Pete Hautman is the author of more than twenty novels for adults and teens, including the 2004 National Book Award winner Godless, Los Angeles Book Prize winner The Big Crunch, and three New York Times Notable Books: Drawing Dead, The Mortal Nuts, and Rash.
His “young adult” novels range from science fiction (Rash, Mr. Was, Hole in the Sky, and The Obsidian Blade) to mystery (Blank Confession) to contemporary drama (Godless, Sweetblood) to romantic comedy (The Big Crunch,What Boys Really Want.)
With novelist, poet, and occasional co-author Mary Logue, Hautman divides his time between Golden Valley, Minnesota, and Stockholm, Wisconsin. His latest book is The Klaatu Terminus, which is the final book in the Klaatu Diskos trilogy. For more info, visit his website and blog.
Have you been told you look like someone famous?
I used to get told often that I looked like John Cusak, but John and I seem to be aging in different directions, so I don’t get that anymore.
If you were to get a tattoo, what would it be?
It would be a single thin black line bisecting my entire body, including my face, vertically. This is why I will never get a tattoo.
What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done?
That will forever remain a secret.
Do you believe in UFOs?
I believe some flying objects are unidentified. Do I think they are extraterrestrials? Nah.
What is the most vivid or realistic dream you’ve ever had?
A recurring magic door dream. I turned that dream into a novel called Mr. Was.
What food item would you remove from the market altogether?
You mean if I was the Supreme Ruler of Planet Earth? Either whale meat or Pepsi-Cola, depending on my mood.
What’s the worst thing you did as a kid?
Same as the dumbest thing I ever did…
What made you decide to follow a creative career choice (though possibly risky) rather than something more stable?
I proved to be incompetent at everything else I tried.
How has personal experience influenced your writing?
In every way imaginable.
What do you do to keep yourself motivated and interested in your work?
I do interviews for book-related websites. Excuse me, I’m feeling the urge to write…
If you had to start over, would you choose a different path in your career?
Same path, but I would walk faster, and be nicer to the people I met along the way.
What do you do to get into your writing zone?
I do not have a writing zone. I don’t know what that is. Is it like the Twilight Zone? I write when I have run out of other interesting things to do. There is no zone.
What is your favorite accomplishment?
To have maintained a great relationship with the woman I love for more than twenty-five years. Yeah, I know, that’s boring. But seriously, it matters way more than the other stuff.
Do you ever create hidden meanings or messages in your work?
Oh yes, I certainly do! My books are filled with secrets. Most of them will never be noticed by most readers, but they are there, lurking. My recent books, the Klaatu Diskos trilogy, are filled with obscure sci-fi and literary references, but if you don’t “get” them, you would never know they are there.
If your writing were edible, what would it taste like?