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Authorial Intrusion - Adam Rex

Welcome to Authorial Intrusion, and Happy Memorial Day! Or as the Boov would call it, Boovorial Day.

To read any of the previous interviews, just click on the tag “authorial intrusion” on the left side of the page.

For those just tuning in, here’s the history behind these posts:

I love reading about the Publishing Journeys of my favorite writers.

I love the long, soul-searching interviews that reveal every obstacle and triumph: the author whose agent made her do three revisions before signing her … the author who gets up at 4:30 a.m. to write, because it’s the only time she has to herself … the critically acclaimed author who spent nine years trying to get published … I never tire of this stuff!

Long, luxurious interviews aside, don’t you sometimes find yourself wondering: “But do you like Thai or Chinese food better?”

Reader, I asked them.

I assembled a grab-bag full of random questions and emailed them to some of my favorite writers.

They answered!

And now, without further ado, please welcome Adam Rex!

Adam Rex is the author and illustrator of many picture books, including The Dirty Cowboy (with Amy Timberlake) and Frankenstein Makes A Sandwich. The latter's natural follow-up - Frankenstein Takes the Cake - is due out in September 2008.

Adam’s first middle grade novel, The True Meaning of Smekday is a wonderfully funny and thoughtful novel (complete with comics) about what happens to Earth when aliens (the Boov) take over, and about what happens after a second race of aliens shows up to claim the planet. There is a much more detailed review than I have space for here if you follow this link to a glowing New York Times article.

One last link – this is one of my son’s favorite websites to visit these days … it’s all about the Boov: http://www.smekday.com/

Adam was kind enough to apply his big wit to my list of little questions. Enjoy!

What's your cure for the blues?
Hmm. Usually I just eat something. That's probably not the right answer, is it?

Your five favorite movies.
Oh, I don't know. In terms of a handful of movies I seem to be able to watch over and over again: Rushmore, The Big Lebowski, The Incredibles, The General (1927), The Iron Giant.

Furthest you've ever been from home.
Taipei, Taiwan, to sit and watch Taiwanese men and boys play Magic: The Gathering. I used to do a lot of artwork for that game.

First car?
A Chevrolet Sprint. Possibly an '89. Red. Slow.

Early bird or night owl?
Neither now, apparently. I used to be a night owl, but nowadays I seem to hit my stride around 2 in the afternoon, and I'm in bed by eleven. I'm a mid-afternoon pigeon.

Rain or sun?
When I lived in Arizona, rain. Here in Philadelphia, sun.

Advice for writers in 5 words or less.
The secret is to always–

Rollercoasters: love em or hate em?
I get sick on them. I like the idea of roller coasters.

Camping or four-star hotel?
Actually, they both make me nervous.

First job?
Bagging groceries at the Safeway.

Favorite pie?
Key lime.

Spring or fall?
In Arizona, fall. In Philly, spring.

Dogs or cats?
Don't make me choose.

Do you have a favorite among your book babies?
I think that would have to be The True Meaning of Smekday. Though there's such a difference between a novel like that and, say, a collection of funny rhyming poems about monsters, that it feels wrong to say I really like one more than the other.

Tell us something weird about you.

Any phobias?
I'm a little acrophobic, though not in the "I can't go up in an elevator" kind of way. More of a "that ladder is at too steep an angle" way.

Funny story. I got a terrible tattoo of a jester's head when I was eighteen, and had it until a couple of years ago, when I decided to get it covered up. I designed a little black creature that would cover the tattoo as economically as possible, and named it the koobish. Then, wanting to imbue the creature with greater significance, I wrote it into the novel I was working on, The True Meaning of Smekday. It turned out to be kind of important to the story in the end, but it started as a tattoo.

Thai food or Chinese?

What books are on your night-stand right now?
If by "night-stand," you mean the bin I keep in the bathroom, then Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, White Teeth by Zadie Smith, and two issues of Astonishing X-Men.

Who do you wish you could meet, living or dead?
Am I dead or are they? I mean, if they're dead it's not going to really matter what they were like in life, they're just going to say "Brains!" over and over. If I'm the one who's dead, I'd like to meet Dick Cheney.

Jessica Biel or Jessica Alba?
Tina Fey.

Thanks for indulging our curiosity, Adam!

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May. 27th, 2008 12:42 am (UTC)
Oooh, I have such a mad professional crush on Adam Rex. Thanks for the interview!
May. 27th, 2008 01:26 pm (UTC)
Happy to oblige! He's so funny. I love his answer to 'who do you want to me, living or dead' ... I crack up every time I read it.
May. 27th, 2008 02:19 am (UTC)
Adam, you are freakin' hilarious! I've recommended SMEKDAY to many at my lib, and now I'm gonna say you have to send him Tina Fey pics, too.
May. 29th, 2008 01:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, how I love Adam Rex. But this is no surprise. He was one of my first-ever interviews at my blog, and I've avidly followed his career ever since. In particular, I love his more contrary answers to some of the questions (particularly that last one).

Thanks for the great interview, both of you.
May. 29th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)
I had forgotten you interviewed him, probably because PBs are not on my mental radar.

And yes, I giggle every time I think of that one answer.

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