bookworm interview

Bookworm Interview: Jonathan Robertson

Want to get to know the BiblioSmiles contributors? Read below to find out more about Jonathan!

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Q: Tell us about yourself in 100 words or less:

I’m a filmmaker in New York. I like The Rockford Files and I listen to a lot of Elvis Costello and Warren Zevon.

Q: What books did you love as a child?:

I learned to read from comic books. My grandfather owned a comic shop in New Jersey in the 80s, and when he closed it in the early 90s, he kept all of his leftover stock, which was about 5,000 books. He wanted to sell them off, but never got around to it, so throughout my childhood, there was always a basement full of comics to read, which he arranged into a mini-comic shop, just for me.

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Q: What kinds of books do you love now?

I started reading Raymond Chandler when I was in high school, and that got me going on a crime fiction kick that’s never really slowed down. From Chandler, I went for Dashiell Hammett, which led to George V. Higgins and Elmore Leonard, plus Erle Stanley Gardner, Jim Thompson, Lawrence Block… Great googly moogly, the list goes on and on.

Extra special shout out to Darwyn Cooke’s adaptation of Richard Stark’s Parker books. Those are some beautiful graphic novels!

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Q: Where’s your favorite place to sit down and read?

Sitting across the couch, probably with my feet up.

Q: Do you set any goals for yourself as a reader?

I try to not read the same authors over and over again. I love finding new ones and old ones that I’ve never encountered before. Just listening to recommendations and wandering through book stores has led me to find things like The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard and A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin.

Q: Have you ever met any of your favorite authors? What was that like?

I met Werner Herzog when he was signing Conquest of the Useless. He makes these awe-inspiring, bleak, and often brutal films, but he was so humble and sincere. It was a fantastic experience.

Q: How do you mark your place in a book?

Dog eared pages or the flap of a dust jacket.

Q: What books are you on your “must read” list?

52 Pickup by Elmore Leonard, A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler, Of Walking in Ice by Werner Herzog, Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro, All The Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy, Dracula by Bram Stoker, Rebel Without a Crew by Robert Rodriguez, Fatale by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

Q: Here’s a famous question: if you could have dinner with any author, living or dead, who would you choose and why? Where would you go, and what would they order for dinner?

Tough one… Part of me says “Hemingway,” but I feel like we’d spend the whole meal drinking grappa and talking about him (and he didn’t exactly have a sense of humor, particularly about himself…).

So I think I’d have to go with Elmore Leonard. He always spoke so frankly about writing and the writing process – I’ve always admired his honesty. It’s reflected in his writing as well – there’s nothing extemporaneous in his prose.
We’d hang out, probably in Detroit, at a Tigers game, which means beer and hot dogs all around. I don’t even know if we’d talk about books, but I’m sure it’d be a nice time.

Q: What’s your favorite post you’ve written for BiblioSmiles? What’s your favorite post that someone else has written?

I wrote a piece about books not matching their cinematic counterparts, and how that should be expected and even celebrated – you can read it here.

And I’m a sucker for the Anatomy of a Bookshelf series. I love getting a glimpse into someone’s personality via their bookshelf.

Jonathan Robertson is a New York based filmmaker who will never be as cool as Steve McQueen. And that crushes him. But he still tries. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @itsjonrobertson for musings on film, literature, and occasionally Mexican food.

Bookworm Interview: Izzy Skovira

Want to get to know the BiblioSmiles contributors? Read below to find out more about Izzy!

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Q: Tell us about yourself in 100 words or less:

Everyone calls me Izzy, which is perfect for me because it’s a little spunky and so am I. The most important thing in my life is family; my parents are my biggest supporters and I don’t feel whole without my three siblings. I love reading but I sometimes wish I liked to read bigger, more distinguished works. I love to write bad poetry, watercolor, and write snail mail. I have a sweet tooth to be reckoned with and a tendency towards silliness. I try to be optimistic, but there’s two things I’m definitely hopeless about: nostalgia and romance.

littlemermaidQ: What books did you love as a child?

When I first began to read, I loved books that looked and sounded beautiful. I continually found myself turning the pages of The Little Mermaid—“Not Disney! The Hans Christian Andersen!” I loved and love this story because of its fantasy and its romance. I also loved the illustrations.
As I grew into a more mature reader, my tendency towards fantasy continued. I remember devouring Lemony Snickett’s Series of Unfortunate Events and Lynn Ewing’s Daughters of the Moon series. As a kid, I loved getting to stick with the same characters for a good amount of time and there was also a feeling of success when finishing one book and immediately knowing that there was another one waiting.
Through high school, I read fluff. I was busy chugging through Shakespeare and Shelley for English classes, so at home I books about boyfriends, proms, girl drama, and the like.

