Author Interview - Maureen Callahan
Author I draw inspiration from: Christopher Hitchens. Question everything and everyone, even Mother Teresa.
Favorite place to read a book: On my couch next to a big window while it rains or snows.
Book character I’d like to be stuck in an elevator with: Jack Reacher. He'd get us out fast.
The moment I knew I wanted to become an author: In 4th grade, we were required to participate in a Young Authors contest. We each had to write a story, then typeset it and design the cover and stitch the book together. (Mine was about a ballerina, a child prodigy, who is paralyzed in an accident -- tells you where my head was at.) The winners got to attend an event with the YA author Ellen Conford, who I knew from her great book DEAR LOVEY HART, I AM DESPERATE. She was so kind and encouraging, even though to me she was the most famous person I'd ever met. Above all: Here was a woman who published books for a living! It was the first time I knew that all the adults around me were saying: "This is something you could do, too."
Hardback, paperback, ebook or audiobook: Hardback and paperback, but most especially hardback with crinkly cellophane covers, library-style.
The last book I read: EDUCATED: A MEMOIR, by Tara Westover. Knocked me out every which way.
Pen & paper or computer: Computer.
Book character I think I’d be best friends with: Lenù from Ferrante's Neapolitan novels. Smart, imperfect, self-aware and self-possessed, a working writer who is endlessly questioning and trying — even as she's convinced her own best friend is far more brilliant.
If I wasn’t an author, I’d be: An archaeologist.
Favorite decade in fashion history: Two: the 1920s and the 1990s. Both were a wholesale rejection of conventionality and both re-imagined glamour — sui generis.
Place I’d most like to travel: Until commercial space flight is ready, the Galapagos Islands.
My signature drink: Vodka martini, slightly dirty, olives.
Favorite artist: This is so hard -- to pick among eras and movements is impossible. I'll name a few of the last 100 years or so (including architects): Antoni Gaudí, Louise Bourgeois, Frank Lloyd Wright, Picasso (a clichéd reply but unavoidable), Alexander Calder, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lucian Freud, Kara Walker, and the great prank that was Nat Tate. Most recently, the border-wall piece by JR is one of the most impactful things I've seen in awhile.
Number one on my bucket list: I try not to think about death more than I already do.