Interview with David Goodwillie

April, 2012
David Goodwillie

Quick Start

SS: How would you describe your life in only 8 words?

DG: Intriguingly atypical and still very much in development.

SS: What is your motto or maxim?

DG: The words on my screensaver: "Sit down and write, you idiot."

What Readers want to know...

SS: How would you describe perfect happiness?

DG: As a fictional conceit.

SS: What’s your greatest fear?

DG: That my publisher will make me Twitter.

SS: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

DG: I keep thinking about Marfa, Texas, though I've never been.

SS: Which living person do you most admire?

DG: Paul Newman. I know, I know, not applicable, but can you come up with anyone better?

SS: What are your most overused words or phrases?

DG: Apparently, I start too many sentences with the word "And".

SS: What do you regret most?

DG: Not taking my baseball career more seriously.

SS: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

DG: A stronger throwing arm.

SS: What is your greatest achievement?

DG: My two books.

SS: What’s your greatest flaw?

DG: Too many to choose from.

SS: What’s your best quality?

DG: Open-mindedness

SS: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?

DG: A young Leonard Cohen

SS: What trait is most noticeable about you?

DG: I always wear boots.

SS: Who is your favorite fictional hero?

DG: Henry Gondorff

SS: Who is your favorite fictional villain?

DG: Doyle Lonnegan

SS: What is your biggest pet peeve?

DG: Sequels

SS: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

DG: French charcuterie

SS: What are your 5 favorite songs?

DG: At the moment: My Only Offer (Mates of State); Better Son/Daughter (Rilo Kiley); Plus Ones (Okkervil River); Wake Up (Julia Darling); Two Steps Forward (Emmy the Great).

SS: With whom in history do you most identify?

DG: The 1969 Mets.

SS: If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?

DG: Martin Luther King. And I'd say thank you.

SS: What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?

DG: Books, bars, beaches.

SS: What’s your fantasy profession?

DG: Being Dan Brown's literary agent.

SS: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?

DG: Passion, humor, independence.

Questions About Books and Writing

SS: Who are your favorite authors?

DG: Martin Amis Saul Bellow Don DeLillo Kiran Desai Junot Diaz Joan Didion Dave Eggers Louise Erdrich F. Scott Fitzgerald Ian Frazier Alan Furst David Gates Adam Gopnik Phillip Gourevitch Amy Hempel A. J. Liebling Ian McEwan Jay McInerney Joseph Mitchell Richard Price Phillip Roth James Salter Zadie Smith Gay Talese Benjamin Taylor David Foster Wallace Tom Wolfe

SS: What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

DG: "The Corrections" "The Electric Koolaid Acid Test" "Brightness Falls" "American Pastoral" "We Wish to Inform you that Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families"

SS: Is there a book you love to reread?

DG: The Corrections

SS: Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

DG: Revise, Revise, Revise.

SS: What comment do you hear most often from your readers?

DG: "Can I send something to your agent?"

General Questions

SS: What is your birthdate?

DG: 3/25

SS: What were your previous occupations?

DG: Baseball player, Private investigator, Sotheby's auction house expert, Internet entrepreneur, Journalist.

SS: What was/is your favorite job?

DG: Writing books.

SS: Where did you go to high school and/or college?

DG: Kenyon College (Gambier, OH); St. George's School (Newport, RI)

SS: Name of your favorite composer or music artist?

DG: Okkervil River

SS: What is your favorite movie?

DG: The Sting

SS: What is your favorite television show?

DG: The West Wing

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