Thursday, October 9, 2008


Andrew Hood for DESK SPACE

DESK SPACE Who (a witty one-liner or a bio)?

ANDREW HOOD Andrew Hood: ditherer/short story plugger-awayer-ater.

DS When did you start writing, publish your first book (or when are you publishing your next)?

AH I've been up to it since I thought I could impress my older brother by writing (so, what: 12 or 13?) and Pardon Our Monsters came out Fall 2007, dedicated to the lovable lummox even. My next submission to "heaven's unchangeable heart" will come out when I get my act together.

DS Where do you write (at your desk/outside/in bed)?

AH The lion's share of the "work" (in person, I'd wryly make a "tossing-off" gesture here) has to be done anywhere but at my desk, so at my kitchen table, or in coffee shops (either the Red Brick Café or the Corner Stone in Guelph), or in bars (The Woolwich Arms in Guelph and Dieu du Ciel in Montreal). Only the most final of final drafts seems to get done at my desk, which can sometimes make me feel like I'm being kept in during recess writing out lines of "I will not… in class." I can't really write-write at my computer, only arrange and gerrymander there, I guess.

DS Why do you work where you do (at your desk because it is a quiet space/outside b/c it helps you think/in the park b/c you can smoke, etc)?

AP Apart from the respective vices available there, probably I work best in cafés and bars because with strangers ostensibly watching you and wondering what you're writing exactly, you've got to keep your head down and your pen to paper—there's just no opportunity for dicking around or stroking your chin contemplatively in that situation, you know. But at home and at the desk, the smaller and more cramped the space the better. In this way I seem to be slightly autistic: I need to be hemmed-in when I do what it is that I supposedly do. A few weeks ago I was over for dinner at a friend's house and she's got this awesome two-year-old, and this kid's got his own little fort made out of a refrigerator box right there in the living room (there's a little pot in the window for flowers and everything). I saw that and I thought, Now that's the kind of office I need. Or maybe I actually said it out loud. (The kid's not autistic, by the way. He's just understands the benefits of having a home inside a home.)

DS What are you working on now?

AH I'm writing stories for a collection called Traps and Attractions while glacially working away on a book structurally akin to somewhere between Who Do You Think You Are? and Go Down, Moses about the "Canadian Condition" (toss-off gesture here, too), tracing the downfall of a Scottish lineage from the doomed settlement of New Caledonia to the moon landing, with some Mennonites, two-headed horses, and country fairs dappled throughout.

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