About Spencer Quinn
Q. What is your birthdate?
Q. High school and/or college
A. Williams College
Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?
A. Louis Armstrong
Q. Favorite movie
Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
A. I wake up happy every day, but why?
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. Still time to figure that out. I'll have it posted on my tombstone.
Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. I'll know it when I get there. I hope.
Q. What’s your greatest fear?
A. Not being able to help those I love.
Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. Right here - I love Cape Cod.
Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
A. Neanderthals - who knows why?
Q. Which living person do you most admire?
A. Prominent people are so worn down by overexposure I find it hard to really admire any of them. Instead these days I seem to be admiring nameless people I see who just keep doing what they have to, sometimes with humor and grace.
Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. None, I hope. Can't anything be just right?
Q. What do you regret most?
A. No regrets.
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. That's easy - I'd love to be musical. I'd start on dobro, move on to trumpet, also take up drums. I'd writer lots of songs, sing on the street for money, make a happy fool of myself.
Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. Raising four happy kids.
Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
A. My volley, especially on the forehand side.
Q. What’s your best quality?
A. Probably for others to say, but maybe it's that I don't often lose my temper. On the other hand, loss of temper can be a useful tool, as I'm sure we've all seen, and therefore I'm somewhat handicapped.
Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A. One of those mountain men who first saw the Rockies.
Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
A. Again, probably for others to say, but maybe it's that I have my own take on just about everything; and again, as above, a double-edged thing.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A. Jack Aubrey
Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A. Raskolnikov - if you can call him a villain.
Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. Jesus. I'd like to know if the events of the past 2000 years have caused him to change his mind about anything.
Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. Human overpopulation.
Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A. Playing tennis.
Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. sense of fun, energy, optimism
Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. If You Were Mine (Billie Holiday), Black and Blue (Louis Armstrong), Recondita Armonia (Jussi Bjoerling), He Stopped Loving Her Today (George Jones), Milky White Way (Elvis Presley)
On Books and Writing
Q. Who are your favorite authors?
A. Graham Greene Dostoyevsky Nabokov Philip Larkin P.G. Wodehouse
Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A. Crime and Punishment Heart of Darkness Lucky Jim Scoop Bleak House
Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
A. The Aubrey/Maturin series.
Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
A. Find what's original about you and put it into words.
Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
A. Where do you get your ideas?
Q. How did you come to write Dog on It?
A. My wife said, How about doing something with dogs? The basic building blocks came to me right there at the kitchen table: two detective pals; narration by the four-legged one; and all in the first person, which I'd never tried before in a novel. Plus the most important thing - Chet would not be a talking dog (or be undoggy in any way) but would be a narrating dog. Anything that thinks and has memory must have a narrative going on inside. I went to the office - over the garage, commuting distance fifteen feet - and wrote the first page. Then I wanted to know what happened next.
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