Book blogger, Emily, AKA Mrs. Mommy Booknerd, graciously accepted my plea or it may have been the anguished emails, I can’t recall which tactic finally did the trick, to interview me about my book, “The Barber’s Conundrum and Other Stories: Observations on Life from the Cheap Seats.”
Mrs. Booknerd posted the interview on her blog today, providing the millions and millions of people across the world that I have invented in my mind and who are, at this very moment, hurtling themselves across the Internet to get here or directly to the Booknerd place, a once in a lifetime opportunity to find out just what makes John Hartnett tick. I do refer to myself in the first person now but it’s not from being cocky, I assure you. It’s from being forced to lie repeatedly to hundreds and hundreds of shifty, sneaky, slimy telemarketers who call my home 30-40 times a day asking if John Hartnett is in. There it goes again. I know you can’t hear the phone ringing but take my word for it. It’s the “If you’re a senior citizen” guy. Which I’m not by the way. You can find that out in the interview. Thank God. I wasn’t sure how to get back on topic.
I bare my soul in this interview and there are confessions and admissions in it that even my wife, children and parents have never heard before. Mostly because I have a problem making things up when I get nervous. So here it is. I know there are millions of you, so please, no shoving…
Q. What inspires your writing?
It’s examining the more mundane aspects of life and mining it for humor.
Q. What is your favorite thing about being an author?
I love having the opportunity to entertain and make people laugh.
Q. What is the toughest part of being an author?
Resisting the urge to purchase a tweed jacket.
Q. If you could not be an author, what would you do/be?
Probably a congressman because I like to sleep in almost every day,
Q. What would the story of your life be entitled?
“If You Only Purchase One Book in Your Entire Life, Make Sure It’s This One.”
Q. What is your favorite book of all time?
“Sometimes A Great Notion” by Ken Kesey
Q. Which character from ANY book are you most like?
The mouse in “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie”. I’ll tell you why that’s the case if you have any cookies lying around.
Q. What character from all of your books are you most like?
My first book was on OSHA Compliance so no characters there unless you count the federal government and in my second book, many of the pieces are autobiographical so I guess I’ll just say …that one.
Q. What is your favorite season?
Swim suit. Ok, summer.
Q. What inspired your book cover?
I love the old photographs that are part of a Smithsonian Collection called the FSA-OWI collection (Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information). The images capture American life in the late thirties and forties.
Q. Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
I had a signing in New Orleans during Mardis Gras which is not a great time to do much of anything except celebrate Mardis Gras. Several senior citizens did come and let’s just say the setting was intimate so I sat down to speak to two women who had come together. I told them that I had started out as a joke writer and they asked me to tell them a joke which I did — something that was in the news recently about a person finding the bones of Richard III beneath a parking lot in London. I said that I could understand how something like that could have happened because one time I parked my car at Macy’s and wandered around for six hours before I found the car again. They didn’t laugh and said, “We don’t get it.” So I explained it to them and they said, “Oh, it’s funny when you explain it!” Believe me , no joke writer wants to hear that.
Q. Are you working on something new?
Yes, I am working on a novel and also doing a lot of work on my comedy site, The Monkey Bellhop (http://monkeybellhop.com).
Q. Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
First and foremost, thanks so much for taking the time to read this and I do hope you got this far! Your support of writers and love of books and reading is both encouraging and greatly appreciated!
© 2013 The Monkey Bellhop and John Hartnett