Q: What kinds of books do you love now?

A few of my childhood trends have followed me into my tentative adulthood as far as reading goes. I still love books that are beautifully crafted, whether that is in illustration, writing, or the physical object itself. I’m a sucker—yes, I totally judge books by their covers. I still love characters that feel like I can hold on to them. I haven’t read many series of late, but a lasting character still means a lot to me. Finally, I still like a novel to be a little bit fluffy. While I love something challenging every now and then, I definitely still gravitate towards easier, more leisurely reads. The last three books I’ve read are: Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt, A Short Guide to A Happy Life by Anna Quindlen, and This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz.

Q: Where’s your favorite place to sit down and read?

In an Adirondack chair, halfway down my driveway at home in Park Ridge, NJ. If you drive by, give me a wave!

Q: Do you set any goals for yourself as a reader?

I have an unwritten goal to constantly be reading something. This year, one of my resolutions was to read 100 books. Not sure how I’m doing on that…

Q: Have you ever met any of your favorite authors? What was that like?

I’ve hardly met any authors, let alone any of my favorite. To tell the plain truth, I have a tendency towards favorite books as opposed to favorite authors. I would, however, love to meet John Green. #fangirl

Q: How do you mark your place in a book?

I never, ever, ever dog ear pages. I also do not use book marks; instead, I stick in a piece of mail, a fortune cookie paper, a receipt from CVS. Whatever I have on hand.

Q: What books are you on your “must read” list?

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Atonement by Ian McEwan
The Collective by Don Lee
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
Kafka on the Shore by Murakami
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame Smith

Q: Here’s a famous question: if you could have dinner with any author, living or dead, who would you choose and why? Where would you go, and what would they order for dinner?

Ernest Hemingway because he’d be the most fun. We’d go for steaks and then out to a bar. He’d probably drink whiskey.

Q: What’s your favorite post you’ve written for BiblioSmiles? What’s your favorite post that someone else has written?

Ten Reasons Why Bookworm Life is Tough” was fun to write. I love the Anatomy of a Bookshelf posts because I’m infinitely curious about the intimacies of other people’s lives.

Izzy Skovira loves writing, dogs, food, and photography. Read more about her at izzyskovira.tumblr.com or connect @htothe_izzzo.

Bookworm Interview: Emily Verona

Want to get to know the BiblioSmiles contributors? Read below to find out more about Emily!

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Q: Tell us about yourself in 100 words or less:

I have loved fiction for so long that I legitimately don’t know where or how it started. I remember being read to as a child and growing so fond of reading that I didn’t want to stop. When I thought that I’d run out of books that interested me, that is when I began writing my own.

Q: What books did you love as a child?

A Little Princess by Francis Hodgson Burnett was the first book I ever loved, and remains my favorite to this day. It was the book I learned to read on.

Q: What kinds of books do you love now?

I like books that hurt. I know that’s a bit grim, but I enjoy books with characters so brutal and raw and honest that it makes your soul ache. I am fascinated by how people move through life and interact with one another.

Q: Where’s your favorite place to sit down and read?

I have always wanted to be one of those people who reads outside, but for me it is in my room. I am easily distracted and like to people-watch, and so reading in my room is the best way to remain focused.

Q: Do you set any goals for yourself as a reader?

My only goal as a reader is to read good books.

Q: Have you ever met any of your favorite authors? What was that like?

For years I read primarily classic novels, and so meeting them was impossible. As I got a bit older I started to read more contemporary fiction and grew very fond of Cormac McCarthy and Daniel Woodrell. Last spring I was fortunate enough to attend a reading by Daniel Woodrell in New York. He discussed his life, writing, and read a selection from his latest novel. I was worried it might be disappointing, but he was marvelous to listen to and very personable. I asked him to sign my book at the end and he was very friendly and patient with everyone, even though I was completely nervous and a little awkward.

Q: How do you mark your place in a book?

Memory. I’m a bit pretentious and like to just open to where I was without disturbing the book or fumbling with anything.

Q: What books are you on your “must read” list?

I think everyone should read No Country For Old Men, Never Let Me Go, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice, All The King’s Men, Winter’s Bone, Lord Of the  Rings, and Crime and Punishment.

