About Peter Ames Carlin
Q. What is your birthdate?
Q. Previous occupations
A. Student; free-lance journo; magazine staffer; tv critic
Q. Favorite job
A. What I'm doing now, I think.
Q. High school and/or college
A. Garfield High School in Seattle; then Macalester College (St. Paul), then Lewis & Clark College (Portland)
Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?
A. Again, a listy thing. Obviously I have a thing for the Beatles and Paul McCartney; see also my book about Brian Wilson. Also fond of: the Clash; Loudon Wainwright; Bruce Springsteen; Todd Snider; and many more.
Q. Favorite television show
A. "Mad Men," "Portlandia," "Daily Show," and etc.
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. "Take it easy, but take it" -- Woody Guthrie
Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. Man, I barely know where to begin. It's a moving target. Some days it's seeing the smiles on my kids' faces. Other days it's more complicated than that.
Q. What’s your greatest fear?
A. Badgers. Angry badgers. Angry at me.
Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. In the past, doing things a bit differently.
Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
A. Me, as a younger person.
Q. Which living person do you most admire?
A. That guy who stood in front of the tanks in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. Are you gonna eat that?
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. Some kind of circus sideshow type of talent. Seems like a fun way to travel.
Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. As questions go, this seems like a set-up. No right answers. Let's move on.
Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A. A large albino worm on the ocean floor. They seem pretty chill.
Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
A. I can transform light into energy.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A. Tony Soprano
Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. Abraham LIncoln. "Duck!"
Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. Depends on the situation. For instance: sometimes M&M's don't just melt in your mouth.
Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A. Kicking myself for procrastinating from writing.
Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. Depends. Surprise me.
Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. Depends on the day. Or the hour. Or the minute. I'm serious.
On Books and Writing
Q. Who are your favorite authors?
A. Hemingway; DF Wallace; Tom Perrotta; Thom Jones; Michael Chabon; Ken Kesey; Phillip Roth; and on and on and on. A lot of white guys, it seems. I probably should branch out a bit.
Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A. These listy things give me the vapors. But here are some faves that cross my mind just now:"A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" (DF Wallace)"Collected Short Stories" (Hemingway)"Goodbye Columbus" (Roth)"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (M. Twain)"Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" (Wolfe)
Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
A. "A Supposedly Fun Thing...."
Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
A. Revise a lot and get used to criticism
Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
A. "I just found a typo."
Q. How did you come to write Paul McCartney?
A. Paul: My childhood hero; ongoing object of my admiration, my ire and perpectual fascination. How do you wake up, having been a Beatle, and figure out how to be something else? How does that legacy define you? How does it haunt you? I had no idea. So I wanted to find out.