Wodke Hawkinson is the author of two short story collections, Blue and Catch Her in the Rye, and two novels which include Betrayed and the upcoming release, Tangerine. This interview was particularly challenging for me because of several factors. First, I am half of Wodke Hawkinson. This will not impact the substance since I was careful to remain detached and objective. Secondly, the author Wodke Hawkinson was contrary during the interview process and obfuscated repeatedly. As the interviewer, I felt I was generally not taken seriously by the author. As half of the interviewee, I had trouble giving straight answers. All that aside, here is the interview with Wodke Hawkinson.
Wodke claims to have been born amidst the stubble of a snowy field near a foreign farm on a moonless night (a fact I personally dispute, but can neither prove nor disprove). Wodke began a writing career at the age of three (yeah, right) and went on to publish the first of many books, most of which were sadly stolen by the monks in the temple up the road, and therefore Wodke never received credit for these alleged early writings (uh-huh). Although busy with a vast refrigerator magnet collection and a complex snow-tunneling project in the Himalayas, Wodke reluctantly agreed to answer some questions for me:
Give a short summary of Junkie and tell me what inspired you to write this particular story?
You’ve confused me with a French guy named Robert. I did not write a book called Junkie nor am I a junkie and I resent you insinuating that I am.
Describe your decision to write from multiple points of view. What made you choose that particular style?
I’m more than one person.
Can you identify a moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer? What was that moment like?
The moment you knew you wanted to be a writer?
You think I ought to be a writer? Wow, that’s fantastic. Thanks.
Why did you name your second short story collection Blue?
The main character in the title story is named Blue, so calling the book green or orange seemed not only inappropriate, but abominable and, in fact, blatantly despicable. I’m offended that you would ask this question. I’m close to being outraged. But in a tepid relaxed sort of way.
Did anyone encourage you in your writing? Did that encouragement make a difference?
Do you have future plans to explore other genres in your writing?
Could you explain that question?
Why don’t we just move along? Ok, describe the self-discipline required to write a book.
Every time I sit down to put pen to paper, I take this telescope from my shelf, right? I take this telescope and look into it, but I look into the wrong end, the large end. So I am actually seeing out of the small end, if you know what I mean. Anyway, then everything is very tiny. And little. And far away. But yet it’s a very focused view and blocks out all the extraneous details of my surroundings. Immediately I discover this exercise has no purpose and so I quit, and then I get busy typing.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Yes, I follow a formal procedure.
What results do you get?
Either traditional or conventional. It’s always one or the other, but never both.
How would you describe your writing style?
My favorite is Lucida Handwriting and I also like Bookman Old Style, but am frequently forced to use Times New Roman.
Ok, those are actually fonts, but whatever. Give a brief description of each of your books.
It would be easier if you just bought them and read them.
Are there any authors whose work has influenced you or whose style you particularly admire?
Yes, all of them.
All of them?
Yes, every single one in the whole world, dead or alive. Poets, too.
Would you care to either refute or confirm the rumors about your writing?
I’d like to do both.
The picture you submitted for this article is not you. You were supposed to provide a picture of yourself.
You didn’t say that. You just asked for a picture.
Do you have any encouragement or advice for aspiring writers?
Yes, step up to the plate and keep on swinging. Then, when you are done with baseball practice, go to your computer and start writing.