Geoffrey has received the Drue Heinz Literature Prize for his 1995 short story collection "Dangerous Men". He also wrote the novel "Bluestown", as well as being published in Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, and The Antioch Review.
He was kind enough to answer a few questions for me, enjoy!
What was the first story you ever had published? What was it like to see your work in print?
My first published story, "Big Grey," came out in West Branch, a literary magazine connected to Bucknell University. Seeing my work in print was very exciting for me. Unreal, too.
Which award for literature meant the most to you, and why?
My first big prize was the Nelson Algren Award from the Chicago Tribune. They flew me to Chicago, put me up at a nice hotel, there was a reading at a fancy venue with great food. I felt like I was at the Oscars.
Your novel “Hot Springs” deals with many issues: abandonment, entitlement, kidnapping, and insanity to name a few. Where did the idea for “Hot Springs” originate from?
Hot Springs grew out of a short story I'd written with the same name.
What was the writing and publishing process like?
It took a few years to complete the novel. It took another few to get it published. I did some re-writing (a lot, actually) along the way. My agent was very enthusiastic all along, even when it began to look like we'd never find the book a home. But we did, and I love Tin House. It's a wonderful press.
I recent sat in on your CityLit Festival reading of “Hot Springs”. What has touring been like for you? What venues do you have schedule in the near future?
I didn't do much of a tour, really. A few appearances in New York, one in Iowa, some locally. I do enjoy reading and talking to people about books (not just mine).
What authors do you enjoy reading?
I like so many authors. I hardly know where to start. I try to read widely, and with an open mind.
What book(s) are you currently reading?
I have a Carl Hiassen novel I've just started, an old one. It's hilarious.
If your house were to catch fire, which 5 books would you save?
If my house catches fire, I won't be worrying about saving books!
What is your take on eBook and eReaders, as a writer and a reader?
I haven't tried reading on an e-reader yet. I find the idea of them very attractive, partly because of how they can eliminate clutter. I guess maybe we can eventually integrate them into our lives, without giving up the pleasure of real books, which are so much more pleasant to interact with.
What authors/novels/websites would you recommend for our audience?
I'm not a Website afficionado. I already spend more time online than I'm comfortable with. I don't think a general reading recommendation works very well. Some books are right for certain people, wrong for others. I do think that the late Barry Hannah was a one-of-a-kind, and flew a little below the radar of the general reading public.