problem...

Q. What do you regret most?

A. the petty cruelties of youth

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

A. To sing like Sam Cooke

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. my son

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?

A. belligerent arrogance

Q. What’s your best quality?

A. honesty

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

A. a writer

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?

A. scowling

Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

A. Neddy Merrill ("The Swimmer") or George Willard (Winesburgh, Ohio)

Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?

A. Ahab

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

A. Jesus of Nazareth - isn't it obvious?

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?

A. small talk, inane chatter

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

A. teaching literature

Q. What’s your fantasy profession?

A. Crazy fast outside linebacker, National Football League

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

A. Honesty, loyalty, imagination

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

A. A full English Breakfast

Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?

A. The Speed of the Sound of Loneliness - John Prine, More Than This - Brian Ferry, I Wish I Was the Moon - Neko Case, , Forever Young - Alphaville, Cello Suite No. 1 - Bach

Q. How did you come to write The Wettest County in the World?

A. I have many important memories of my time there, and of my grandfather; his quiet, hawk-like face, early rides in the pickup to feed the cattle, the staggering stoicism of this man. I also remembered the back utility room where he had a gun rack up on the wall. This wasn’t so unusual; in those days in Franklin County shotguns and rifles hung from nearly any flat surface, and in many houses they still do. What struck me about this particular gun rack was the pair of rusty brass knuckles hanging from a nail just below the gun rack. As a young boy the idea of a man putting on the heavy, metal implement, purely designed to crush another man’s face, was a thrilling prospect and I spent long periods of time gazing at those brass knuckles. To me they represented something remarkably primal, hanging there below the guns, as if to say: if you are still alive when I run out of bullets I will pull this hunk of metal off the wall and pummel you into unconsciousness. Back at the dinner table my grandfather’s heavy, placid face would take on a whole new light. I was terrified of him and fascinated about the life he had led.

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