If you could cook dinner for any author, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you make?
“I’d have to say William S. Burroughs, just because he’s so damned interesting. As for dinner, though, it’d probably be Raman noodles, because I’d have to save up all my money for drugs. It wouldn’t be an inexpensive evening.”
What scares you the most about the writing process? How do you combat your fears?
“I have a few self-esteem issues and often fear I’m a literary fraud waiting to be exposed. I fight it by writing more. Doubt, and even failure, haven’t stopped. Hell, prison didn’t stop me. When I’m at my weakest, I write more and more.”
Who is your biggest literary crush, author or character?
“I’ve been in love with Kamala from Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha since I first met her decades ago. There’s something about the idea of lover as teacher and guide that appeals to me.”
What books are on your nightstand?
“Right now, I’m reading Christopher Moore’s novel, Sacré Bleu and Kaveh Akbar’s Calling a Wolf a Wolf. There also is a stack of literary journals waiting for their turn in the queue.”
Where do you get your ideas? What inspires you?
“Mostly from observation and contemplation. I observe the world as a sort of detached other, consider my place in it, describe my experiences, and try to share them in a way to which others might relate. What inspires me most is anything new, unusual, or completely absurd. Shared experiences do a lot for me, too.”
Favorite punctuation mark? Why?
“The question mark, obviously, because it pulls me (the existential me) into a sentence. If a poet or novelists asks an interesting question, I have to stop and think about it. I often will write it down and use it as the title for a poem.”
What book were you supposed to read in high school, but never did?
“The Catcher in the Rye.”
What inanimate object would you thank in your acknowledgements?
“A chair, probably in one of the movie theaters of my youth.”
Why do you write? The first 5 words that come to mind. Go.
“I have no choice. Obsession.”
If you could write an inspirational quote on the mirrors of aspiring writers, what would you write?
“Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.”
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