Saturday, November 16, 2013

AJ Jacobs Chooses His Own Adventure Interview!

CYOAI is an interview series with authors, where I send them 10 questions, and ask them to answer whichever they feel inspired to tackle.  The questions are generally about the author's opinions and personal experiences, but are meant to be light-hearted and a window into a person's creative nature.

This month's interview features AJ Jacobs, author of Drop Dead Healthy! A big thank you to AJ for humouring me in answering my questions!  Let's see what his answers were!

What's your first book/reading/writing-related memory?
It was terrified of the book "Are You My Mother?" Childhood is stressful enough. I didn't need to read about an abandoned bird. 
Have you ever gotten a book hangover from a book?  
(A book hangover being a feeling of being unable to start another read because you're still wrapped up in the last one.)
I've gotten hangovers from writing books, where I've never wanted to write again.  But reading? It's too much of a pleasure. 
Is there one word or turn of phrase that you've felt compelled to work into your writing?
I'm a fan of the word vainglorious. I'm not even sure I've ever used it in writing till that previous sentence, but I've been a longtime fan. 
What book by another author do you wish you had written?
I'm jealous of Josh Foer, who wrote Moonwalking With Einstein. It's about how he became the memory champion of the United States. Of course, writing that would have necessitated such feats as memorizing the order of four randomly-shuffled decks of playing cards, which I'm not quite sure I could accomplish. Or pretty sure I couldn't. 
Where do you find inspiration for your writing?
I often force myself to spend 15 minutes brainstorming every day. I know that forced creativity sounds paradoxical -- but it works! 
(I wrote about it here )
Do you reread books?  If so, which ones?
I have the opposite problem. I have trouble finishing books because there are so many other ones I want to start. I'm monogamous in my marriage, but quote a philanderer in my reading habits. 
If you weren't a writer, what would you do as a profession?
I'd be the social media director for Praeger's, makers of delicious spinach pancakes. Highly recommended! 
What's your opinion on Shakespeare?
I might come off as a rampallian (aka a "mean wretch," I had to look it up too), but I'm only a partial Shakespeare fan. I love his use of language and his tragedies. But his comedies? I'm sure they were groundbreaking in their day, but now it just seems like a Three's Company episode -- mistaken identities, men dressed as girls, lots of puns. 
Use the word 'margarine' in a sentence.
Margarine is vainglorious. 
If you could only read OR write for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
I'd have to say write. Since, at least for now, until the publishing model implodes, I make my living that way.

**If you’re an author that would like to participate in the Choose Your  Own Adventure Interview series, please contact me at**

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