Peter Ames Carlin Revealed
About Peter Ames Carlin
What is your birthdate?:3/13
Previous occupations:Student; free-lance journo; magazine staffer; tv critic
Favorite job:What I'm doing now, I think.
High school and/or college:Garfield High School in Seattle; then Macalester College (St. Paul), then Lewis & Clark College (Portland)
Name of your favorite composer or music artist?: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.
Favorite television show:"Mad Men," "Portlandia," "Daily Show," and etc.
- Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
- A. Hectic, fun and confusing. And yet well-intentioned. Mostly.
- 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.