Imaginary interviews are fun; real interviews are much better.

There is a scene in The Commitments in which the main character is doing an interview with an invisible journalist while he’s in the bathtub.It is one of my favorite scenes in all of cinema because I’ve been doing interviews like these since early childhood.

Mine usually went like this:

“Q: A.J., tell me honestly; were you prepared for this Pulitzer win?”

A: Oh, certainly, I was. I promised my mom I would put Oakville, Conn. on the map, so I had to win the Pulitzer, or at least the Nobel prize.

Q: But Oakville is already on the map. Look, there it is, next to Waterbury.

A: (awkward silence.)”

That question didn’t come up when Brooke of Books Distilled sent me her interview questions last week, but many other questions that I’ve always wanted to answer did come up. I had kind of a blast answering these questions for real. Check it out.

Will it keep me from doing more fake interviews in the bathtub, or while I’m vacuuming, or while I’m weeding the garden or driving to work? Oh, hell no. I still have to win the Pulitzer.

You can’t read a review of your book when you’re standing in front of a class.

On Mondays, I have kind of a crazy schedule.

I do a lot of work from home during the day, and then I teach a three hour class in the evenings, so I almost forgot to look for  this review of Beware the Hawk from Brooke of Books Distilled.

Truth be told, I didn’t even see the tweet that announced the review until I was standing in front of my class this evening, teaching them how to use Twitter.

I clicked over to the Twitter’s Interactions page to show them the @replies function, and voila! There was this tweet from Brooke:

I saw that tweet and I was so excited,  but I couldn’t express that excitement just then, because I was trying to teach the finer points of hashtags.

It was torture not to click the link and read the review right there, because I’ve been nervously awaiting this review since the beginning of January, when I attended my MFA program’s alumni day .

This was just after my publisher told me that my release date would be Jan. 17, and that I’d better get cracking, and talk to some reviewers. I instantly thought of Brooke,  a grad school classmate, whose site, Books Distilled, has been posting reviews at a terrific pace since last April. At alumni day, I accosted the poor woman at dinner time, as she was headed to the salad bar, and asked if she’d be interested in reviewing Beware the Hawk.

I was a little nervous about asking a classmate to review my book. It’s always hard when you ask someone you know personally to do something like this, but luckily everything worked out. She agreed to review the book, she enjoyed the book and she even did an interview with me last week.

Please head over to Books Distilled and check this out. And then check back on Thursday, when Brooke posts our interview.

Still hungry for ‘Flesh’? Much more at Books Distilled!

Great minds think alike! Little did I know (until 10 minutes ago) that Brooke, the voracious reader who maintains the Books Distilled blog was also writing about Hollis this week. What are the odds?

Brooke, a talented novelist who is being mentored by Hollis this semester, reviewed Flesh (far more comprehensively than I) and interviewed Hollis about the novel and her process. Please check it out!