In terms of books I have been meaning to read, but haven’t gotten to yet, I’m interested in the Master And Commander series, as well as some of Elizabeth Gaskell’s lesser known novels.

Q: Here’s a famous question: if you could have dinner with any author, living or dead, who would you choose and why? Where would you go, and what would they order for dinner?

I have two answers. I would love to have afternoon tea with Jane Austen, enjoying some kind of pastry and discussing literature and being elegant and witty, but I would most definitely screw that up. She is just too intimidating.

I suppose my formal answer would have to be Stephen King. I would order Chinese food, bean curd and fried rice. He is a fascinating, knowledgeable pop culture icon and I would love to discuss television, film, and novels with him. It is rare to find someone so invested in all three mediums and that is something I really identify with.

Q: What’s your favorite post you’ve written for BiblioSmiles? What’s your favorite post that someone else has written?

I really enjoyed writing about authors that “Inspire, Discourage, And Inspire Again.” Such a devastating part of being a young writer is grappling with feelings of inadequacy, and so I am always awed by those that accomplished so much at such a young age.

In terns of posts by someone else, I enjoy all the Anatomy of a Bookshelf articles. I love seeing how other people structure and what they read. It is too difficult to choose just one, they are all fantastic. If you haven’t read them yet, you should.

Emily Ruth Verona received her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Cinema Studies from The State University of New York at Purchase. She lives in New Jersey. For more visit www.emilyruthverona.com or follow her on Twitter @emilyrverona.

Bookworm Interview: Andrew Marinaccio

Want to get to know the BiblioSmiles contributors? Read below to find out more about Andrew!

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Q: Tell us about yourself in 100 words or less:

Working on it.

Q: What books did you love as a child?:

Arthur Meets the President by Marc Brown; The Giver by Lois Lowry; The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.

Q: What kinds of books do you love now?

Ones about small things. Books that embrace the unkempt nature of their subjects by also being unkempt, achieving balance and keen delicacy because of it. Books that don’t shortchange anyone’s ability to empathize.

Q: Where’s your favorite place to sit down and read?

My bed, but only after a day of work.

Q: Do you set any goals for yourself as a reader?

Sometime, somewhere, some way, every page of the book I’ve committed myself to must be read.

Q: Have you ever met any of your favorite authors? What was that like?

I haven’t! Maybe once time-travel becomes a thing.

Q: How do you mark your place in a book?

A metal, Celtic-inspired bookmark from the MET given to me by an old teacher.

Q: What books are you on your “must read” list?

I haven’t properly tackled The Lord of the Rings trilogy despite my unconditional love for The Hobbit and anything even vaguely associated with Middle Earth. Progressive stance on the worth of film adaptations aside, I know I haven’t entered Tolkien’s world yet, only feeling like a shameful tourist on the borders of it. I also have The Satanic Verses, The Sound and the Fury, and The Art of the Interview waiting for me.

Q: Here’s a famous question: if you could have dinner with any author, living or dead, who would you choose and why? Where would you go, and what would they order for dinner?

William Faulkner. Admittedly, I did a little e-research to see if Faulkner enjoyed any particular types of food. After all, it’s only fair to be a considerate dinner acquaintance. The writer allegedly loved pan-fried salmon croquettes, a dish I’m unfamiliar with but would easily accompany the seven fish dishes my mother makes for Christmas Eve dinner every year. I’d make the croquettes for the holiday– though most likely not out of the canned salmon he was accustomed to — and invite him over to feast. Ideally we’d talk on my porch over hot cider and eat liberally. It wouldn’t be Sunday brunch at Rowan Oak, but I’m sure Faulkner would have a field day with the folkways (and food) of the Bronx.

Q: What’s your favorite post you’ve written for BiblioSmiles? What’s your favorite post that someone else has written?

A: I hadn’t written a story like the one on my experience resurrecting an old, Underwood typewriter before it. I don’t write many first-person blog posts, so it was fun and creatively rejuvenating to get out of my comfort zone and directly talk about the things I sometimes do.

Danielle’s book swap dos and don’ts will probably remain delightfully sage advice for the foreseeable future, unless oedipal complexes come in vogue.

Andrew Marinaccio often scrambles to write things down. Sometimes those things wind up on the Internet at websites like BrooklynVegan and his blog, Disco Cannoli.

Bookworm Interview: Danielle Villano

Want to get to know the BiblioSmiles contributors? Read below to find out more about Danielle!

