Featured Interview With Gary Gautier
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
Born in New Orleans, with degrees from UT-Austin and CU-Boulder, I’ve taught literature at three universities, published children’s and scholarly books, hitchhiked through 35 states and 8 countries, run two marathons, and once, due to a series of misadventures, spent six months as the chef at a French restaurant. Now I’m in New Orleans again, but my backpack sits near the door with bedroll and tent attached with bungees, ready for my next swift exit (with apologies to my day job boss, who may well be reading this).
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
Ah, Dr. Seuss! And later, prowling the gloomier corners of used bookstores for volumes of obscure art and esoteric philosophy, antiquated science and forgotten poets. And always writing. If you can write it and not make money at it, I’ve published it – poetry in literary magazines, articles in peer-reviewed journals, children’s and scholarly books. But wait! I can still make money at the children’s books and novels! Just click and purchase! You know you want to!
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I read mostly classics: Plato and Boethius, Shakespeare and Dickens, Austen and Woolf. More recently (i.e., within the past half-century), celebrated works like Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon or Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera, and offbeat works like Richard Brautigan’s In Watermelon Sugar or Ed Buryn’s wildly alternative travel guide, Vagabonding in Europe and North Africa.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
First a humorous tale of squabbling neighbors; then fitfully a theatrical sketch, a ghost story, a screenplay for the whole family, finally to emerge as my YA novel, Mr. Robert’s Bones. Here you’ll see neighborhood kids rummaging an abandoned house for hidden silver, awakening long-forgotten ghosts of racism and betrayal, and tangling with mysterious old characters who haunt the hood. The quest is especially nerve-racking for Annie, the one who actually sees the ghosts, both of her deceased mother and of the bygone denizens of the house. Her friends want to believe her but can’t, and she herself is torn between running away from it all and following the ghosts into the house’s dark history.
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