☼ I'm delighted to welcome Michael Anthony to our Summer Picnic
Welcome, Michael. Which favourite foods are you bringing to our summer picnic?
Tacos and nachos!
What would you like to drink? We have white wine spritzers, locally brewed beer, traditional Pimms, sparkling elderflower cordial or a thermos of tea or coffee?
Thermos of green tea and thermos of black tea.
Where shall we sit, by the pool, on a beach, in the garden or in the countryside?
Pools and beaches are too crowded, let’s go with secluded countryside underneath a tree.
Do we have a wicker hamper, tablecloth and cutlery, or is everything in a supermarket carrier bag?
A good picnic involves a little hiking, so I’ll go with throwing everything into a convenient backpack.
Which of your literary heroes (alive or dead) are joining us on the picnic today?
Joseph Heller (dead), E. M. Remarque (dead) and Yuval Noah Harari (alive)
Do you have favourite place to have a summer picnic?
I enjoy a good local park picnic; easy access is key for me as it assures more picnics.
Do you have a summer music playlist? And if so will you share with us a favourite song or piece of music that makes you feel happy?
When I listen to music—much to the disdain of my wife—I enjoy listening to the same song on repeat, so my playlist is usually just one song on repeat. One song I’ve been loving lately, and playing a hundred times in a row, is Smith Hill by Deer Tick.
Which summer read are you bringing with you today?
“The Secret to Superhuman Strength,” by Alison Bechdel.
When you are writing do you still find time to read for pleasure? And is there a book you would like to read but haven’t had time for …yet!
It depends on what type of writing zone I’m in. If I’m in a good spot and able to write a few hours each day, then I’ll keep my reading to a minimum and focus only on my writing, but if I’m struggling with my writing, or not getting into the grove then I’ll read more often. I’ve got too many books on my list that I’d liked to read that I’ll worry I’ll never get to; mainly, though, the books that come to mind are all the “classics” that I haven’t had a chance to read yet.
Where do you find the inspiration for your novels?
The ideas for all my stories come to me randomly, whether walking through the woods, taking a shower, driving during my morning commute, or lying-in bed at night.
Have you a favourite place to settle down to write and do you find it easier to write in winter or summer?
With a full-time day job, and two children under the age of eight, I find the best place to write is anywhere that offers a quiet moment, my basement, a coffee house, kitchen table in the early mornings or late night. My favourite season to write is the fall, I find the changing of the leaves inspiring.
When writing to a deadline are you easily distracted and if so how do you bring back focus on your writing?
I do work well under deadlines, but the only time I have a writing deadline is when I have a book deal, and by the time I have a book deal I’ve already been working on a project for years and any deadline thus seems less intimidating.
Give us four essential items that a writer needs?
Paper. Pen. An idea. And a quiet space!
What can you tell us about your latest novel or your current work in progress?
My latest book, “Just Another Meat-Eating Dirtbag: A Memoir,” is a graphic memoir (memoir in graphic novel form) that details the growing problems in my relationship as my girlfriend becomes a vegan and animal rights activist (and I try to turn her back into a meat-eater, think that it will help safe our relationship!).
A rough-and-tumble Iraq War veteran is young and in love, and the last thing on his mind is food and the ethics of eating meat. But when his girlfriend becomes a vegetarian and animal rights activist, suddenly food is all he thinks about.
A true story of how love and vegetarianism can triumph over all else. Love, heartache, and the rest of the ingredients that make a reader laugh, smile, stop-and-think, are all found in this enthralling graphic memoir. Amidst the stories of love and frustration, there are treatises on food, vegetarianism, and the ethics of the animal rights movement (some of it juxtaposed against Michael’s graphic wartime experiences). Told with Michael’s sardonic perspective and the delightful artwork of debut graphic novelist Chai Simone, this is a journey of true love gone temporarily astray.
Michael, where can we follow you on social media?
More about Anthony
Michael Anthony is the author of the award-winning and acclaimed memoirs: "Civilianized," "Mass Casualties," and "Just Another Meat-Eating Dirtbag". Michael’s writing has been called “strong … and starkly honest…”–Publisher’s Weekly, “Dark Humored,” –Kirkus, “smart and mordantly funny,” –Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and “gut punching…” –Mary Roach. His writing has appeared in several anthologies; all across the web; and he has been featured in several documentaries regarding military service, philosophy, and comedy. He holds an MFA in creative writing from Lesley University and has worked as a military consultant for award-winning theater and art installations.
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