Life Beyond Writing Q&A: Kevin Guilfoile

Twenty questions for authors, none about writing. Some questions are not in the form of a question. (Previous Q&As may be found HERE.)

This week we have KEVIN GUILFOILE, author of A Drive into the Gap, The Thousand, and Cast of Shadows.

Drive-into-the-Gap-254x3001. Rename yourself.

KG: Barry Manilope.

2. Satan hoofs up and says two words to you. What are they?

KG: “Barry Manilope?”

3. Give us an A+ summer song.

KG: “Bag of Hammers” by Thao with The Get Down Stay Down [Soundcloud]

4. What is the worst injury you’ve ever sustained?

KG: Full body, ventral bruise after being launched from a sled in Brian Boyer’s back yard, righting myself in mid-air, and making spread-eagled, pancake impact with the side of Luke Sampson’s clubhouse. 

5. Form a supergroup using any four musicians, living or dead, that would be thoroughly awesome to experience, for better or worse.

KG: Ray Davies. John Prine. Syd Barrett. Demi Lovato.

6. What was your best Halloween costume?

KG: Nakatomi Towers security guard, the first guy killed in the original Die Hard. Had to explain that one a lot, but worth it.

7. Tell us something you built.

KG: A loft in college that was somehow not the cause of my grisly death. Other than that, most of my construction has been in the medium of Lego. In fact, I’m a little bit famous in my house as the go-to guy when you have to put stickers on those tiny bricks. Fortunately, I live next door to the man who built my house.

8. If you could safely have one non-domesticated animal as a lifelong companion, what would it be? (Fantasy creatures are allowed.)

KG: Minotaur, right? Does anyone ever say anything else?

9. What do you like to grow?

KG: Mold, from the looks of my refrigerator crisper.

978140007827110. Name a thing you love that nobody else you personally know also loves.

KG: This. I wish it were longer.

11. How would you like those eggs?

KG: Two of them, over easy, hash browns, bacon, Greek toast, OJ. Wait 15 minutes, then bring me a Mountain Dew in a to-go cup.

12. What’s the worst thing about your favorite holiday?

KG: The radio station that, starting just before Thanksgiving, plays the same 20 Christmas songs over and over. And I say to my wife, “I just put 300 cool Christmas songs on your iPod. Sufjan Stevens, William Bell, Diana Krall…” and she says, “No, this is fine.” But it isn’t fine. It really isn’t.

13. You’ve just been turned into a lousy superhero. Who are you, and who is your nemesis?

KG: Titanium, a man with really strong knees. Super strong, I mean, not just for his age. His nemesis is Paison, who always orders exactly the right amount of pizza. I’m talking uncannily. Even if extra people show up. Kids. Neighbors. Whoever. Exactly the right amount.

14. Name a thought that has profoundly scared you in the night.

KG: If you were asking my brother this question he would surely say it is the memory of the night I went sleepwalking, grabbed an (unloaded) deer rifle off the wall, jumped up onto his bed and woke him up by gently pressing the barrel into his forehead. If you’re asking me, it’s not whatever I was dreaming that night. I awoke in the morning quite refreshed.

15. You’re stinking rich. What’s the first thing you add to your home?

KG: A portcullis.

16. What are you up to this weekend?

KG: Guitar and drum practice. Two soccer games. Turning the guest bedroom into a music room. Overseeding the lawn. Not laughing when the kids accidentally swear. Grilling. Shiraz. The Wall Street Journal Saturday puzzle. Hockey playoffs. Elmore Leonard’s Riding the Rap. Tapping in on video games when one of the boys has to go to the bathroom. Cleaning the garage. Top of the Lake

978140007826417. Which color makes you feel the most comfortable? The most anxious?

KG: La-Z-Boy Blue. Crippling Magenta.

18. What is the strangest job you ever had?

KG: I was a “houseboy” on a large private estate for three summers. It does make watching Downton Abbey feel more immediate. Also I only just realized this year that my job description (which actually appeared on my paycheck) is probably horribly racist.

19. I mean honestly: aren’t you better off living without ___?

KG: Erasable pens. 

20. James Cameron discovers something new at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. What do you hope it is?

KG: A cassette recording of me, Rob Crampton, Karl Hartmann, and Sam Barwick playing Dungeons & Dragons in 1981. I would rest easier knowing where it is and that salt, water pressure, and the loamy secretions of prehistoric Kraken have rendered it unplayable.

Kevin Guilfoile is the author of two novels, Cast of Shadows and The Thousand, that have been translated into more than 20 languages. His latest book is a memoir, A Drive into the Gap.

Official Site
Kevin on Twitter

Previous Q&As may be found HERE.

Buy Kevin’s Books:

A Drive into the Gap
Official Site
Barnes & Noble

The Thousand
Barnes & Noble

Cast of Shadows
Barnes & Noble

2 thoughts on “Life Beyond Writing Q&A: Kevin Guilfoile

  1. Dear Mr. Mahoney, Here is a copy of a review I will post on You are a gifted author and I wish you well in your future endeavors.

    Fellow Mortals by Dennis Mahoney (5 stars)
    This compelling and utterly believable debut novel traces the consequences of a simple, single mistake, a discarded match that ignites a neighborhood conflagration resulting in the death of a young woman, the destruction of several homes, and the resulting desecration of the human personality unforeseen loss engenders. As well, the author gives deserved attention to the bravery and compassion of those whose magnanimity and poise permit them to transcend the loss of property and life, who struggle to provide meaning to their lives, scorched and permanently disfigured by the fire. Mahoney has much to teach us about the value of life and the importance of accepting limitations, especially those unfairly wrought in our lives.

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