Hey guys–I took a bit of a summer break in June, but I’m excited to get back to the Debut Author Series for July with Peter Brown Hoffmeister, whose book THIS IS THE PART WHERE YOU LAUGH, came out on May 17th, 2016. Publisher’s Weekly gave Peter’s book a STARRED review (one of many) and called it “Profane and profound… A raw offbeat novel with an abundance of honesty and heart.” You can find it here.
- What character trait would you thieve from someone else (and who from)?
Can I go back into the past? All growing up, my little brother was a better athlete than me. He had this confidence. He just knew he could win anything. I wish I’d been able to relax more as a teen, be confident like him, know who I am, and do what I love.
- Ah brothers. Aren’t they grand? Ok, so what’s the last lie you told?
That’s easy because it was such a lie. I told my wife’s aunt that I loved her Christmas casserole made of shrimp, mayonnaise, and rice.
- If you could punch one person on the planet with absolutely no repercussions, who would it be?
I was an angry teenager – I punched a lot of people – and I don’t know if I want to punch anyone anymore. But if I was forced to choose…maybe Donald Trump right after he says something about Mexicans?
- What possession do you consider your “precious”? So, something you’d fight to the death for on the slopes of Mt. Doom.
I have my dad’s college baseball bat from when he was a leadoff hitter for Stanford (it’s marked with a #1 in the wood meaning he hit first). My dad and I went through some really difficult years and earned each other’s respect. After all of that, he gave his bat to me. So it sounds funny, but that bat is a symbol.
- Best one line writing advice you’ve ever gotten?
From my writing buddy Chin in college: “Don’t worry about whether it’s truth or fiction. Either way, tell a f***ing good story.”
- What book do you wish you’d written?
Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. How could that possibly have been her first book? When I started to read it, I could feel that the world had shifted a little.
- You can only listen to one song for the rest of your life. What is it?
“To Ramona.” Best advice to another human. I’ve only listened to that song 500 times.
- Ooo. Good choice. Ok, next: 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? Pretego Horribilis provides protection against dark magic…and don’t we all need a little protection from the darkness?
- 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?
Voldemort’s FOR REAL scary. Plus, I’m not Harry Potter and I don’t have a lot of “wit” to draw on. So I’m choosing the enormous spider, Shelob. I killed a lot of huge spiders in our tin-roofed house in Congrejal, Costa Rica where I wrote This Is The Part Where You Laugh. I’ve got spider-killing experience.
- You are braver than I my friend. Last question! Describe your debut novel in one sentence:
Love and basketball, with a little bit of heroin, homelessness, and dirty love letters to dead Russian princesses thrown in.
Thanks Peter! See you guys next month as we continue the series with some badass Fall debuts!