A. When I was in college, I produced TV news and worked in a zoo. I also studied capybaras.
A. I love being a writer. Although working in a zoo was a blast.
A. Winston Churchill High School in San Antonio. The University of Pennsylvania.
A. I know it's a cliche to say the Beatles, but it's the Beatles.
A. Raiders of the Lost Ark
A. The Daily Show
A. Fun, Exciting Adventures & Warm, Wonderful Family. Woohoo!
A. I've been telling myself "Life is Good" every day since long before there was a clothing company with that name
A. There's a lot of things that make me happy. Spending time with family and friends. Traveling to amazing places. Encountering animals in the wild. So perhaps the most perfect thing I could imagine would be taking my family someplace amazing, like Glacier National Park or the Serengeti in Africa.
A. Something bad happening to one of my children.
A. On safari in Africa
A. Teddy Roosevelt (the namesake of Teddy Fitzroy in Belly Up). He was always up for adventure, always learning, loved his family and founded the National Park System.
A. My wife. Everyone respects how good she is at her job -- and yet, I've never met anyone who doesn't like her.
A. "Just" There's a great website called wordcloud. You enter text into it and it creates a picture of all your most used words, with the words you used most being the biggest. I pasted all of the first draft of 'Belly Up' into it and discovered I'd used the word "Just" more than my own protagonist's name. So I went back through the book and cut out hundreds of "justs."
A. I'd like to meet Charles Darwin and have him tell me, in detail, about all his adventures sailing around the world and how the concept of evolution came to him.
A. Being a scientist. I'd like to be doing animal research in the field.
A. Trustworthiness, respect for other people -- and the ability to make people laugh.
A. Ice cream
A. The Beatles' "Revolution"; David Byrne's cover of "Don't Fence Me In"; Bobby Darin's "Beyond the Sea"; Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture -- and any cover by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, though if I have to pick one, it's "Rainbow Connection"
A. Carl Hiaasen and Gregory McDonald are the greats when it comes to writing comic mysteries. Bill Bryson can take any topic in the world and making it fascinating and funny. Roald Dahl and Shel Silverstein's books have been making me laugh since I was a kid. And Terry Pratchett is the champion of writing hilarious fantasy.
A. Impossible to pick a favorite Carl Hiaasen novel, but let's say "Tourist Season" because it was the first I read. Same goes with Gregory McDonald, so let's say "Fletch.""The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles" by Julie Edwards was my favorite book as a kid."A Brief History of Everything" by Bill Bryson."Innumeracy" by John Allen Paulos may have influenced the way I think more than any other book I've ever read.
A. "Skin Tight" or "Native Tongue" by Hiaasen. "Fletch" by McDonald.
A. If you don't love writing, don't write for a living; if you do love writing, write all the time.
A. When are you going to write a sequel to 'Belly Up'?