Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Thomas Whaley's Would You Rather

Bored with the same old fashioned author interviews you see all around the blogosphere? Well, TNBBC's newest series is a fun, new, literary spin on the ole Would You Rather game. Get to know the authors we love to read in ways no other interviewer has. I've asked them to pick sides against the same 20 odd bookish scenarios. 

Thomas Whaley's
Would You Rather

Would you rather write an entire book with your feet or with your tongue? 

Definitely with my feet!  I swear my toes have their own little brains.  I’d surely be able to manipulate pencils, pens, erasers, Post-Its, and an extra large journal with these oven mitts.

Would you rather have one giant bestseller or a long string of moderate sellers? 

I’d prefer a long string of moderate sellers.  Not only would it keep my name fresh in this competitive industry but I’d update my author pic for each book so my fans could experience the quick demise of living hair on my head.  It’s all about transformation.

Would you rather be a well known author now or be considered a literary genius after you’re dead? 

I would rather be a well known author now.  It would grant me countless opportunities and experiences to share with my sons Andrew and Luke.  Besides, when they tell their teachers and friends that I am an author, I already feel like one.

Would you rather write a book without using conjunctions or have every sentence of your book begin with one?

I would want to try and write a book with every sentence beginning with one.  With there being three distinct types, the challenge and possibilities would be endless.

Would you rather have every word of your favorite novel tattooed on your skin or always playing as an audio in the background for the rest of your life? 

Tattooed on my skin!  I love tattoos and envy those who have epic ones with meaning.  I have three that I despise because I was way too young and spontaneous.  Having the words from Leaving Montana made into arm sleeves would be amazing!

Would you rather write a book you truly believe in and have no one read it or write a crappy book that comprises everything you believe in and have it become an overnight success? 

I would rather write a book I truly believe in – which is precisely what I did with Leaving Montana.  Of course I hope that people will read it and love it, but knowing that I wrote it and it changed my life for the better is good enough for me.

Would you rather write a plot twist you hated or write a character you hated?

Definitely a character I hated!  Sometimes writing with hatred and frustration about someone brings forth extremely interesting text.  This is why I used to keep journals when I was younger.  It can be very cathartic.

Would you rather use your skin as paper or your blood as ink? 

Even though many think blood is thicker than water – it still washes away…so definitely my skin as paper.  Besides, with the unnecessary amount of time I have spent and still spend in the sun, it is cured enough to withstand the elements, so I would feel confident that my words would never be lost.

Would you rather become a character in your novel or have your characters escape the page and reenact the novel in real life? 

Fortunately and unfortunately both choices hold personal weight with Leaving Montana – but if I had to choose, I would rather become a character in my novel other than Ben.  If the characters escaped and reenacted the story again it would be catastrophic.

Would you rather write without using punctuation and capitalization or without using words that contained the letter E?  

I hate punctuation and capitalization.  It confuses and stresses out the elementary school children I teach and, at times, I still find myself questioning my own usage. Good riddens!  Besides, the letter E is just too extraordinary to evade.

Would you rather have schools teach your book or ban your book? 

BAN IT!  The idea of people sneaking around and reading it with the possibility of getting caught and expelled is exciting to me.  Forbidden or taboo things naturally peak curiosity – even for those who have been “saved”.

Would you rather be forced to listen to Ayn Rand bloviate for an hour or be hit on by an angry Dylan Thomas? 

I would be tickled pink to be hit on by Dylan Thomas when he was angry!  Why not?  Being hit on is a compliment.  It takes courage to hit on someone. It would be even better if he were irate and hitting on me in public while reciting his poetry.  Now there’s a mental image!

Would you rather be reduced to speaking only in haiku or be capable of only writing in haiku? 

This is the toughest question! I choose only writing in haiku. I am naturally a story teller, both socially and with my students, so speaking just in haiku would make that virtually impossible. 

Would you rather be stuck on an island with only the 50 Shades Series or a series in a language you couldn’t read? 

I am not sure if I am proud to admit this, but hey, life is too short to not go with your gut.  I would choose the 50 Shades Series.  At least I would have something titillating to read when my own ability to fantasize began to dissipate – that is, unless I had a volleyball to draw a face on.

Would you rather critics rip your book apart publicly or never talk about it at all?  

I would rather them rip it apart publicly.  Negativity tends to stir curiosity.

Would you rather have everything you think automatically appear on your Twitter feed or have a voice in your head narrate your every move? 

TWITTER! If everything I thought automatically appeared on Twitter – people would either be fascinated with me or think I was related to Cybil. 

Would you rather give up your computer or pens and paper? 

Pens and paper – no doubt!  I find both to be constant pains in the ass.  There is never enough when you need them or I find myself with an overabundance figuring out where to put them.

Would you rather write an entire novel standing on your tippy-toes or laying down flat on your back?  

Lying flat on my back.  I enjoy multi-tasking.

Would you rather read naked in front of a packed room or have no one show up to your reading? 

There is no question – naked in front of a packed room.  My life is an open book, so why not toss in my dignity.

Would you rather read a book that is written poorly but has an excellent story, or read one with weak content but is written well? 

 I would rather read one with weak content that is well written because I would be able to focus on the characterization and story line, making it more interesting with my own inserts.  A poorly written one would make me manic and want to drink.


Thomas Whaley was born in 1972 and has lived on Long Island his entire life.  He has been an elementary school teacher since 1999 and has had a passion for writing since childhood.  He earned his B.A. in Communications from Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia and his M.A. in Elementary Education from Dowling College on Long Island.   

Thomas has always enjoyed reading books, but particularly those that make him casually self-reflect or hysterically laugh at the idiosyncrasies of daily life. This is what inspired him to finally sit down and write Leaving Montana.

Thomas currently lives in Shoreham, New York with his husband Carl, their two sons Andrew and Luke, and their loyal dogs Jake and Sam. Leaving Montana is his first novel.


  1. You can buy Leaving Montana here: http://www.amazon.com/Leaving-Montana-Thomas-Whaley-ebook/dp/B00MCB1HPM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408452349&sr=8-1&keywords=leaving+montana

  2. Absolutely awesome interview, and BTW Tom, I correctly predicted most of the responses! HA! Great job my friend.