July 1, 2009

Interview with Joe Meno

I recently had the pleasure of reading with Joe Meno up at Powells City of Books in Portland, Oregon. Herr Meno and I grabbed dinner beforehand, and I have to say he's a really amazing guy: smart, funny, self-effacing. We talked about his new novel:

Mohr: I just heard David Sedaris is reading across town at the same time as we are. Pre-sold 700 tickets, or something viciously ridiculous like that. Do you think anyone will come to our reading?

Meno: The formula that I use is that you want to have one person in the audience for every hour you traveled to get here. You drove?

Mohr: Recklessly. About ten hours.

Meno: I flew two hours. All we need are twelve people.

Mohr: It’s thrilling that the bar is set so low. Maybe we should have a kissing booth. That’ll pack ‘em in. How long did you work on The Great Perhaps?

Meno: I started it a couple weeks after the 2004 election. Really, the book was a way for me to ask the question why had the country made the decision it had, in reelecting George Bush. And also how that administration was defined by fear, using fear to push forward their agenda.

Read the rest of the interview here.

As an aside, who knew Portland was such a bad ass town? It was clean. The people were gorgeous and young and tattooed. And I love the rain. I take back everything I ever said, Oregon. You aren't simply chock full of no-teeth hillbilly tweakers!