Aicha Zoubair

Jessica Bell

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Author Interview – John Hartnett

What’s your greatest character strength? Refusing to run away from my inner coward.

What’s your weakest character trait? Leaving a 20% tip to a waiter who never brought me the glass of water I asked for five times.

Why do you write? Mentally and emotionally, I need a creative outlet in order to feel fulfilled.  Also, it gets me out of doing laundry. (Please refer to “What makes you happiest” above)

Have you always enjoyed writing? Yes, I have been creating and telling jokes since I was very young.

What motivates you to write? Two things. Having the opportunity to entertain others and get feedback and also, and this may sound a little strange but to entertain myself.

What writing are you most proud of? I derive great satisfaction from the work I’m doing currently on my blog, The Monkey Bellhop, (monkeybellhop.com. It’s all humor, all original content and geared toward a broad audience.  There are several different columns or formats which require writing from different perspectives and styles and it’s always fun to mix things up and to experiment with new ideas.

What are you most proud of in your personal life? My family, friends and community.

What books did you love growing up? I was a voracious reader and read everything from Dr. Seuss to William Faukner.  I always gravitated toward fiction and read a lot of Kesey, TC Boyle, Elmore Leonard, Jennifer Egan, Larry Brown, Roddy Doyle, Howard Norman, Cormac McCarthy, Louise Erdrich, Tom Drury, Jim Harrison, and others.  I loved many of the old classics many of us gravitate to, “To Kill A Mockingbird”, “My Side of the Mountain”, “The Catcher in the Rye”, “The Grapes of Wrath”…

Who is your favorite author? Very hard to come up with just one.  I really have enjoyed much of Elmore Leonard’s stories and have come to appreciate his style of writing.  I also loved TC Boyle, particularly “Drop City”.  I also thought Jennifer Egan’s book, “A Visit from the Goon Squad” was brilliant.

What genre of books do you adore? Modern fiction.

What book should everybody read at least once? I know that for some it has fallen out of favor, but “The Catcher and the Rye” was such a watershed book for me. I loved the humor in the book and the sense of time and place in Manhattan and of course, the perspective of Holden Caufield, which I completely identified with when I was a teenager.

Is there any books you really don’t enjoy? Historical fiction prior to the mid to late 1800′s.  That’s too far for me to go and I don’t like to read about King Arthur, secret monk societies or Clan of the Cave Bear people.  I need plots that take place at a time where electricity has already been invented so I can see where I’m reading.

What do you hope your obituary will say about you? John Hartnett returned all his books to the library on time and in the condition in which they were checked out.

Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live? This is a full circle tale.  I grew up in Cranford, NJ and after college, moved to CA where I lived for 14 years.  I moved back to Cranford in 1997 and live a mile or so away from my parents.

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Genre –  Humor

Rating – PG

More details about the author

Connect with John Hartnett on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://monkeybellhop.com/