Folks, please give a welcome to author John Enright! Enjoy the interview and don’t miss out on the giveaway at the end of the post.
Who or what are your non-writer influences?
The New York Times.
What reboots (or retellings) of classics have you enjoyed? Are there ones that haven’t worked for you?
None of the above.
What were you like as a kid? Did your kid-self see you being a writer?
I was a lot younger, and shorter. I don’t remember much. There were a lot of brothers and sisters. I saw a picture of Van Gogh with his bandaged ear and wanted to be a painter.
If you were asked to create the syllabus for a college class in comedic mysteries or dramedies literature, what books would be on there as required reading? As passing discussion?
I stopped teaching college decades ago, so I don’t have to think this way. Besides, I don’t know what dramedies means. Why would I teach a course like that?
Care to share an awkward fangirl/fanboy moment, either one where someone was gushing over your work…..or one where you were gushing over another author’s work?
One winter night in the ‘60s I spent hours in the cold on the sidewalk outside the Manhattan hotel where Pablo Neruda was staying, hoping for a glimpse of the GLP (greatest living poet). Several years later, 1970, I hunted down Ezra Pound’s humble house in Venice, but could not bring myself to knock on the door.
What do you do when you are not writing?
My fingernails are very clean.
Side characters can make or break a story. What side characters have you enjoyed in other works? What side characters in your own work have caught more attention than you expected?
A few—okay, two—of my male friends have said they would like to go out with Queen Emma, the Indian chief in New Jerusalem News.
What is the first book you remember reading on your own?
The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un-inhabited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself. With An Account how he was at last as strangely deliver’d by Pyrates.
Finally, what upcoming events and works would you like to share with the readers?
I’ll be doing a gig at Newport Public Library during their March Mystery Month. The next book in the Dominick Chronicles series, Some People Talk with God, will be out in June from Yucca/Skyhorse.
Dominick is always just passing through. He is a professional houseguest who follows the sun and the leisure class from resort to resort. But this winter he lingers on a quaint New England island and in spite of his best intentions becomes involved in the travails of his eccentric geriatric hosts. An environmental protest against a proposed liquid natural gas terminal turns ugly, and by accident and happenstance Dominick becomes a mistaken suspect in terroristic bombings. But the book, of course, is really about its characters. None of them are young—white-bearded men and blue-coiffed women busy with aging, dementia, and ungrateful children. Dominick strives to float above it all in a life of itinerant escape. A New England comedy of sorts, New Jerusalem News, on another level, is an extended meditation on history, identity, and what it means to drift.
Originally from Buffalo, New York, John Enright holds a bachelor’s degree in literature from the City College of New York and a master’s degree in folklore from the University of California, Berkeley. After working in magazine journalism and book publishing, he left the U.S. to teach at the American Samoa Community College. He remained in the South Pacific for 26 years, directing environmental, cultural, and historical preservation programs and writing extensively about the islands. His acclaimed detective series, Jungle Beat (Thomas & Mercer), featuring Det. Sgt. Apelu Soifua, is set in Samoa. His collection of poems about Samoa, 14 Degrees South, won the University of the South Pacific Press’s inaugural Literature Prize for Poetry in 2011. He now lives in Jamestown, Rhode Island, with his wife, ceramicist Connie Payne.
Check out the tour schedule with iReads Book Tours for more interviews, reviews, guest posts, and chances to win. Win 1 of 2 copies of New Jerusalem News or one $15 Amazon gift card (USA & Canada).