Counting down to Lit Fest

An author presents at Printers Row Lit Fest

Bad questions don't bother me — it's my own bad answers that can be troubling.

What's your guilty pleasure reading?

Unless you're leafing through bomb-making instructions or your beloved's journal, reading isn't anything to feel guilty about. Read with gusto, I say. Read People magazine. Read poetry. Read celebrity poetry in People magazine. Whatever.

Can you describe a random or unexpected experience you've had while promoting a book?

I once awoke on a red-eye between bookstore readings in San Francisco and Boston, looked out the airplane window and discovered I was flying directly over my own house in Minneapolis, my wife and daughter asleep 30,000 feet beneath me.

What's your favorite font to write in?

My own handwriting. Which oddly never looks the same to me month-to-month.

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

A new book is something to celebrate — but it's also something to mourn. For the book, it's a beginning; for the writer, it's an end. It's like sending your daughter off to college. You want to clink glasses, but you also want to bawl your eyes out. I'm happiest writing new poems, so the quicker I can get back to work, the less of a nuisance I'll be to those around me.

T.M. Goeglein

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

Dead: Raymond Chandler. Alive: Elmore Leonard. In the grand tradition of hardboiled American literature, they link generations.

What's the worst question you've ever been asked in an interview?

My Young Adult trilogy, "Cold Fury," is a contemporary thriller about a young girl's entry into Chicago's criminal organization, the Outfit. I wouldn't call it the worst question — maybe the most uninformed? I was asked by a Dutch publication if, while conducting research, I'd had the opportunity to meet Al Capone. Only his ghost, I said.

Can you describe a random or unexpected experience you've had while promoting a book?

During a Q & A following an appearance, an audience member asked if my beard was real. I thought she was being a wise-ass until the signing, when she asked if she could touch it. I said no.

What's your favorite font to write in?

Times New Roman. It just feels official.

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

Oh yeah — a little of everything, but recently I've been listening to lot of the jazz clarinetist, Anat Cohen. Her version of "La Vie En Rose" rocks very hard.