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Q: Tell us about yourself in 100 words or less:

I was born three months early, and now I try to arrive on time for everything. I was raised in northern New Jersey and I have a lot of pride for my state, but I recently made the move to NYC. I love it so far! I just took an editor position at a publishing company, and I feel very blessed for the opportunity. I get absurdly excited about macarons, bread, baby elephants, movies featuring Adam Scott, Dancing With the Stars, and a good gin cocktail. Oh – I’m the editor of BiblioSmiles, and I couldn’t be happier about that!

Q: What books did you love as a child?

My favorite book to take out of the elementary school library was A Very Young Dancer by Jill Krementz. The book was full of beautiful photos and it followed the progress of a young ballerina in a dance company. Dancing was a big part of my life when I was younger. The checkout card in the back of the book was just my name, over and over.

As I got older, I fell in love with fantasy and magic. Some books that still stick out in my mind are The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine (I wrote an incredibly-detailed book report on it in the sixth grade), The Claidi Journals series by Tanith Lee, Tithe by Holly Black, and the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan. I would check two or three of those out at a time; I really loved that series.

Right before seventh grade began, I started reading V.C. Andrews (Flowers in the Attic was first). This opened up a whole new door for me, and I sort of became obsessed with romance novels after that.

Q: What kinds of books do you love now?

I still read romance novels quite often. I used to be ashamed to say that. I think it’s because I went to school for writing and a lot of classmates looked down on the genre. I’m over that now; I like to read what makes me happy, and there’s really a lot of great romance writing out there. I love the Fifty Shades phenomenon; I think it did some interesting things for romance, and brought it out of the shadows. No need to hide under the covers with a romance novel anymore – you can even read it on public transportation… everyone else is doing it!

My favorite books now are coming-of-age stories. I will always feel drawn to that kind of storyline, and it’s what I like to write myself. When I was younger I really connected with a lot of coming-of-age stories, and that’s stuck. Some of my favorites now are The Adults by Alison Espach, The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker, and The Pink Hotel by Anna Stothard.

I’m also partial to short stories and memoirs, after taking a fabulous memoir class with Melissa Febos, the author of Whip Smart. 

Q: Where’s your favorite place to sit down and read?

I like to read sprawled out on my bed or curled up on the couch. Having a Kindle has made it easier to read on-the-go, and so I like to get a few pages in on my subway commute, or if I’m taking a train back to New Jersey.

Q: Do you set any goals for yourself as a reader?

When I was reviewing books regularly, I tried to read a book each week. That’s kind of fun and exhilarating, but at the same time I didn’t feel like I was able to enjoy the book with the goal in mind. So for now, my goal is to read the stuff I want to read, blog about it when it strikes my fancy, and continue to work towards my Goodreads challenge goal of 50 books for 2014. (I’m pretty sure I’ll surpass it.)

As I said in my recent post about Goodreads, I like to keep a running list of the books I read. I also keep the same list in a Word document. So, my long-standing goal is to always be able to update that list. I don’t want it to stand still for too long.

Q: Have you ever met any of your favorite authors? What was that like?

Back in 2010 when Imperial Bedrooms, the sequel to Less Than Zero, was published, I had the chance to attend a reading by Bret Easton Ellis. He is my absolute favorite author (something that a lot of people who know me find very funny), and so I was a giddy, jittery mess the entire time. Aside from remembering that I finished reading Imperial Bedrooms in the time I was waiting for the reading to start (I got there super early so I could get a good seat!), a lot of the reading and discussion was a blur. I hung onto Ellis’s every word, though. When I approached him to have my book signed, I rambled on about how inspiring he was, but he was obviously distracted or just totally not listening. It’s okay, though. He shook my hand, and that was kind of the coolest thing ever.

I also met Sylvia Day, the author of the Crossfire series, at BookCon this year. She was very sweet, and took the time to talk to every person in line. It was worth waiting on a line of grumpy romance-novel-reading ladies just to meet her.

Q: How do you mark your place in a book?

I have this cheap cloth bookmark that’s woven with red, blue, and silver threads. It actually says “Book Mark” on it. I bought it for a quarter at a thrift store quite a few years ago. I’ve managed to hold onto it all this time, and I use it quite often. When it’s not handy, a receipt or ticket stub will do the trick!

Q: What books are you on your “must read” list?

