Monday, September 11, 2023

The 40 But 10 Interview Series: Scott Mitchel May


I had decided to retire the literary Would You Rather series, but didn't want to stop interviews on the site all together. Instead, I've pulled together 40ish questions - some bookish, some silly - and have asked authors to limit themselves to answering only 10 of them. That way, it keeps the interviews fresh and connectable for all of us!

Joining us today is Scott Mitchel May, who is a writer living in Madison, WI. His work has appeared in Bending Genres, WAS, HAD, Maudlin Hause, Rejection Letters, Misery Tourism, and The Bear Creek Gazzette, among others. He was the winner of the 2019 UW, Madison Writers' Institute Poem or Page Competition in the category of literary fiction and he was shortlisted for the 2022 Santa Fe Writers' Project Literary Award. He is the author of the novels Breakneck: Or, it happened once in America (Anxiety Press Spring 2023) and Awful People: A ghost story (Bear Creek Press Dec 2023). He holds a GED from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and a BS in English Literature from Edgewood College. He tweets @smitchelmay.

Why do you write? 

Honestly, it’s the only thing I can do with any sense of ease. It doesn’t feel like I’m working at all and no one can tell me I’ve done it wrong. I mean, they can, but it’s not a thing I would believe. Also, it’s what I find fun and enjoyable. I honestly do not understand writers who don’t like writing. The rewards are too small and come so infrequently that to continue writing when you don’t enjoy the act itself seems odd in a way I can’t understand.

Do you have any hidden talents? 

I don’t smoke anymore, which is a good thing, though I still wish I did, but, when I did smoke, I could win bar bets by bending a lit cigarette in half, touching cherry to butt, and then straightening it back out without breaking it. I won $20 once doing that.

What’s the most useless skill you possess? 

See above.

What are some of your favorite books and/or authors? 

I’ve yet to read a book by Don DeLillo that I haven’t absolutely loved. Someone recently asked me what my favorite was and my honest answer was which ever one I’d read last. He’s that fucking good.

What is your favorite book from childhood? 

I remember reading BOY by Roald Dahl in like the second or third grade and absolutely loving it. There was a scene in there where his father is peppered with rock salt while poaching for deer.

What genres won’t you read? 

Never say never, but I’m not the right person for YA. Not even dissing, it just ain’t for me.

Do you think you’d live long in a zombie apocalypse? 

This is an interesting question and I actually just finished up writing and editing a post-apocalyptic novel that’s clocks in at like 130,000 words and the idea I started with was what if you didn’t want to survive the apocalypse but also you just couldn’t seem to die either. Like the world just refused to take you out. I don’t think I want to survive in that kind of world. I like air conditioning too much.   

If you were on death row, what would your last meal be? 

An Italian beef, dipped, with hot and fries with cheese sauce.  

What songs would be on the soundtrack of your life? 

I don’t know what song would begin the soundtrack, but The Broad Majestic Shannon by The Pogues  would close it out for sure. I can’t think of a better song to die to.

What’s the one thing you wish you knew when you were younger? 

That no one is keeping score.



No comments:

Post a Comment