Sunday, August 29, 2010

An interrogation, whoops, I mean interview with EJ Knapp

 Stealing The Marbles 

Today I am torturing or interviewing? – crikey I always get those confused,  a writer who I admire greatly and whose novel Stealing the Marbles comes out on 9/1. (That’s 1/9 for those of us that say the date the correct way around, day/month/year.)

Please welcome EJ Knapp to “I see you”… for your safety EJ there is one rule. Please use the hand rails provided. (I’ve never lost anyone and would hate for you to be the first person to fall off the bottom of the world.)
Everyone comfy? Good… let the games begin!

 Cat: What’s your favorite type of takeaway?
EJ: Well, if I understand your meaning, pizza.
 Cat: Describe your current mental status.
EJ: Stressed but happy as hell.
 Cat: How much of you is in your main character?
EJ: Not much, actually, which is odd.  Most everyone in STM is a riff on someone I know.  Danny is based on a friend who died long ago.  He was a thief of sorts.
Cat: Do you have a favorite coffee?
EJ: Peet’s.  Is anything else really coffee?
 Cat: Where did the concept for your book come from?
EJ: A conversation with a friend the last time I was in Greece.

 Cat: Walk us through a typical day. (Do you make sure you’re wearing your lucky underpants before you sit down to write, or perhaps you prefer commando? While we’re discussing your underpants, budgie smugglers or boxers…inquiring minds want to know. (Okay so it was Dionne who wanted to know.)
EJ: Sorry, but I am underpantsless.  Don’t wear them, haven’t for many years.  I write when I write.  I’m not one of those who make a job out of writing.  I’ve had jobs.  They suck.  Not that I think that doesn’t work, I’m sure it does, and good stories come from it as well.  It’s just not me.
Cat: Do you ever see yourself writing a vampire story? (Team Edward or Team Jacob… or are you more likely to join me by stuffing your head into a gas oven than ever going to the Edward or Jacob place? – Thanks for that one Ericg.)
EJ: Well, I do have an idea for a Southern Gothic story that includes Vampires, Zombies and Werewolves.  Sort of a William Faulkner meets Steven King kind of thing.  Even have a title for the series, if it ever comes to that: Black Pukey Swamp.   Team Edward?  Jacob?  Who the hell are they?
Cat: Who would you turn gay for, or alternately who would you turn straight for?
EJ: I am at a stage in life where I am asexual so that question really doesn’t apply to me.

Cat: Who are your favorite writers?
EJ: Kurt Vonnegut above all others.  As for thrillers, Lee Child.  Barry Eisler, Michael Connelly, Elmore Leonard, Robert Crais.  I hear that Karen Dionne is pretty hot.  And this new writer out of New Zealand of all places, Cat Connor.
Cat: Who inspires you to do better?
EJ: Me.  I am always looking to improve my writing.
Cat: Do you ever put pants on your dog?
EJ: No.  I think that would piss them off.
Cat: Describe your ultimate day?
EJ: A day when I write all day.

Cat: Who is your favorite fictitious villain? Or are you all about the hero? Who do you love to hate?
EJ: Hannibal Lecter has always been on of my favorites.  Sorry to say, not because of the book.  Anthony Hopkins did such a good job that it’s hard to see him in any other light.  I have a character, Devlon Marks, who scares me sometimes.
Cat: Are you planning a sequel, or is your latest novel a stand alone with no plans to continue the characters.
EJ: Danny’s story is his alone.  Though they haunt me, I think I shall let them be.  I don’t think Danny and company will be back.
 Cat: Do you have any quirks?
EJ: Quirks?  Me?  I talk to myself a lot.  Is that a quirk?
 Cat: All time favorite movie and why.
EJ: Die Hard. Independence Day.  Dave.  Pleasantville.  All perfect movies.
Cat: What’s your preferred medium when it comes to writing – pen and paper, computer, typewriter.
EJ: Computer.  It has a delete key.
Cat: How did you enjoy the editing process?
EJ: Loved it.  Learned more in that process than I did in years of writing.  My editor, Jayne Southern, is the best.  She made STM shine.