Too many to count! There are so many books I need to get around to reading: The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe, Wasted by Marya Hornbacher, This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper, Zeroville by Steve Erickson, Drinking with Men by Rosie Schaap, The Richard Burton Diaries… heck, I even want to read The Hunger Games trilogy and the Divergent series. My Amazon wishlist has 355 books on it. I think you understand.

As far as books everyone must read? Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You by Amy Bloom, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Q: Here’s a famous question: if you could have dinner with any author, living or dead, who would you choose and why? Where would you go, and what would they order for dinner?

I’d have to choose the aforementioned Bret Easton Ellis. The thing is, we’d have to travel in time back to the late 80s or early 90s so I could understand his whole “scene” as a young writer. We’d eat lunch outside of some popular spot like Spago or The Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills, and the sun would be so bright that we’d still be squinting behind our sunglasses. We’d talk about sparse prose and name brands and he’d promise to make me a really cool mixtape. He would order something weird and flashy like roast duck pizza, but then pick disinterestedly at it and down a prescription cocktail.

Q: What’s your favorite post you’ve written for BiblioSmiles? What’s your favorite post that someone else has written?

My personal essay on my reading list will always have a special place in my heart. Since my stomach just growled, I should also mention how much I enjoyed writing about food in books. As the editor, I’ve loved every single post that’s gone up on the site. So I’ll just mention these two: Alyson’s post about reading while teaching is so great because she’s passing on the tips that have helped her balance her reading life with her professional life. I’m also quite partial to Gabriele’s post, “What’s Don Draper Reading?” I’m a huge Mad Men fan. Bring on the drinks!

Danielle Villano is the editor of BiblioSmiles, and she is really glad you’re here. Learn more on the About page.  Tweet @daniellevillano.

Bookworm Interview: Samantha Yellin

Want to get to know the BiblioSmiles contributors? Read below to find out more about Samantha!

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Q: Tell us about yourself in 100 words or less:

Hmm…well currently I live in Korea teaching English, and I’m horrible at talking about myself. However, I love getting A’s for effort, so here we are…I read, a lot, mostly thanks to a habit picked up in childhood of taking out the max number of books from the library (five) and reading them all at once. Right now I’m reading…three, I think? Four, actually, three on my Kindle and one that actually exists in real life. 24 words left…I really, really, really love coffee flavored drinks, but I hate coffee itself. Weird?

Q: What books did you love as a child?

Oh, boy. Do I bother saying Harry Potter? I grew up with Harry Potter, literally. That’s more than just childhood. That was part of my life. I was surrounded by Great Illustrated Classics as a kid, but my heart was always elsewhere. I loved Tamora Pierce and devoured her books, spent pretty much every year from third grade devouring Brian Jacques’ Redwall books…I loved the Young Wizards books by Diane Duane, The Unicorn Chronicles by Bruce Coville…I feel like I sound like the biggest nerd right now. When I was a little kid, I was permanently surrounded by books. I think my parents went out of their way to make sure I always had things to read. So I could go on for a very, very long time.

Q: What kinds of books do you love now?

Another long-winded question for me. I think if I narrowed it down to the past year, things haven’t really changed. I still devour YA fantasy, adult fantasy, comic books. If I’m handed a book of essays I will enjoy it but I’m awful at finding it myself (this horse needs to be led to non-fiction water). The biggest difference now is that when I read, I notice things like prose that I didn’t when I was a kid. A good story was all I needed. Now, I love a good story as much as the next person, but if I can find a book with turns of phrase that make me physically smile and itch for a highlighter? That’s perfect for me.

My favorite book I’ve read in the past year would probably be The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. It’s like a heist movie in a fantasy world – nothing is better than that.

Q: Where’s your favorite place to sit down and read?

Give me a corner anywhere and I can make myself comfortable. Some of my friends have stopped being surprised – they’ll leave me sitting outside the movie theater to go get popcorn and come back to me huddled in a corner with my Kindle already turned on. I do a lot of reading on the bus, as well…Korean bus seats are a million times more comfortable than in the US. It’s perfect reading time.

Q: Do you set any goals for yourself as a reader?

This year I’m attempting the Goodreads challenge. I figured I would have a lot of time to read, so I would do my best to attempt to read 50 books. Well, it backfired when I underestimated how many books I could actually read. I didn’t have as much time in the US to read as I do here in Korea. I’d forgotten how fast I can put books away and I’m 7 books “ahead of schedule.” Yeesh. I wonder if I can make the challenge more challenging? Is that cheating? Good cheating?

Q: Have you ever met any of your favorite authors? What was that like?

