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Interview with a musician-reader-plumber type

You’re an author. Find a reader to interview! For Day 19 of the 5-Week Author Blog Challenge, we were invited to interview a reader. All 35 posts for this Challenge will be focused on writing, publishing, and book marketing. I hope you’ll stick around through all 35 posts. And if you want to take part, come on in – the water is great! You can register here.

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Day 19 writing prompt:

Find someone you know, either online or in the real world, who is a true bibliophile and interview them about their reading habits.

I met my husband on Craigslist. Yep – the same place you go to sell your old 45s or for game-day tickets because you waited till the last minute. Many people don’t even realize Craigslist has a Personals section. What I loved about it, as opposed to targeted john waters quotedating sites a la eHarmony and Match-dot-com, was the flexibility to write my own fully developed posts. I was able to weed out most of the riff-raff simply by being clever and funny. I liken it to the difference between a multiple choice exam and an essay test. The writer in me always kicked butt on essay tests. Not so much on multiple choice, because you actually had to memorize specific facts and details.

The best dating advice I ever got (from my relationship coach, Sunil Ahuja, and Laura Doyle, author of The Surrendered Single) was to let go of the list – the checklist of attributes that all those multiple-choice dating sites require you to complete. Granted, it took about five years of on-again/off-again posting on Craigslist to meet “the one,” but he was definitely worth the wait. And in the process, I learned some stuff, collected some side-splitting fodder for a book that may one day get written, and began some friendships that still survive to this day.

So, with my husband’s permission, I share with you the paragraph that stole my heart:

I know about your book habit, as well. Do you know about that annual book sale that is at the fairgrounds? You can get hardcover editions for about a dollar. I still have a backlog from the last one, and that was a w capfew months ago. So lately for me it’s been a lot of F. Scott, Hemingway, and Steinbeck. All great books – I can’t pick a favorite. It’s kind of like comparing The Beatles and The Stones, in that both are superior in different ways. Although Steinbeck would be more like Springsteen. He takes characters that F. Scott and Hemingway wouldn’t even think about and turns them into poetry. That, at least, is my literary analysis which serves me well in my vocation as a plumber.

A reader – thank god! There was exactly ONE question about reading on the 11-page eHarmony questionnaire. And the responses I received went about like this:

“I can’t remember the last book I read.”

“I only read gaming magazines.”

“I only read graphic novels.”

“I tried to read a book once…”

I am neither lying nor exaggerating. So meeting a smart plumber who could read me under the table – how could I resist?!

UPDATE: He’s given up the plumbing to dive into his music, full-time. Woo-hoo!

CONFESSION: “Musician” was one of the items on my checklist.

It’s no surprise, then, that musician biographies and autobiographies are one of my husband’s favorite things to read. From Steven Tyler to Andy Summers to Peter Criss to Clarence Clemons to Eric Clapton – he owns most of them and borrows the rest from the library. While I think Mickey would read the back of an oatmeal box if there were nothing else around, he understandably prefers reading the biographies of musicians he admires, like Bruce Springsteen, Keith Richards, and Pete Townshend. And while I’m noticing a certain trend toward books about male musicians, I’m sure if he came across the bios of Joan Jett or Ann and Nancy Wilson, he’d read those, too.

When he’s not reading music stories, he prefers the strange and scary make-believe worlds of authors like Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Charlaine Harris. His favorite King book is The Shining.

Prior to our recent move, we purged a couple hundred books from our combined collection, and we VNSA salesbarely made a dent. Most of the ones we brought with us are still in boxes, waiting for new bookcases on which to live. Many were acquired at the aforementioned annual VNSA book sales. It’s hard not to go crazy at an event like that. While Mickey prefers the practicality of ebooks, he still very much enjoys wandering the aisles of new and used bookshops. “I love the VNSA sale because it’s a chance to find something interesting, a treasure I might never have happened on or searched for on purpose.” I’ve seen him devour a book in a day, though he tells me his reading has recently slowed to 15 or 20 books a year.

Though he’s more fluent in classic rock and 70s/80s singer-songwriter material, he dabbles at writing his own songs. His personal writing goal is to develop a blog with tips for aspiring guitarists.

His next reading goal is to try out the new (to him) genre of science fiction, which he’s never read much in the past.

Our joint goal is to collaborate on a multimedia presentation that features readings from Stan Finds Himself on the Other Side of the World, coupled with songs that represent and/or evoke the ethos/pathos/logos of some of the 23 countries Stan visits. Now that’s a joint venture I cannot wait to plan! In the meantime, we’ll keep reading, writing, and dancing.

So who is your favorite reader in the whole world? Tell us in the Comments section below!

Please be sure to check in again tomorrow, when I’ll be explaining why I chose to publish in paperback and ebook formats…

And for the record, I’d love your feedback on my Author Blog Challenge posts! And, of course, would really love to have you support all of the bloggers in the Challenge. Find their links here.

Here’s to wonderful writing surprises!

Laura

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