MoA&A Interview #11: Adam Selzer

Hello, everyone! Welcome to July, and the Month of Artist and Author Interviews here on the website!

Today’s interview features one of my personal new favorite authors and Twitter BFFs: Adam Selzer. I fell in love with Adam after reading (& reviewing) his book Extraordinary*: *The True Story of My Fairygodparent, Who Almost Killed Me, and Certainly Never Made Me a Princess. After writing me a thank you note for the review before I had the chance to write hima fan letter, he tweeted a picture of himself with a copy of my book. Oh, yes…there’s a lot of mutual author love ’round these parts.

It is my pleasure to have Adam here on my blog today! (Here’s hoping some of his wickedly clever humor rubs off on all of us…)

Author or Artist?
Author. I would like to claim “artist,” but I’d just laugh at myself. Then again, no one understands me or my work, man, so I’ve got that going for me, which is good.

Who are your professional role models?
Bruce Springsteen is a good role model – he recently said that “more than rich, more than famous, more than happy..I wanted to be GREAT.” Dude works his butt off.

What’s your favorite writing/sketching weather?
Damp and grey. The kind of grey you spell with an e instead of an A. You know the kind. Temperatures around the 60s with the smell of rain and leaves in the air. Also – when it’s snowing. I like to sit in the cafe and watch the snow fall while I work.

Set your current playlist/musical device to “shuffle all” and hit PLAY. What’s the first song that comes up?
“Travel the Road of Love,” from “The Nervous Set.” That was a musical about beatniks that ran about 50 years ago. There are only a couple of really good songs on the cast recording, which I understand the writers didn’t like much. I don’t know this song at all.

If you could win any award, which would it be?
I’m not overly picky if it comes with a cash award. I like underdogs and surprise victories, though, so it’d be awesome if I won Miss Teen Delaware.

Would you rather have magical powers, or a spaceship?
What KIND of Space ship? A TARDIS (which is also magic) or something like the millennium falcon, that I have to repair all the time? And is the magic power something cool, like being able to see through walls or through time, or just the ability to zip up zippers by snapping my fingers? Too many variables in this question; I can’t solve for X.

What was your favorite book as a child?
The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death by Daniel Pinkwater.

What thing do you wish you could go back in time and tell your 10-year-old self?
Take piano lessons.

What’s your favorite constellation?
The only one I ever actually SEE is Orion. Once on an airplane over the ocean I saw a shooting star between his legs, like Orion was taking a dump. Everyone poops.

What’s your favorite fairy tale?
The Snow Queen always makes me feel like I’m inside of a dream, but I’m partial to the way Faerie Tale Theatre did The Boy Who Left Home To Find Out About the Shivers.

What thing are you most proud of?
Object? My fold-out chalkboard. I made it myself out of things I found in the alley behind the apartment and it as close as I come to having nice furniture.

The Colin Harvey Memorial Question: Name 3 things on your List of Things to Do Before You Die.
I don’t really keep a list like this, but I’d like to go to England again, maybe see one of my books on the “hot new releases” shelf instead of just spine-out on the back shelf (which is where I always am, if I’m in stores at all) and to dance on the grave of a guy I used to work with. This is why I don’t make these lists; I never end up feeling good about myself.


Adam Selzer was born in Des Moines and now lives in Chicago, where he writes humorous books by day and researches history, ghost stories and naughty playground rhymes by night. After eleven published books, including the acclaimed Smart Aleck’s Guide to American History and I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It, not to mention How To Get Suspended and Influence People (which people try to ban now and then), he is just famous enough to have a page on wikipedia. He has been described as “subversive, but in a fun way….like the offspring of Bob Dylan and some Muppet.”

He is pretty sure he’s the subject of the song “You’re So Vain.”