1. Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? What was it about?
My first story was a Star Wars-type thing. I don’t remember what it was about or the point of it was. I wrote it in the first grade, and it was published in the school’s monthly newsletter. The next story I do remember was ‘The Day I Beat Spiderman’ in the third grade. It was an illustrated book about how I beat the Sega video game Spiderman.
2. What word do you hate?
“Caviler” and “rural,” only because I cannot pronounce them without having to think and enunciate clearly. Caviler takes the lead, though, because when I read the Michael Chabon novel The Amazing Adventures of Kaviler and Clay (which is a phenomenal book), while reading it I would sub-vocalize Kaviler’s name as ‘cav-i-lie-air.’ I still say the damn word like that.
3. If an octoshark fought a zombie dinosaur in a bear pit, who would win?
My lone problem with this question is that one’s a sea creature and the other isn’t. Also, what kind of dinosaur? But, seeing as in the Lucio Fulci classic Zombi a zombie fights a shark underwater and the zombie wins, I’ll go with zombie dinosaur.
4. What’s the weirdest food you’ve ever tried?
Octopus tentacle. And it was delicious.
5. Where do you find inspiration?
I get it from a book or an author that I really dig. Depends on the book or author, though. Sometimes when I’m about to write, I will open to a random page in either Infinite Jest or The Contortionist’s Handbook and type out the page as a sort of warm-up. Most of the time I get it from the posters and pictures I have hanging over my desk. There is one of Ted Williams, who has a look that can be read as ‘good job, kid’ or ‘get to work, kid.’ There’s a Ripley poster, which is the only framed thing I have in my room. And then there is photos of my nephew and my girlfriend. There also is a quote from David Mitchell written on an index card, which I managed to have him sign, and a certificate for completing National Novel Writing Month in 2012. Usually a quick glance at all this gets me going.
6. Who is your nemesis?
7. What is your favorite bad movie?
This one’s hard, because some bad movies on a technical level are seen as good (Evil Dead 2 springs to mind). There are a couple that are looked at as bad that I genuinely like, such as Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Alien 3, Last Action Hero, simply because there is a charm to them or that they were misunderstood when they were released. If I have to pick one, then maybe Super Mario Bros., only because even the actors all looked at it as a complete piece of shit.
8. What sound or noise do you love?
My girlfriend’s laugh. There’s a great deal of range and tone to her myriad laughs. Thankfully, she finds me funny, so I get to hear it a lot. Also, and this maybe a hipster-douche thing to say, but the sounds of the keys as I type. Don’t ask me why.