Counting down to Lit Fest

An author presents at Printers Row Lit Fest

Do you listen to music while you write? What music?

Sometimes when I write, often when I edit. Usually something without lyrics. "Journey Into Ambient Groove" is something I turn to often, as are Bach's Brandenburg's Concertos. Something about the structure, pace, and occasional fugue in the Brandenburg helps my brain feel more organized and gently driven.

How do you celebrate after you've finished a book?

It's so hard to know WHEN to celebrate. After the first draft? After the accepted manuscript? After copy editing? When you see galleys? My answer: All of the above. I usually get something bubbly (often Prosecco) and inscribe the bottle and cork with the appropriate milestone.

What's your favorite first line of a book? Last line?

Yikes! That's hard.

First line:

"A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head." —"A Confederacy of Dunces," John Kennedy Toole

Fleshy balloon of a head. Brilliant.

What book do you read over and over again?

"If You Want to Write" by Brenda Ueland.

Tao Lin

What do you think of when you think of Chicago?

The Chicago Bulls, Quimby's, Jeffrey Brown, Sam Pink, Steve Roggenbuck.

Who is an author you'd like to meet, dead or alive?

Jean Rhys in her 20s.

What's your favorite font to write in?

It was Garamond before 2007, is currently Helvetica.

Do you listen to music while you write? What music?

Yes. While writing Taipei I listened mostly to St. Vincent, Young Family, Grimes, Don Caballero, Stereolab, Falling for a Square, Julia Holter, The Stupid Stupid Henchmen, Very Okay, Hop Along, P.S. Eliot.