Berkin' It Up with Josh

hambhal

hambhal

Today's awesome guest is Josh Berk, a fellow Tenner and author of The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin. His debut received starred reviews from both School Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews. Way to go, Josh! I haven't read it yet *ducking tomato thrown by Josh* but I am looking forward to it!  Josh also has the distinction of being one of the Top Ten Tenners I'd like to party with. Heck, there isn't a Tenner I wouldn't like to hang out with, but Josh is a lot of fun. Check out his website and "Release Day: The Musical" video here. He's also most excellent to tweet with. Here's an example of a typical Berk tweet:"I'm taking a stand against the practice of RT-ing. Help me spread the word. Please RT this ... um, wait a minute."[OK, I've tried like a gazillion times -- at least five - to get this photo to load right, but it won't. It wants to be all mysterious, I guess. So to see the whole, inimitable Josh Berk, you'll have to visit his site.]Now to the interview!What's your favorite flower and why? (I’m thinkin’ you better say Violet here☺)My daughter is named Violet! So we'll go with violet. Although I honestly didn't know that violet was a flower until not that long ago. Actually what happened was that my wife said "violets are a flower" and I was like "violets aren't flowers - it's a color." I really had forgotten that violets are flowers. Sometimes I'm so dumb it's astounding...We all have our moments.  Is there a quotation you live by or have posted at your desk?I don't have one on my desk, but I do have one on my Facebook page. I'm not sure if I should explain it, or even if I could, but I feellike it says everything about everything as far as I'm concerned. It's from a Leonard Cohen song:"I saw a beggar who was standing there onhis wooden crutch. He says to me, 'Leonard you can't ask for thatmuch.' A pretty woman leaning in her darkened door. She cries out tome, 'Hey -- Why not ask for just a little bit more?'"Which book do you wish you could live inside?I think I would like to live in "Fonzie Drops In," a paperback from the Happy Days universe. I really would like to live in a world into which Fonzie might drop.And, as we all know, nowadays Henry Winkler aka Fonzie is the best-selling children's author of the Hank Zipzer series. Go figure.Who's your favorite dead writer? (We don't want to hurt the feelings of the living here!)Kurt Vonnegut!What's the most impressive dish you can cook?I can make Eggs Benedict. Poaching an egg correctly is sort of impressive, right? Most of my cooking skills involve breakfast. If you come to visit, breakfast is handled. The rest of the day you're onyour own or there will be takeout.What's your favorite time of the day to write and why?I used to like to write early-ish in the morning, like right after coffee until lunch. But now my kids have made that difficult. Now myfavorite time to write is "whenever I have time because that's the only time I have." Deep.What do librarians wish most writers knew?Librarians spend a lot of time carefully choosing what books to buy (based on community need, reviews, popularity, and other factors). We don't like it when you call us and demand we buy your book for our library. This doesn't happen often, and I think most writers probably already know this (or can guess). But it just happened recently and I'm (clearly) still annoyed by it.Are you treated any differently at work now that you’re a starred author?!Nah, not really. And I wouldn't like it if I were.9) Which writers (living) do you find most inspirational?  Do you readwhile you’re writing?Right now the living author I find most inspirational is Sherman Alexie. I'm reading War Dances. His writing is so funny and so honest and so moving and so simple and so beautiful. It's definitely inspiring to me.Sometimes I'll take a break from reading when I'm deep into a writing project, but usually I always have a book or nine that I'm reading. I find it hard not to be reading something!What are you working on now?I'm working on my revisions for my second YA book with Knopf. It's not a sequel or anything like that, but it's another funny teen mystery. I also have nine million side projects I'm working on. I get reallyprolific with the side projects when I'm under deadline & don't feel like doing the hard work of revisions that I really need to be doing ...Which book do you wish you had written?I get jealous of every good book I read and wish I had written them all. But the one that always comes to mind when I'm asked this question is The Catcher in The Rye. I just love how that book speaks to people in such a powerful and personal way. So many people feel like that book was written just for them and I'd love to impact people in that way. I keep hearing that young people of today just find Holden Caufield annoying, but I think there will always be kids who relate to him. I think there's something universal in his angst and I'd love to create a character so iconic.Thanks for having me!Thanks for stopping by, Josh!