Essays — June 21, 2016 22:02 — 0 Comments

Ten Quick Questions For Chuck Klosterman

New York Times Bestselling author, Chuck Klosterman, who we wrote a Monarch Drinks With feature about in 2012, has written a new book called, But What If We’re Wrong? It’s a close examination of concepts that society holds to be obvious but maybe aren’t quite as clear as they seem. And in the spirit of the question, we caught up with Klosterman to ask him a few quick ones of our own.  

How has the age of new media – Facebook, podcasts – change how you think about writing a book?

It hasn’t really changed the writing process at all. But it has totally changed the publishing process. When I wrote my first book, the only expectation for an author was to show up for book readings on time. Now there’s all this other idiotic stuff you’re expected to do. And weirdly, you’re expected to enjoy it. That’s the part I don’t get. Why would I enjoy promoting myself? What kind of person enjoys that? But there appears to be no other option.

How much do you collaborate as you’re writing – is it a mostly on-your-own process or do you shoot ideas to colleagues and friends continuously?

There’s really no collaboration at all. In fact, one thing I really like about writing is that I don’t need anyone else to do it.

What does your office look like?

It’s a tiny, window-less, orange room. You know how Prince was obsessed with the color purple? That’s how I am with the color orange. However, my kids now sleep in my office, because our apartment is relatively small and that room is amazingly dark and quiet. So I suppose my writing office would best be described as an orange nursery.

When you look back on 2016 twenty years from now, what do you think will be your first few immediate images?

Probably Trump, and that kid from Car Seat Headrest.

What’s one necessary conversation going on in American culture that you wish you were better equipped for?

The reality of the economy.

If you were to write the year-in-review for any year in American history, which year would you choose and why?

1984. It’s the earliest year I still totally and completely remember. Plus, I have a lot of thoughts about Reagan and the song “Panama.”

You’re coming to Seattle, so I have to ask, when you go to restaurants do you have any dietary restrictions? Are you gluten free, vegan?

I’m basically a carnivore. I eat meat, bread, cereal, and corn on the cob. I would never eat a salad. There is no upside to salad. The reason I hate dinner parties is because you’re always expected to eat a fucking salad. Just give me more of the main entree. I’m not a rabbit.

What is your diet/exercise like as you’re diving in to write a full-length book?

I exercise every day of my life, no matter what I’m doing or where I’m at. Which is good, because I eat like a man who is rapidly trying to die slowly. But I get by. I feel good. 

What do you eat before you do a reading during these long book tours?

Nothing. There is no benefit to being full when you’re about to talk to a bunch of people. If I’m reading at 7 pm, sometimes I’ll have a shrimp cocktail at 4:30. But nothing more than that.

What do you eat or drink afterwards?

Preferably room service steak. And maybe eight or nine beers. Nothing crazy.


Jake Uitti is a founding editor of The Monarch Review.

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The answer isn't poetry, but rather language

- Richard Kenney