TOE Exclusive :: Dan Boehl Interview


An Interview with Dan Boehl // Author of Naomi and the Horse-Flavored T-Shirt & KINGS OF THE F**KING SEA

1)  Where were you born, where do you live now, and are you close to perfect swimming water?

I was born in Baltimore, MD. Now I live in Austin, TX. I am really close to perfect swimming water. Barton Springs, when there aren’t too many people in it.

2)  What is your favorite smell?

I think my favorite smell is Corn Huskers Lotion.

3)  Tell us about your education and what you do now (jobs and hobbies).

So far the first two answers start with “I”. I don’t like when that happens, but it seems hard to avoid. Weird. Anyway, my BA is in English. That came from Roanoke College. My MFA is in Poetry. That came from Emerson College. One of these colleges was in the county, another in the city. The University of Texas employs me as a writer. I work for the central fundraising department. I know a lot about endowments. I sort of consider my job a full-time hobby.

4)  Tell us about your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife. How did you meet? What is your favorite thing about him/her? How about your children (if you have children)? How about a dog or cat?

I met my girlfriend through a mutual friend. Her name is Tory and she is an identical twin. My favorite thing about her is that she makes things, but only when there is a reason to, like on a holiday or birthday. I have an awesome dog, Bea, but she lives with my first wife. I do not yet have a second wife.

5)  Is ignorance bliss?

Not really. When people don’t know what is going on, bad things happen. Like the Great Recession. That happened because no one was watching the banks rape and pillage ordinary citizens who wanted to pursue the American Dream and own homes. There are other examples of this, but in general, ignorance is awful. My novel and my first full-length book of poetry deal with this a lot.

6)  How did you get interested in writing?

My interest in writing came from my love of reading. When I was ten or eleven I tried to write a story. It didn’t work, but since then I wanted to write and tell stories. Now I do it. My job gets in the way, but I write a lot, too.

7)  How has your practice evolved over the course of time?

When I got out of grad school, I had a hard time writing fiction consistently. So, after three years, I made a deal with myself that I would get up early in the morning and write before I did anything else. This is how I have been able to write and finish books. Now, when I am not working on a story I get up early anyway and read or do other writing related work.

8)  What do you consider to be your greatest success?

My greatest success so far is my poetry book Kings of the F**king Sea. The book is good and it includes original art by my friend Jonathan Marshall. It is a book that would not exist as it is if I did not have the support of my publishing company, Birds, LLC. I am very proud of it.

9)  Is there any thing that your family or friends would be surprised to learn about you?

Yes. There are a few things they would be surprised to know. But after they knew them, they would no longer be surprised. I can be pretty weird.

10)  What did you find out after finishing NAOMI AND THE HORSE-FLAVORED T-SHIRT? What weren’t you expecting? In what ways was it different/similar from KINGS OF THE F**KING SEA?

After finishing Naomi and the Horse-Flavored T-Shirt I found out that I wanted to be done with it. I had been working on it for 6 years and I wanted it to go away. That is why I self-published it. I just could not think about it anymore. I was not expecting to self-publish it, so, I guess that is a surprise.

Noami is much different than Kings, because in a very real sense, Kings is about me, Dan Boehl, as a person. The main character in that book is me. Naomi is about creating a crazy fantasy world and Kings is about finding meaning in a chaotic world.

February 6, 2012 11:38 pm

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