Occasionally asked questions… because ‘frequently’ is just too pretentious- and because yes, people do ask.
Q: Your job sounds like so much fun! How can I be a writer?
A: Be careful what you wish for! Yes, it can be fun and it’s always interesting, but it is also very hard. Not like mining-for-coal hard, but hard. The media world is changing every day. Perhaps, my tips for aspiring writers page can help.
Q: So what are you working on now?
A: The usual stuff.
Q: What’s the best part of your job?
A: Discovering marvelous and unexpected stories and meeting unusual people.
Q: Really, aren’t you like some kind of secret agent?
A: Of course! For the [entry redacted]
Q: Why do you live in the Balkans?
A: As George Harrison once put it: “everyone’s got to be somewhere.”
Q: What languages do you speak?
A: English. Greek more or less, and Macedonian, which helps in places like Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro.
Q: What is your favorite place?
A: (Still) southwest Crete.
Q: So, who are your favorite writers?
A: Different ones at different times, most all now dead. Includes Kerouac, Dostoyevsky, Joyce, Hemingway, Sterne, Twain, Musil, Blake, Yeats, Borges, Marquez, and certain ascetics both known and apocryphal. But writing is everywhere, if you look at it a certain way.
Q: What is the best professional advice you ever received?
A: About 20 years I was lucky enough to meet the great American lyricist Robert Hunter. He advised me to use simple words when writing. I didn’t understand at the time, but now I am grateful he said that.