Cat: If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
EJ: Greece.  Kefalonia if I could.  San Francisco would be a close second place.  Kefalonia, well you would have to be there to see how beautiful it is.  San Francisco, well, San Francisco just is.
Cat: What is one thing you know about New Zealand?  (Do not mention LOTR. I hates it… I hates it my precious.)
EJ: It’s funny you should mention that as I’ve always wanted to visit NZ.  Not sure what LOTR has to do with it. 
 Cat: Name that one gift (that you truly dislike) that you cannot get rid of because you are obliged to keep.
EJ: Can’t say I have anything like that.
Cat: What’s the worst book you have ever read?
EJ: Wow, there have certainly been a few of them.  Nowadays, I don’t go there.  If it’s bad, it gets flying lessons.  I don’t have time for bad anymore.  There was one, however, more than a few years back.  The 11th Plague or something like that.  It was so bad I can’t even remember the title.  Oh, and there was another one, even got big blurbs from authors I like.  Damn, it was bad.

Cat: Name a book you wish you had written.
EJ: Most anything by Kurt Vonnegut.  Killing Floor by Lee Child.  Neon Rain by James Lee Burke.
Cat: How many novels have you written, both published and unpublished?
EJ: One before STM, buried now, where it belongs.  It was my learning novel.  It went through 7 incarnations and took me 15 years to learn it was never going to go where I wanted it to go.  Man, that story is a mess.
Cat: What were you before you became a writer?
EJ: When do you want to start?  I’ve been a paper boy, a bagger in a grocery store, a roofer, a forestry ranger trainee, an auto mechanic, a factory worker, a long haul trucker, a professional college student, a peer counselor in a street clinic, a drug dealer, an ice cream truck driver, an audio/visual technician, a professional photographer and the IT manager for a San Francisco law firm.  Now I’m just retired and a full time writer.
Cat: What can we expect from you next?
EJ: Meter Maids Eat Their Young.  I hope.  After that, it’s a toss up.

Cat: Do you carry a notebook or keep one by the bed for those sudden brilliant ideas?
EJ: No, I think it was Stephen King who said that good ideas stay with you, the bad ones slip away.  If I come up with an idea I like, it stays with me, haunts me until I write something down.
Cat: What is the most random thing you have ever written with and on?
EJ: The back of a receipt, which I promptly lost.
Cat: If you’re not writing, what are you most likely to be doing?
EJ: Walking in the woods with my dogs.  The woods here in Florida aren’t the same as those in California, nor are the dogs, for that matter but it calms me down nevertheless.

Thanks for coming by EJ and for being such a good sport, especially about the underpants! And thank you much for not mentioning LOTR – I hates it, nasty movie full of horrible hobbitses. As for coffee my lovely... let's not start that debate. :) 

You know what would be awesome? If y’all popped through the Amazon link and purchased a copy of STM. This truly is a book worth reading. This I know- because I have and I loved every second. (might even be a  little something along those lines on the back cover written by me...)
Stealing The Marbles will be available in paperback and e Format from almost everywhere. 
Check Rebel E Publishers website for purchase links.



A.S. King said...

I love EJ Knapp and Stealing the Marbles! Great interview guys!

And EJ--wow. I now know not to ask the briefs of boxers question, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Awesome interview! I'm still giggling.

Cat Connor said...

The things you learn... when I let friends suggest questions :)

Thanks for coming by Amy!

Cat Connor said...

Joanie...You snuck in while I was replying to Amy!
EJ is a very good sport. :D

Joshua said...

"Team Edward? Jacob? Who the hell are they?" Gotta love that!

Story Teller said...

What a great interview, Cat! I thoroughly enjoyed it. You asked such interesting, unique questions. I can't imagine anyone *not* wanting to be interviewed by you.

And it was great to get to know EJ better, too. I see her on Bksp but haven't chatted with her too much yet.

Cat Connor said...

LOL @ Joshy, love it!

Thanks for dropping in Holli! :)

Janna Qualman said...

Fantastic interview! Cat, you're a hoot. EJ, I wish you the best. And wow, Dave was a really good movie.

Cat, thanks for visiting my blog! It's nice to connect. Best with all your endeavors. :)

Anonymous said...

LOL! I've written on the back of receipts and other small pieces of paper, only to lose them. And I like Peet's coffee too. Good stuff.

Stephen Tremp

Cat Connor said...

Thanks for dropping by Janna!

Stephen - I obviously need to try Peet's!! :)

I see you...

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