Friday, October 23, 2009

Five Random Questions with JOHN CONNOLLY

John Connolly is the Irish author of the bestselling Charlie Parker mystery series, the short story collection NOCTURNES, and the modern classic THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS. He is a friend of mine and an occasional client, but he did not pay me to say this: his latest book for young people, THE GATES, is the most entertaining book I've read this year. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. Read it aloud.

1. What's the best live performance you've ever seen?

Hell, I feel like I have to go through all of my ticket stubs for that one. (Yes, I am one of those guys who holds on to his ticket stubs. I hang my head in shame.) I saw Paul Buchanan of The Blue Nile perform at the Barbican in London, which was incredibly beautiful, but that may be due in no small part to my willingness to fight a duel to defend the honor of The Blue Nile against any hint of opprobrium. The first time I saw The Go-Betweens live is right up there too. Oh, and my most recent gig: Wilco. They were superb. And Neil Young earlier this year. And . . .

2. Since your fiction is written mainly in American English, do you find yourself incorporating American terms and idioms into your regular speech? What's your favorite Americanism?

I find that when I return home after a book tour my Irish accent has been flattened considerably, and I tend to use "I guess . . ." more than any Irishman should. Actually, I take great pleasure in pronouncing "basil" as "bay-sil" when I come home, and "oregano" as "ore - egg - an - o," mainly because it irritates the people around me no end. I draw the line at "aluminum," though. It's "aluminium." It just is.

3. You can't get out of going to a Halloween party where costumes are required. What do you wear?

I haven't dressed up for Halloween since I was about nine. I'm not a dressing up box kind of guy. I suffer from acute embarrassment about that kind of public display. I don't even dance. Heck. It would be something British and militaristic from the last century. I like those short jackets with lots of braid. I wish I had the courage to wear one on a daily basis.

4. Do you have any skills that could earn you a place on David Letterman's "Stupid Human Tricks"?

No, none whatsoever. I can recite Shylock's "Mercy Speech" from The Merchant of Venice in its entirety and very, very fast, but that's about it. I am an unskilled laborer.

5. The Doctor says you can borrow the Tardis. Where do you go on the space-time continuum, and which of the Companions do you invite along?

Sarah Jane Smith, aka Elisabeth Sladen. She popped up in Series Three or Four, and she looked very well indeed. I had a massive crush on her as a boy. I met Billie Piper (Rose), though, and she was terribly nice, and very pretty. Still, think it would be Elisabeth, as she was then or as she is now. I'd like to take her somewhere decadent, but reasonably safe. I suspect that I'm not just talking about the time-space continuum either. Sigh.

Thanks, John! If you're in New York, you can see John Connolly tonight at a screening of the documentary John Connolly: Of Blood and Lost Things, at New York University's Glucksman Ireland House at 7:00 p.m. In Maine, John will be at Portland Stage on Monday, October 26 at 7:00 p.m.; details are here. His U.S. tour continues through November 11. Check here to see whether he'll be anywhere near you.


norby said...

I save ticket stubs as well, and not just concerts, movies too. Do you suppose there is a name for this sort of illness?

I refuse to ever dress up for Halloween again.

Anonymous said...

I can't count the number of times David Dipple and I have had the "aluminum/aluminium" discussion.

Not to mention "the company is/are", "calling vs. ringing", and in emails the old "coloUr/neighboUr; organize/organise" etc. themes...

It never gets boring!

AnswerGirl said...

I'm still trying to figure out the Irish/British pronunciation of "oregano." Is it o-re-GAHN-o? Surely not . . . that's just silly . . . really?

david said...

Yes, thats it.