How many babies do you have? Which one is better?

I have one baby.

 

What is the best year?

1992.

 

Of all the Dragonlance novels, what is the best Dragonlance novel?

Some may find it unconventional to ignore the foundational Weis and Hickman trilogies, but there is something distinctive about the Elven Nations

 

How many times have you died?

Zero.

 

What is your best animal encounter?

There was this time I was attacked by a great eagle.  You were there.  I was disoriented, standing outside of a cabin, wearing leathers and furs, holding an interferometer. Do you see these wings I am wearing?  Do not ask me who won.

 

I have always believed that working a few jobs, experiencing the world, and just really living is a better way to learn how to be a writer than attending a privileged MFA program, where they teach cowards how to write.  Do you agree?

Everything you say is wrong.

 

Talk to me about slurry.

Skip.

 

What is one of your all-time best ideas?

I have an idea to start a company that prints cherished works of renaissance artwork on individual sheets of paper toweling.

 

What’s your newest book idea?

I have an idea to tell the story of a lonely man who sets out to build a castle that is a stand-in for his loneliness.  It’s a fortress representing the walls of his personality.  But in the book, he only ever thinks about building this castle, and for most of the first 300 pages he is lying in bed eating pancakes.

 

You are crouched down behind a woodpile. Inside of the cabin, someone you love is in danger. There is a weapon inside but you can’t get to it. What do you do?

Knowing what I know, I know I will have to use fire as a distraction.

 

Do you think Bryce Harper, the baseball player, is a valid metaphor for the newly energized conservative movement?

In the same way that Bryce Harper is known for his athletic play and his habit of chasing down his own teammates in the outfield while they are not looking and devouring them savagely as they scream for mercy, tearing their warm flesh away from their bones using teeth that have been filed down to razor-sharp spikes as the crowd works itself into a fevered frenzy, yes.

 

Who are you?

I don’t know.

 

Why are you?

I don’t know that, either.

________________

Patrick Somerville has written four books, and you can find out more about them at patricksomerville.com. He lives with his wife and son in Chicago. Follow him on twitter at @patrickerville.

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TNB FICTION is proud to showcase book excerpts and original short fiction from some of the finest writers in the world. Features have included work by Aimee Bender, Dan Chaon, Stuart Dybek, Jennifer Egan, Bret Easton Ellis, Roxane Gay, Etgar Keret, Antonya Nelson, and hundreds of other internationally acclaimed and emerging writers. Spotlighting a recent book release each week, TNB Fiction helps bring awareness of new literary fiction, from both trade and independent publishers, to readers around the world, providing a global, free-access arena for spotlighting the genre in an era of shrinking coverage among mainstream print publications. TNB Fiction has its finger on the pulse of a vibrant new generation of writers, as well as established literary greats whose work continues to shape the future dialogue of literary culture. Fiction Editor Rachael Warecki lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in The Los Angeles Review, The Masters Review, Midwestern Gothic, and elsewhere, and has received residency invitations from the Wellstone Center and Ragdale. She holds an MFA in Fiction from Antioch University Los Angeles and is currently at work on a novel.

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