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BookLore Interview
Michael McGan

1. Was it your choice to have the book printed on acid free paper or is this something the publisher decides?>

That comes from 1stBooks. Actually, I'm not quite sure what it means, but it sounds very impressive.

2. 'Fleeting Thoughts' gave the impression of a brain that never sits still. Would you say this is an accurate description of your thoughts or just a style you used for the book?

This is a pretty accurate description of my thoughts. Lots of strange and comical roads to go off on for a bit. So many tangents, so little time.

3. What is your favourite colour?

I think that depends on what it's attached to. They all work better in combinations. Lets say that I'm sitting at a white table, I'm wearing a light gray cotton T-shirt and baggy, dark gray pants. I'm watching the orange sky sink into the turquoise sea. Across the table from me is a woman with eyes that are an ever-changing shade of blue. She's wearing a red dress and her ears, fingers, and wrists are adorned with silver. The waiter brings two light cream coloured tropical drinks. I slip him some green. Fade to black.

4. Should men have to go shopping?

If you're talking about groceries, absolutely. Men like to eat, so they should go get food, do the hunter/gatherer thing. Besides, that way you can pick up extras. Just don't go when you're hungry. I go all the time because I have free time before I go off to work in the afternoon. My wife shouldn't have to come home from work and go right back out. Women will show their appreciation for things like this (wink, wink). But, if by the word shopping, you mean going to the mall to browse, no way. Gives me the shivers.

5. What car do you drive and why?

I drive a beat up six-cylinder mini-van. Why? Because my wife has to travel a long distance to work so I would rather she drive the "real" car. Junker vehicles can be exciting in their own way. When there was some trouble over here in Washington (which is a long way from me) and the police were looking for a suspect driving a white mini-van, I was pulled over on the way home from work one night for speeding. I was wearing a French beret and a false nametag that I had earlier created at work - "Dr. Pierre". It was Halloween. He asked me repeatedly if I had been drinking. It was quite funny.
After searching my van for weapons, he let me go.

6. Where was the author photograph on the rear cover of 'Fleeting Thoughts' taken?

The back cover shot was taken two years ago in Montego Bay, mon. The front cover idea came from my frustration with the fact that after 'The Hamster Never Sleeps' came out with its cover and title, people thought I was writing children's books. Have mercy.

7. You give the impression of travelling a lot in 'Fleeting Thoughts'. Do you have any fears with regard to travelling, such as a fear of flying?

There are fears but you have to overcome them. I'm not at all comfortable flying. My muscles all knot up, I start sweating, twitching... and then I board the plane. I always end up with a wing seat where I stare out the window at the wing, waiting to see bolts popping out of the metal, parts flying off, fluid spraying from the engine... If I move to the aisle seat the flight attendant always bangs me with the cart or one of her/his various body parts. Kids behind you kicking your seat, people hacking and sneezing, sticking their groin in your face as they try to get something out of the overhead, it's a nightmare. But, it's the fastest, and sometimes the only way to get there. So, I do it.

8. Are you a wine or beer drinker?

Beer for me, thanks. In a pub, I like Guinness or Bass on tap. There's this one place that my wife and I go, where they have a fireplace near the bar and a sofa-sized painting of a naked woman reclining, with a big old swan sitting on her hip. You've got to have ambiance, and maybe some chicken wings to go with your beer. Watching a game at home or perhaps a day at the beach, I like Labatts Blue, and Amstel. Wine is OK with a nice dinner or for getting romantic with your significant other on that bearskin rug in front of the fireplace. Not the one in the pub...

9. Any plans for another book? If so, will it be in the same vein as The Hamster Never Sleeps and Fleeting Thoughts?

Yes, I'm already at work on a third humor collection.

10. Do you find writing this kind of work therapeutic, setting out your ideas and organising your thoughts?

It really is therapeutic, very relaxing. You are creating something and that's fun. Sometimes I'll be writing some bizarre piece and cause myself to chuckle. When this happens I feel like I'm on to something. Or, on something. I'm not sure, but it's all good.

