The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin would most certainly have made my TBR pile even if author Josh Berk wasn’t my friend, because, well, check this out:
Being a hefty, deaf newcomer almost makes Will Halpin the least popular guy at Coaler High. But when he befriends the only guy less popular than him, the dork-namic duo has the smarts and guts to figure out who knocked off the star quarterback. Will can’t hear what’s going on, but he’s a great observer. So, who did it? And why does that guy talk to his fingers? And will the beautiful girl ever notice him? (Okay, so Will’s interested in more than just murder . . .)
Those who prefer their heroes to be not-so-usual and with a side of wiseguy will gobble up this witty, geeks-rule debut.
The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin (damn, that’s one long-ass title) debuts TODAY! (I got the email on Sunday that my copy has shipped and is one its way…HURRAY!!!!)
So, let’s say it together: CONGRATS, BERK!!!
And then there’s Josh Berk…I probably like him so much because he’s funny, irreverent, and downright spastic. That’s right, spastic.
In honor of his release (which sounds like he just got out of prison), I’ve asked him to stop by for an interview. Mostly, I thought this would be a good way to redeem myself for the “poop” incident when I was interviewed on his blog, but after reading his first answer, I think we might have started something…
Ready, Berk? Let’s do this thing!
1) You get into an elevator and someone immediately asks you what your book is about. What’s your elevator-pitch description? Keep in mind, there are only 3 floors in our imaginary building and you just pushed the button for floor 2.
I would spend half the time trying not to fart, because I hate elevator-farters, and then I'd blurt out "Funny deaf kid solves a murder!" Then I'd probably fart.
2) Where do you get most of your writing done? Better yet, can you show us a picture (before you clean up) of where all of the magic happens?
I write on sheets of parchment with a quill in my home office. It is very neat, the office is. There are oak shelves and leather chairs. There is a faint scent of brandy and a mist of pipe smoke which hangs likes fog. Probably also a screaming toddler and maybe a one-eyed dog.
3) What book or series do you wish that you wrote? And, no, you can’t say Twilight or Harry Potter because those are my answers.
I'm going to go with "The Catcher in The Rye," which might be almost as cliché an answer as the examples you gave, but it's true. And, no, it's not because I want to become a beard-growing recluse deep in the New Hampshire woods. It's because of how when you read that book you feel so deeply like he is talking to you -- you and only you. It's deep communication and what more can you strive for as a writer? As a human? You didn't know I was deep.
4) Okay, your book just won the SUPERFABLOUSGREATESTBOOKEVER award and you are asked to give an acceptance speech. Who are the top three people you thank and why?
The book is dedicated to my parents, for teaching me all about books and moreso about life and laughter and love. So I'd thank them. And also my wife for putting up with me. Any time a married writer wins an award their spouse should automatically get an even bigger award for putting up with them.
5) Recently, the blogosphere had a day dedicated to all the great things our agents do for us. Can you tell us something you love about your agent? If you don’t have an agent, tell us something great about your editor.
Ted loves dachshunds. That's not exactly something he does for me, but it does make me think he's superfantasmagoricallyamazing*. How can a guy who loves dachshunds not be fantastico**?
6) We know you are really, really good at writing, but what is something that you are you really, really bad at?
Is "life" a thing? I'm bad at that.
*While answering these questions, I asked Twitter for words more interesting than "awesome," which I over-use.
** Not all of the answers were in English.
Now, here’s the coolest part: Berk brought props! He made this hilarious release day video to share with us:
And, yes, my sign does say POOP. (So…maybe not so much with the redemption.)
To find out more about Josh Berk and his books, check out his website at http://www.joshberkbooks.com/!