Hahaha. Okay. So I have two stories. One isn’t so much a story as it is how I generally start a conversation with strangers.

“Guess what? Neil Gaiman retweeted me once.”

Which was the pinnacle of my life and I basically stopped trying to achieve anything after it happened.

The other is…well, this is what happened:

When I was a teenager I was really into the Forgotten Realms, which is a big shared universe project consisting of what is essentially Dungeons and Dragons adventures in book form. I devoured them. I picked up the first ones in middle school and just kept reading them, but over and over I would gravitate towards a very specific author, RA Salvatore. He’s pretty well-known for his Drizzt Do’Urden books, and I was way into hero-worshipping him. This was all while I was still fishtailing between being a Super Serious Author™ and refusing to give up writing YA romance into my fantasy story but still feeling guilty about it.

So I go to the doctor one day, and the nurse asks me if I read any books. Casual conversation, I am the doughy bookish type so I say “yes, I do read occasionally.” Remember how I don’t do well at talking about myself? After the awkward silence passes she asks me what I read and I very carefully reply, “…fantasy.” I expected the conversation to end there. Most adults stop taking me seriously after I drop the F word. Instead, I hear this:

“Oh. My brother writes fantasy! Maybe you know him! Have you ever heard of RA Salvatore?”

I fell off the table. She tells me he’s coming to give a talk and book signing at the Barnes and Noble I grew up in. I get back on the table so I can fall off it again.

I go to that signing. I hang on his every word. I am determined to play it cool when I meet him. I am fifteen people away from meeting him. Look at all these dorks in front of me. I bet he’s sick of talking to a bunch of basement dwellers who argued with him about the pronunciation of his main character’s name. I’ll be a breath of fresh air. I am six people away. He’ll sign my book with a special message because I left such a lasting impact on him. A fan, a real fan! I bet he’ll want to know I want to be a writer because of him. I mean, it wasn’t really because of him but he totally helped, right? He’ll want to hear that. I am three people away. I am two people away. I am next.

And here I have to end the story, because I legitimately do not remember what happens next. I blank out. My book is signed, so I know I didn’t faint or bolt for the door. But whatever happened, the security cameras only know. I bet he was nice, though. I like to think he was nice.

Q: How do you mark your place in a book?

I’ll tell you what, it would be with one of the eighteen Lord of the Rings bookmarks I’ve bought since Fellowship came out if it wasn’t for me constantly losing them. They always disappear, but they leave the rings behind! For One Ring, there’s an awful lot of them sitting in my room right now.

…I started folding pages sometimes around college and never looked book. It just makes sense. In a way, it feels like marking some kind of territory. This is my book; this is my page.

Q: What books are you on your “must read” list?

What book isn’t? Mostly I’m very, very excited for the rest of this year. Robin Hobb is coming out with a new FitzChivalry book, Brent Weeks is putting out another Lightbringer book. Rob Thurman is putting out another Cal Leandros book and Scott Lynch has the next Gentlemen Bastards book soon – it’s quite the year for me. Books that have already come out? There are a lot. I’d like to get more into Junot Diaz, read more of the classics, and I really do want more personal essay books under my belt. I’m always open to recommendations!

Q: Here’s a famous question: if you could have dinner with any author, living or dead, who would you choose and why? Where would you go, and what would they order for dinner?

I had been mulling over this for a while, but my answer did eventually surprise me. I would want Geoffrey Chaucer, I think. I’d like to think dinner would be full of just him sitting there judging everybody around him with, like, minimal small-talk. He strikes me as the kind of person that would keep going in a conversation until the other person finally decided to get a word in.

I wouldn’t go somewhere fancy. We don’t need fancy. We’d just go to a TGI Friday’s or something. I bet he’d be judgey about the table of drunk businessmen in the corner, and the noisy family who gets dessert AND an appetizer, or the bachelorette party one-too-many cotton candy martinis in. I get along with judgey people.

He’d totally get a cheeseburger. Maybe with bacon.

Q: What’s your favorite post you’ve written for BiblioSmiles? What’s your favorite post that someone else has written?
I’ve only written one (here)! I’m so bad at coming up with ideas for posts. But my favorite post has to be Gabriele’s post on literary tattoos. It’s what finally gave me the courage to get my own on my shoulder blade three weeks later!

Samantha Yellin’s body exists in South Korea, but her mind is always wandering elsewhere and really, it’s a wonder she gets anything done. More of her evasive procrastinating can be found at A Case of Writerlust.