"This really was an enjoyable read. In fact, I had it done in one day because I just couldn't put it down until I found out what was going to happen to these kids."
Who has influenced you the most in your writing career?
"This is a tricky and great question. On the one hand, I need to say, Jim Carroll who wrote “The Basketball Diaries,” among other books, because after I read it for the first time, I really felt like I had experienced how writing can transport people somewhere other than where they are and I wanted to be able to do that. I would also say Don DeGrazia, who is the author of “American Skin” because after seeing him read “American Skin” and then reading the book, I really believed for the first time that writing a novel was possible. And then there is Lynda Barry, mainly because I have a big crush on her, but also because I once heard her say she doesn’t plan what she writes, she just writes whatever she’s feeling that day, which I love, and because someday, I want to write a book like “Cruddy,” which I also love. A lot.
I also need to mention the influence of the Ramones and punk music in general, keep it short and slamming, no fat; Bruce Springsteen, tell stories that are sparse and evocative; David Cronenberg, because of the way he described creating a “History of Violence,” particularly the violence itself, fast, intimate and up close, which is how I like to think people interact in relationships; and finally, the Beastie Boys, try to be smart, try to be interesting and don’t forget the humor."