Author Revealed

About Michael Foley

Q. What is your birthdate?

A. 10/24

Q. Previous occupations

A. Barman, schoolteacher, lecturer

Q. Favorite job

A. Teaching mathematics

Q. High school and/or college

A. Derry and Belfast, Northern Ireland

Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?

A. Schubert in classical music, Thelonious Monk in jazz

Q. Favorite movie

A. Dr Strangelove

Q. Favorite television show

A. The Proust of cop shows, The Wire

Revealing Questions

Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?

A. Apparently conventional and uninteresting, actually an unfathomable conundrum

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. Life is absurd – but divinely absurd.

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?

A. Aperitif time on Saturday evening, warm eyes meeting over cold wine.

Q. What’s your greatest fear?

A. Going gaga

Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

A. Just where I am

Q. With whom in history do you most identify?

A. The canny Roman poet Horace

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. I don't believe in hero worship

Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?

A. Idiot, absurd, exquisite, sublime

Q. What do you regret most?

A. Wasting time on regret

Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

A. Playing piano. To get at the thing with your bare hands!

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. Remaining in love with a woman for forty years

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?

A. Contempt

Q. What’s your best quality?

A. Not for me to say or even think about

Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?

A. To wish to be someone else is a terrible modern form of despair.

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?

A. Only others can see us from the outside.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

A. Anthony in Shakespeare's Anthony and Cleopatra

Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?

A. Falstaff - appalling in every way but impossible to hate

Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?

A. Shakespeare. I would like to look him in the eye and say, 'You're a cunning one, aren't you? You're one cunning boy.'

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?

A. Music in bookshops

Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?

A. The dangerous contact sport, reading

Q. What’s your fantasy profession?

A. Detective

Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?

A. Generosity, humility, humour

Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

A. Homemade chicken soup with vegetables and barley.

Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?

A. E Lucevan le Stelle (Puccini), Summertime (Gershwin), The ballad of John and Yoko (Beatles), Once in a Lifetime (Talking Heads), Dance Me To The End Of Love (Leonard Cohen)

On Books and Writing

Q. Who are your favorite authors?

A. Shakespeare, George Eliot, Robert Browning, Flaubert, Proust, James Joyce

Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

A. Anthony and Cleopatra, Middlemarch, L'Education Sentimentale, A La Recherche du Temps Perdu, Ulysses

Q. Is there a book you love to reread?

A. Ulysses

Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

A. Forget about recognition, read, read, read and write, write, write.

Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?

A. How can you be so candid?