A Funny Story

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My first interview was an interesting experience.

 

Due to working for an indie company AND it being such a niche thing as poetry, I'm having to do a lot of self promotion.  Well just before its release I emailed a ton of poetry sites, libraries, and newspapers.  Of all of them I got an email back from a lady at a paper.  She said she wanted to do a personal piece on me and not just plug the book.  I mulled it over before finally saying "Yes".  I got another email from her asking "Is it true you're only 8 years old?"  As you could imagine, I was quite confused.  I had emailed back explaining there must be a mistake and that I was 31.  I went back through the emails and the links I had sent and I found the mix-up.  The poem that's on the back of the book, for those of you who bought it, as the snippet/preview for the book is No. 8 in the book.  A complaint I've heard from my father more than once (along with a couple of others) is that the poems in Gun Control for Polar Bears aren't titled but numbered.  No. 8 is the preview and so it's on all the sites where the book is sold.  I found this and realized what they'd done/thought and emailed her back pointing this out.  She said that "My boss said that you were only 8 years old and for me to interview you."  Apparently her boss saw my name and the number 8 and just went with it.  We laughed through emails and cleared up the situation.  I thought that was it and the interview would then be off; a little less impressive for a grown man to write a book than a child.  However, she continued to ask when and where to do the interview.  I had her come to my house and we'd just talk in my office.  

She came over and it turned out she'd been here before; a friend of the people who'd lived here before my wife and I.  We talked for about 45 minutes and she rarely took a note.  I got the feeling she was expecting/hoping for me to be a brooding artist/writer type as she seemed a little caught off guard when I was laid back and very jokey with her.  My thing is — I write so much darkness, I don't need to be that guy.  I'd rather write about despicable people doing despicable things and then go bowling and have a drink with you lol.  For the 45 minutes she was here we laughed and joked and talked about writing and my growing up (leaving out any drama and my illness).  When the paper came out I saw the article and was a bit stunned.  As a personal thing I was like "She didn't put my full name" — something I have to use because of all the Chris and Christopher Carters out there (though most people know me by Chris).  But I was more stunned about the fact that it was so dry and serious.  It reminded me of a story told on An Evening With Kevin Smith where he and a reporter friend of his were joking around and the piece came out very serious, to Smith's surprise.  I felt the same way, "Where's the jokey-laughter-light feeling that was throughout the interview?"  My family was so happy and thrilled that I was getting recognition and was in the paper and, while I'm happy, I was taken back because of this.  It was very obvious she wanted a serious piece regardless of my personality.  I read the article like "Where's this?  Where's that?"  I talked to my friend Haley JoAnna (a makeup FX artist) and she was understanding and was like "Yeah, it's just how it works."  

My first interview and my first taste of how things work in press.  Might not seem that funny to you guys but it was hilarious to me.  I emailed trying to pimp my book and was mistaken for an 8 year old and then laughed and had a good time only to see a serious, cut and dry article.  I'm still happy it was made despite all this but it let me know what I'm in for later.  

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