Thin crust v. deep dish; you can love both New York and Chicago, and their @!$#ing pizzas too.
What's your guilty pleasure reading?
Comic books written by Chicago writers like Brian Azzarello, Jill Thompson, Chris Ware and others. Though I don't feel particularly guilty about it.
Can you describe a random or unexpected experience you've had while promoting a book?
Having audience members point out errors in notes at the very first event for "Chicago: City on the Make."
What's your favorite font to write in?
Courier New 12 point. Most resembles old typewriters in pica.
Do you listen to music while you write? What music?
No. I have attention surplus disorder and would have to pay attention to the music.
How do you celebrate after you've finished a book?
Go to Hopleaf to have a few beers with my pals. But that's how I celebrate most Mondays ...
What's your favorite first line of a book? Last line?
"The Captain never drank." First line from Nelson Algren's "The Man with the Golden Arm."
"For keeps and a single day. " Last line from Nelson Algren's "Chicago: City on the Make."
What book do you read over and over again?
As someone who teaches literature for a living, I re-read lots of books a lot. But for pleasure reading the books I re-read over and over again tend to be "guilty pleasures" like Roger Zelazny's science fiction or Eugene Izzi's crime novels, or stuff I don't teach but love like William Butler Yeats, Flann O'Brien, or James Joyce.
What do you think of when you think of Chicago?
Depends on when you're asking. In the summer I think of the lake and endless fun. In the winter I think about hibernation.
Who is an author you'd like to meet, dead or alive?