Despite all the excitement of this week, I couldn’t forget our debut author of the month, Jeff Zentner! Jeff’s novel, The Serpent King, was released on March 8.
For those of you just joining, I’ve been hosting a 2016 Debut Author Series, where I post short, Proust-inspired questionnaires with a 2016 debut author every month.
Now, on to the interview…
- What character trait would you thieve from someone else (and who from)?
I would steal Kerry Kletter’s wisdom generally, but especially her wisdom about the workings of people.
- What’s the last lie you told?
I have never lied in my life.
- If you could punch one person on the planet with absolutely no repercussions, who would it be?
Larry Brinkerhoff of Des Moines, Iowa because he f— [My lawyer covers the microphone and whispers in my ear] I, uh, would punch world hunger. World hunger is what I would punch.
- What possession do you consider your “precious”? So, something you’d fight to the death for on the slopes of Mt. Doom.
My favorite material possession is my 1996 Toyota pickup with 225,000 miles on it. It is immortal. It bears the nickname “The Rooster.” It would probably survive the fires of Mt. Doom.
- Best one line writing advice you’ve ever gotten?
The road to hell is paved with adverbs.
- What book do you wish you’d written?
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward.
- You can only listen to one song for the rest of your life. What is it?
“Wild” by Beach House
- You magically obtain the ability to cast one and only one spell from the Harry Potter universe—but you can cast it as much as you like. Which one is it?
Anteoculatia, the spell that makes people’s hair turn into antlers. If you so much as fail to wave after I let you merge—enjoy your new rack of antlers.
- With only your wit and an oft-malfunctioning magic wand, you are forced into a death match with either Shelob, the enormous spider from Lord of the Rings, or Voldemort. Who do you choose?
I gotta go with Voldemort because I’m more familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of the human body and I would be able to think of more things that would distract him. Plus, every time I got in a good hit, I’d loudly gloat and I’d want my adversary to know they were being gloated on.
- Describe your debut novel in one sentence:
Three misfits in a rural Tennessee town have to break the chains that bind them.
Check back in just a couple of weeks for our next interview of the series, our May author Evelyn Skye!