11. Which do you prefer, football or baseball?

It has always been football for me, even as a kid. I grew up as a Giant fan but I like several teams. Baseball seems so boring. My mom and dad used to laugh about when I was in Little League, in the outfield, fidgeting, pawing the grass with my shoe, watching birds fly over. Too much standing around if you ask me. It seemed pointless then and it still does.

12. If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

Everyone with a secret agenda would pull a "Trent Lott".

13. Have you considered writing a full-length novel? If so, what genre would you choose?

Having the attention span that I posses, short stories perhaps. There are so many new genres coming out. Paranormal Romance for instance. Were did that come from? Normal romance isn't good enough for people anymore? How about Abnormal Romance? I might try that one. A tale of passion and love between a man and his prize Holstein... Maybe not. No, it would be mystery or science fiction.

14. Do you have sane or insane Christmas Days?

Insane, although they are getting better. For many years I looked forward to Christmas with the same sense of excitement as I would look forward to... oh, I don't know... Armageddon. But it's much better now. Christ's birthday. That's what it's all about.

15. Two snowmen are standing in a field. What does one say to the other?

"Damn kids. Look where they've gone and stuck my carrot!" Sorry.

16. Is parenthood getting better or easier with age?

I believe it is getting easier because most of the work is done as far as instilling the values that you hope will be a permanent part of your kids as they grow into adults. The worries are now different worries as they go off each day. You're not worrying about them harming themselves so much as someone else harming them. Things like that.

17. Do you notice how times flies and that only 5 minutes ago you were 20?

I surely do. I miss that long, flowing hair. But, I guess you have to figure out what it is that needs to get done in your lifetime and get after it. At some point, there is no time to waste. It's like the words of Gandalf The Gray, when in the movie 'The Fellowship Of The Ring', he says to Frodo "Frankly dear, I don't give a damn." No, that wasn't it. He said something like "It's what you do with the time you're given." Very true.

18. Should mankind invest in space exploration?

I love the idea of it, but... if there are other beings out there, they have to be smarter than us, so what does that tell you? They don't want us to find them. We'd muck up their world searching for oil, gold, or germs we could use for weapons. To me, you can't justify the money spent on space programs until we cure cancer, aids, and things like that. If they say "Well, that's all part of it", I don't buy it.

19. Would you ever wear flared trousers (pants)?

Not even in space.

20. If you had a flat tyre would you fix it yourself or call Motor Assist (RAC, AA, etc., in the UK, not sure in the US)?

I would fix it myself.

21. If a beautiful blonde had a flat tyre would you fix it for her or call Motor Assist? (You do not have to answer this question if there is any risk of divorce or bodily injury… or both:)?

First, I would have to make sure it wasn't my wife, because she very much fits that description, but I would probably stop and fix it for them. I always carry a can of tire inflator. So after pulling over, I would just whip it out and take care of business. I would do this for any woman regardless of their degree of beauty or their hair colour. Chivalry and all that.

22. Name your favourite book and author?

'The Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide' by Douglas Adams. My daughter gave me the six book edition for Christmas last year. Inside, she wrote "Not many kids can say 'My dad's an author'... Merry Christmas and enjoy your day off. I love you and I am very, very proud of you." So for many reasons, this is the one. (I dropped hints for 'The Salmon Of Doubt' this year.).

23. Do you read a lot?

Yes, I like mysteries by Carl Hiaasen, Laurence Shames, Tim Dorsey, Tom Corcoran, Corson Hirschfeld and Randy Wayne White. I also read tons of humour and I've recently read 'Reaper Man' and 'Thief of Time' by Terry Pratchett.

24. Can we review you next book please?

I'd be delighted. You guys are awesome. Thanks to Chrissi, Nigel, and all the folks at BookLore. Also a BIG old thanks to Denise.

To finish this exhaustive list of questions and complete your detailed psychological profile please confirm your favourite Spice Girl (we really must find a more contemporary group:)

"Cinnamon Girl" by Neil Young.

by Chrissi and Nigel - 1st January 2003

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