What were you like as a teen?
I was a huge nerd, but since I went to an extremely small school where not even the alpha dogs were actually cool, no one could tell. I read lots of fantasy novels, played role playing games, and composed overwrought orchestra music on my $100 Casio keyboard, yet I was still relatively popular. Those poor kids were too sheltered to know they should’ve been beating me up.
What were your favorite books as a kid?
When I was a KID kid I loved the Redwall series by Brian Jacques. I gradually transitioned into adult fantasy like The Wheel of Time, then Stephen King, then took a sudden turn into more highbrow stuff like Dave Eggers and Kurt Vonnegut in my late teens.
If you had one wish what would you wish for?
Assuming this wish isn’t powerful enough to alter the world on a global scale—in which case I’d obviously wish for everything to be beautiful and nothing to hurt—my wish is for all the sad and damaged people I’ve known in my life—friends, family members, girlfriends, kids—to beat the odds and transform themselves into healthy people capable of happiness. Oh, and can I include myself in that? Cool.
What musicians have influenced your writing?
Radiohead has influenced me on a lot of levels, not just with their music but their album art, websites, and the cryptic writings contained therein. Their album artist, Stanley Donwood, is also a writer of short stories which have influenced me a lot.
What are you looking forward to about YALLFest?
Meeting a lot of bright beautiful young people who are actually excited about books and hopefully life in general. Also, after-parties and adult beverages and stuff.
What is your favorite kind of pie?
There is no beating a really well made lemon meringue pie, but those are almost impossible to find. You can’t buy them in stores or most bakeries, they have to be home and hand-made with equal parts love and skill. So failing that, pecan.