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Some rampant memery:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."

2. I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.

3. You will update your livejournal/website with the answers to the questions and leave the answers as comments here (or at least provide a pointer to your site).

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

(If by chance a bunch of people want to be interviewed, I reserve the right to only ask questions of the first two or three)

Here's my interview, questions by Sonya:

1) What do you like best about Oakland (unless you've moved since your bio in Little Gods, in which case what do you like best about wherever in California you're currently living)?

I'm still in Oakland. What I like most about it is all the different spaces. I'm within a few minutes of redwood hiking trails, a lake, a bird sanctuary, a couple of great independent theaters, great bookstores, great caf├ęs. Urban and natural experiences are both in easy reach. Also, the part of me that roots for the underdog loves living in Oakland, the looked-down-upon stepsister to San Francisco. (I saw a great bumper sticker the other day. It read "I live in The City -- Oakland!" This is funny because, locally, when anyone says "the city" they're referring to San Francisco.) The more time I spend wandering around Oakland, the more I find to love (the Parkway theater! the rose garden! Children's Fairyland! Etc.!).

2) Which mythology attracts you most?

These days, probably Polynesian/South Pacific, because I don't know much about it, and am just starting to read about the subject. I'm all about shark gods. But, as for mythologies I've actually studied a fair bit, I love Aztec myths. Such a rich pantheon, and the worldview of the Aztecs was so radically different from anything in my personal experience that I find their religion endlessly fascinating. Tlaltecuhtli rules.

3) What artist or band's music do you think most reflects your life?

Not sure how to answer this. There are bands I love, but I'm not sure their music reflects my life. I love Rilo Kiley, and I'm finding a lot to identify with in some of their lyrics this year, so I'll go with them. I named two of the characters in my new as-yet-untitled story after names mentioned in their song "The Absence of God," which I think is a really beautiful piece of music and songwriting. Otherwise, Juliana Hatfield is a perennial favorite.

4) If you could hear people say one thing about your writing, what would you want it to be?

"My god, he's written so many books, and every one a bestseller! And they just keep getting better!" You know. In a perfect world. If you want something more critical/analytical, I guess I'd like to hear that my stories made a lasting impression on readers. There are a lot of perfectly competent but forgettable stories out there -- I've certainly written my share of them -- but I'd like to think I sometimes write stories that stick in a reader's mind. I want people to remember my stories the way I remember "Slow Sculpture" or "Friend's Best Man" or "Uncle Dobbin's Parrot Fair," as integral parts of their lives. Not so much to ask!

5) Are you where you saw (or hoped to see) yourself five years ago?

Not really. I didn't expect to live in California, or work for a magazine. I didn't expect to have a novel sold (I always said I hoped to sell a novel by 30, and didn't really think it would happen sooner). In April 2000, I had a job as an advertising copywriter, and the ultimate plan was to leave that job and move to New York with my then-girlfriend. But advertising didn't agree with me, so I moved to California on a whim instead, and I've been here ever since. Back then I sorta figured I'd be living in New York, with Meg, trying to work as an editorial assistant at a big publishing house. That wouldn't have been a bad life at all, actually, just different. I'm glad I wasn't able to accurately predict where I'd be in five years. I like a little chaos and unpredictability in my life.

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