Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Guest Reader Interview: Twenty Questions with Chris Hutchison-Jones

My final reader at this roundtable of book lovers is Chris Hutchison-Jones. This one's going to require some explanation. First of all, it's seventeen questions not the usual twelve because there's just no way to edit this. Everyone should have people in their lives they refuse to edit. My interviewee did not replied via email... but rather post. Yes, that box in your front lawn that holds catalogs... it receives honest to goodness mail too! As I couldn't very well copy and paste this into the Blogger window, I'm left to interpret his reply the best I can and offer visual aids.

The single sheet of paper I pulled from the envelope. It's more organized that it looks.

Chris Hutchison-Jones
What you should know about this reader...
Chris is a great friend as well as a musician/songwriter, social worker, and philosopher of life. Married to Crissy (my previous reader interviewee), I've know him for a lot of years. He's also the person I credit for influencing me to re-embrace my passion for writing. He challenges me, inspires me, and even now with this blog -- coerces me to leave pre-describe formats and try something new. I added some photos to this interview to help create the best and most honest mood for this installment I could. 

Here's my interview with Chris Hutchison-Jones.

1) What kind of reader do you consider yourself?

Scattered? A fisherman? Restless?
Scattered? A fisherman? Restless? Short attention span. I read like a songwriter. I'm just looking for something to steal. I have several books going on at once, at varying degrees and speeds. I read Slaughterhouse 5 in two weeks. I've been working on Moby-Dick for three years. A Levon Helm biography has put everything else on hold.

2) What kinds of books do you read and why? 

The ones I can see. The ones I wouldn't mind dating. I take commitment very seriously.

3) What author's (or stories) do you return to again and again? Why?

I think most males of a certain persuasion go through a Kerouac phase. And he is fun to read still, but he's more of an old friend who doesn't quite fit in with my current station. Someday i want to write a version of On the Road for folks that work 9-5 and take family vacations. An existential crisis with coloring books and pics of the family with the world's biggest ball of barb wire in Texarkana.

Spin me a yarn.
4) As a reader. what do you expect out of the author and the story you are reading? 

Spin me a yarn. Be a good liar so the story's so good that I don't care if they're lyin'.

5) How has the eBook revolution changed the way you read and how you buy books?

The revolution was postponed because of rain. 

6) What makes you pick up a book or author you've never read before?

A whim. First and last name of the author starting with the same letter. 

7) With so many books to read, why do you choose the books you do?

Momentary inspiration. At any moment I have five to ten books to read. 

8) Film before book, or book before film? Why?

Plead the 5th.

9) List the five books that stick with you and tell why they do.

Desolation Angels
"I have nothing to offer anyone but my own confusion."
The Undertaking
How did death move outside and defecation move inside?
House of Leaves
Not sure I finished ... or ever started it.
Dante's Commedia
The perfection of theft
Dylan's Chronicles
Dylan in New Orleans writing Man in the Long Black Coat

Paper cuts and dry eyes. Trying too hard to change the world. 
10) What does reading give you in your life that nothing else can?

Paper cuts and dry eyes.

11) Some people read, some people don't -- why do you think you became a reader? 

12th grade English almost killed reading for me. No one should read Shakespeare with a list of words next to them, having to write down the page they appear.

12) What makes a book disappointing to you?

Trying too hard to change the world.

14) Does the Internet (Facebook, Twitter, Good Reads), book reviews (blogs, Amazon, and B&N), or any media buzz influence your desire to read a book? How or how not? 

Um... yes?

Yes. Book choice is often a game time decision. 
15) Do you judge a book by it's cover? 

Yes. Book choice is often a game time decision.

16) Do author blurbs, cover jackets, and award seals matter to you when choosing a book to read?

Not for hardbacks. Dust covers are promptly discarded. 

17) Have you ever read a book that surprised you, one you didn't expect to like but did? 

Slaughterhouse 5 ... didn't know it was a Sci-Fi novel. 

19) Have there been books you didn't finish reading?

Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, I think I got lost in the navel gazing. 

20) Favorite villain of all time. Explain.

Dante ... a superior thief.

Instead of a bio I give you a somewhat shameless plug...
Check out Chris's band Dressing the Debutantes right here and learn most of what you need to know. 

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