Here’s what you do, you leave it to someone else to ask the questions. This was an idea born one night over tator tots at Grumpy’s. I wish I could say this was my idea, but it wasn’t. The credit goes to either Steve Brezenoff (our interviewee) or Kurtis Scaletta (our interviewer). Since they very much love to argue with each other, I’ll let them duke it out. Before we get to the main event I need to tell you two things.
First, Steve has a new book out. It’s called Brooklyn, Burningand it’s very good (I will elaborate on this in a review later this week).
Second, Steve will be reading at 7:30 p.m., Friday, August 26th, at Magers & Quinn, 3038 Hennepin Ave. S.
Now, on with the show!
Kurtis: Does YA save?
Steve: It does on Wednesdays with double coupons!
Kurtis: What pizza topping(s) should every pizza place offer that none (or practically none) do?
Steve: I’m sure it’s out there, but it’s not at my two favorite locals: Punch and Black Sheep, and I think it ought to be, especially at Black Sheep, who have a much heartier pie: broccolini. It’s got a sharp, bright green taste, and would go very well with garlic, and the spicier, more robust meat choices, like a good meatball, spicy Italian sausage, pepperoni, or sopressata (which is also not available on local pies and should be).
Kurtis: Do you have a favorite poet?
Steve: Long answer: I know it’s a tired line and a lazy attitude, but I just never really got into poetry. I studied some in college, naturally, and I enjoyed William Carlos Williams. I admit I don’t really remember much else specifically.
Short answer: my wife.
Kurtis: What would be your ideal job if you had to pick one that didn’t involve writing or publishing?
Steve: I have had three dream jobs in my life: writer (check!), stay-at-home dad (check!), and chef. I used to watch the Frugal Gourmet with Jeff Smith religiously, and became obsessed with cooking at a very young age. I once used the term “deglazing” in conversation with my dad when I was about ten and he nearly fell over. I suppose nowadays everyone’s got the Food Network, so it’s no big deal. But in the early 80s, this was kind of odd.
Kurtis: Who is your favorite bass player?
Steve: I have a few, naturally. They are Nate Mendel of Sunny Day Real Estate, John Entwistle of the Who, Leslie Langston of Throwing Muses, and Paul McCartney of the Beatles.
Kurtis: What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of being an author in the 21st Century?
Steve: My favorite and least favorite both lie in the most obvious feature of our 21st century existence, and that’s technology and the internet. I like that I can connect with other writers of young adult and children’s lit, via Twitter and Facebook and that sort of thing, because frankly–though I don’t miss having actual coworkers–it’s nice to have colleagues, readily available. Meanwhile, it also sucks. Having colleagues readily available also produces a competitive attitude to some degree, be it in the number of words I’ve written, or books I’ve put out, or followers I’ve got on Twitter. On a related note, though I certainly like my word processing programs and am glad to be of relatively healthy body and mind, it would be neat to try being a drunken, typewriter-poking, surly writer of the bygone era. Surly on its own hasn’t gotten me very far. Yet.
Kurtis Scaletta, our very fine interviewer, is the author of Mudville, Mamba Point, and the soon-to-be-released The Tanglewood Terror. He’ll be answering Steve’s questions right here on September 13. Also, mark your calendars now, The Tanglewood Terror launch party is September 16 at the Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul.