Author Interview with Adam Langer, Author of "The Thieves of Manhattan"
Created By: BookBundlz
1. If you could have coffee with any 3 authors, living or dead, who would they be?
First of all, skip the coffee; I don’t drink the stuff that much unless I’m writing at a café, say the Hungarian Pastry Shop on Amsterdam Avenue and 111th Street, and feel I need to order something so they don’t kick me out. And skip my favorite authors too—I’d hate for Virginia Woolf, for example, to say something mean to me and make me question whether I truly liked her work or not. So, I’d invite Clifford Irving, B. Traven, and and Magdalen King-Hall so that we could have an interesting discussion about truth and fiction, and real and false identities.
2. If you could only take one book, food item and drink with you to a deserted island what would they be?
Either War and Peace or Remembrance of Things Past because when else would I have time to read those from beginning to end? Or I’d bring Italo Calvino’s The Baron In The Trees because I never get tired of it, no matter how many times I read it. For a food item, I’d bring an extra well-done deep-dish pizza from Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria in Lincolnwood, Illinois. Or, if I wanted something that would stay fresh a bit longer, I’d bring a big jar of either cold cucumber soup or vichysoisse. And as for my drink of choice, it would be fresh-squeezed Clementine or tangerine jucie.
3. What are your secret indulgences?
Matzoh ball soup, chocolate, spy stories, crossword puzzles, the Gil Thorp comic strip, and the sports page.
4. What about you would surprise your readers?
That I like to make bread, pizza, and pies.
5. What is your perfect day as an author?
2,000 words written so smoothly in the morning and quickly that there’s plenty of time afterwards to make a bread, pizza, or pie.
6. If you could be any fictional character who would it be?
Baron Cosimo Piovasco di Rondo.
7. What are the book(s) you are reading now?
Anthropology of An American Girl, by Hilary Thayer Hamann; One Foot in Eden, by Ron Rash; A Writer’s Diary, by Virginia Woolf.
8. What was your favorite book as a teenager, and why?
A tie: The End of the World News, by Anthony Burgess. I was blown away by its channel-surfing structure; it introduced me to the idea that a book doesn’t have to be linear. Also The Dharma Bums, by Jack Kerouac: Reading it made me feel cooler than I was.
9. (Aside from your own) What book(s) have you read that you think are perfect for book clubs?
The Waves, by Virginia Woolf: Right now, my absolute favorite book—probably could inspire enough conversation for half-a dozen book club meetings.
The Man Who Was Thursday, by GK Chesterton: Coolest book EVER!!!
The Country Girls Trilogy, by Edna O’Brien: One of the best books I’ve ever read about friendship, which is what a book club should be all about, no?
About Your Book:
10. Where did the inspiration for your book come from?
The book was inspired by the fact that I had just written a memoir called My Father’s Bonus March, a book about my father that was as truthful as I knew how to make it; I got sick of telling the truth, and I wanted to know what it felt like to tell a really enormous lie. The writing itself was inspired by the films of Billy Wilder and Joachim Trier and the music of Elvis Costello and Die Toten Hosen.
11. They say every book written is the author telling a personal philosophy. What personal philosophy are you trying to get across?
“Tell the truth, even when you’re lying.” (Though I’d also say that just about any novelist who writes to intentionally convey a particular philosophy is delusional…with the exception of George Orwell, maybe).
12. Writers are often surprised by something that happens in their book. Perhaps a character says or does something you did not think they would, or something you thought would only be a couple of paragraphs turns into 10 pages. What surprised you about your book?
Pretty much everything that happened in the plot surprised me. Just about everything I took for granted wound up being false.
13. If you were crafting a discussion question for book clubs to discuss about your book, what question do you think would generate the most discussion?
What should we bring for snacks next time?
About Your Writing Process:
14. What is your writing process like?
I try to write a minimum of 1,000 words per day. I like to write either in a café or at home near a window. I usually wear headphones and blast music that inspires me to write, usually what the character I am writing about would listen to. Which means sometimes I listen to music that I really don’t like at all.
15. What gets you in the mood to write?
Music, a dog walk, a nice breeze, a blank piece of paper, a really good book.
16. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
1) Write the book you would really like to read, not the one you think you want to write.
2) Write as freely as you can before you start to edit yourself.
3) Don’t take other authors’ advice too seriously.