Thursday, January 28, 2010


Richard Crouse for DESK SPACE

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

RICHARD CROUSE I’m a purveyor of opinions, some wanted, some not.

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

RC From the time I was quite young I always wanted to look at the book shelf and see my name on the spine of a book. I just had no clue how to make that happen. I wrote (an unpublished) book about my favorite band, The Rolling Stones, when I was fourteen or so. But I had to wait twenty more years to actually write one that went to the printers. My best advice for anyone who has their first book coming out is: remember everything about the process because it’s never the same or as fun, again. I recall when the author’s copies of my first book arrived by courier. Twenty-five copies of the book in a big brown cardboard box with the title and my name on the side. I was excited but let the box sit unopened for several hours because I knew when I opened it, although it was going to be cool to see the book, that part of my dream would be over.

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

RC I write in my home office, a sun drenched room cluttered with books, DVDs, nic nacs, and things to keep my brain active. It’s close to the kitchen so there is a never ending supply of caffeine at arm’s reach and it has a big couch for, as the Friendly Giant would say, “two to curl up in,” although most of the time it is just me, sitting, avoiding writing.

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)?

RC Virtually everything I’ve ever written that has been published has been written on the desk you see in the photo. Or, I should say, what’s left of the desk in the photo. The only part that remains of the original desk is the top—the rest of it slowly disintegrated over the years of being moved here and there, but I refuse to let go of the top. It has been the support for my original Underwood typewriter, a series of electric typewriters and now a series of computers and lap tops. It is pock marked and scarred, has had drinks spilled on it and was once treated as a chew toy by a Doberman but is always there for me… and for that reason as long as I write, wherever the desk is will be my favorite place to be.

DS What was the last film you watched/ book you read?

RC I see anywhere from 5 to 10 movies a week, so by the time you post this I’ll have seen 20 more movies, so I’ll pass on that question, but I have been reading a lot lately. I don’t read a lot of fiction but Chronic City by Jonathan Lethem is pretty fabulous and a book called Sway: A Novel by Zachary Lazar has been highly recommended to me.

DS What are you working on now?

RC I always have a number of projects brewing simultaneously. There’s a new TV show that is close to getting funded, a half finished novel about a singer who kills his drummer to get publicity for his band’s new record, the syndicated radio show and a dozen or so writing gigs. Other than that I’m just trying to make sense of all the words in my head by putting them in the right order.

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