6 questions we hardly ever ask: Steve Brezenoff, author

When we last left Steve Brezenoff, he was in the midst of class at The Loft and anticipating the publication of his first young adult novel. Well it’s been nearly a year since he answered the 6 questions we always ask and his young adult novel, The Absolute Value of -1 was released earlier this month (I’ll post a review tomorrow).

Steve’s got a bunch of activity going on around the release of his novel. He’s going to be all over the internet this week on a blog tour, he’s got a twitterview (I can’t write that word without gagging, I’m sorry) at 1 p.m. Wednesday. What the hell is a twitterview? I’m glad you asked (I had to), it’s an interview via twitter where anyone can ask questions by including the appropriate hashtag, in this case it’s #absolutevalue. By the way, you can follow him @sbrezenoff. I suggest you ask him to come up with a better name than “twitterview.”

Finally, if twitterviews aren’t your thing you can go to Steve’s reading and ask him him questions in person. He’s going to be reading at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, September 23rd, at Magers & Quinn (3038 Hennepin Ave. S, Minneapolis). Until then, you’ll have to settle for the answers he gave to the 6 questions we hardly ever ask.

What's the last book you really loved and want everyone to read?
I gotta go with Harmonic Feedback, by fellow Tenner Tara Kelly. It’s a fantastic bit of realistic YA, with a “spectrum” protagonist called Drea. If you’re like me, you’ll be in love with her by page two. Then you won’t stop till the end–crying, because it’s sad, and also because it’s over.

What are your six dream Jeopardy categories?

  1. Narnian trivia
  2. College rock of Massachusetts, 1987-1993
  3. The Chicago Manual of Style
  4. Buffy and the Scoobies
  5. The life of Steve Brezenoff
  6. The Marx Brothers

Which book in your collection have you had the longest?
Whose Mouse Are You?, a picture book, of course. It was originally purchased for my brother, three years my senior, but when my obsession with mice developed (it is ongoing), it became mine. So, that would be about thirty-three years now.

What punctuation/grammatical error bothers you the most?
I’ve really tried to move from prescriptivist (I used to be a copy editor, remember) to descriptivist, and have had much success. With a few usage issues (“begs the question,” for example, and half the crap local newscasters manage to vomit during the average evening broadcast), I don’t have grammatical pet peeves anymore. As long as you’re making sense, I say English is pretty malleable. Have at it. (This is a major concern, since I’m in school for my high school English teaching license, so I’ll have to eventually teach “rules” as rules. Blecch.)

If you could be a superhero, what would your superpowers to be?
As a younger man, I’d have taken the cheap way out of this and chosen “My will be done,” which is totally a theoretical power. BUT in the spirit of this question, I will choose invisibility–at will, of course; any other kind is a curse, as we all know. Especially those of us who watched Buffy a lot. I’d also like flight. Yes, teleportation is quicker, but think of all you’d miss.

Which book do you keep telling yourself you're going to read, but probably won't?
Most of them. But if I can only pick one, it’s gotta be Ulysses. Sorry, everyone. A couple of people I know personally adore this book and will give me a hard time. And sure, maybe when I retire I’ll pick this thing up, but at the rate the economy is going, am I really going to retire? Unlikely.

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