Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gilliam on Kubrick and Spielberg

Here's a short clip of Terry Gilliam talking about Steven Spielberg (not my favorite director) and Stanley Kubrick (God). I like it because I agree with what he says, and because the point he is making applies no less to literature.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Brief Interview with Miz Fitz

In her own words, Miz Fitz's blog, "What Boys Really Want," offers "pithy, straight-from-the-hip advice" to her readers. Since she has generously recommended my new novel on her blog, I requested an interview. It did not go well.

Pete Hautman: First, let me thank you for taking the time to drop by to share your thoughts.

Miz Fitz: I am happy to do so, as it may increase my own blog traffic. Blogging is by nature incestuous. One cannot afford to be too fastidious.

PH: I could not help but notice that the title of your blog is the same as the title of my new book, What Boys Really Want. Was that intentional?

MF: Rest assured, I am in communication with my lawyers. They tell me you do not have sufficient resources for it to make it worth my time and effort to bring a lawsuit.

PH: Oh. Thank you. I think.

MF: You are welcome. Do you have a question?

PH: Yes. What do boys really want?

PH: I have read your blog.

MF: Have you learned anything?

PH: I learned a lot! For example, it had never occurred to me that some girls shave their toes. Do you shave your toes?

MF: Are you always so rude, or should I take this personally?

PH: You are very touchy.

MF: I prefer the term “discerning.” Goodbye.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I Have Been Inattentive...

...because I've been hanging out over at Miz Fitz's blog lately and not posting much here. Why? Frankly, I find Miz Fitz to be more interesting than me, which is in itself interesting, because I find myself to be endlessly fascinating. Writers.

What I like about Miz Fitz is that she can say things I can't, because she is "fictional." I've been thinking a lot about the concept of "fiction" lately, in part because I'm giving a talk at the Illinois Association of Teachers of English (IATE) conference in February. The theme of the conference is "Truth." I'm thinking that the title of my talk will be "Truth: It's All a Lie."

The other presenter at the conference is Ellen Hopkins. Why do I find that amusing?

Also amusing is the cover of the British edition of What Boys Really Want. I love that dotted line. Also, the hyphens.

BTW, Miz Fitz needs some questions.  I would really appreciate it if you would take a moment to ask her one.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I had a great trip to Gillette, Wyoming last week—five days of presentations to junior high students, about 2500 teens total.  Kind of amazing when you consider that there are only about half a million people in the entire state. That' small percentage of one percent of Wyomingans (Wyomans? Wyomanese? Wyomites?), but close to ten percent of all the 7th, 8th, and 9th graders in Wyoming. My thanks to the students and staff at the Wright, Sage Valley, and Twin Spruce schools. Everybody was really nice, and nobody fell asleep or threw rotten eggs.

My host and handler for the week was uber-librarian Sue Knesel (above right), who started me off with a trip to Devil's Tower, and took me to, I think, every restaurant in the greater Gillette area. Thanks, Sue!

In other news, the mysterious Miz Fitz is having a contest over on her blog.  The stupendous prize is an ARC (advance reading copy) of my upcoming novel, WHAT BOYS REALLY WANT.  All you have to do is send her a question before the end of November, and then hope she picks it.  Since only a few people have discovered Miz Fitz's blog, your odds of winning are quite good.