Well, this has been a long old week for me and I am absolutely ready to kick back and relax this weekend. Let’s start off having Friday Night Drinks with another fabulous guest, shall we? This week I am joined by author…. Jason Graff.
Jason, welcome to the blog and thank you for joining me for drinks this evening. First things first, what are you drinking?
Monsho, an excellent malt whiskey from Japan.
If we weren’t here in my virtual bar tonight, but were meeting in real life, where would you be taking me for a night out?
Since I now live in Texas, I believe I am required by law to take out of town guests to a BBQ joint.
Great, I love BBQ but my only experience of Texas so far was making a connection at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. So many Stetsons! If you could invite two famous people, one male and one female, alive or dead, along on our night out, who would we be drinking with?
Who wouldn’t love to drink with Dorothy Parker and Richard Pryor?
Who indeed? So, now we’re settled, tell me what you are up to at the moment. How and why did you start it and where do you want it to go?
I started writing poetry in high school, partly to get girls, partly because I was bored with my actual homework. I don’t think I really needed it to go anywhere outside of taking me outside of myself.
What has been your proudest moment since you started writing/blogging and what has been your biggest challenge?
My proudest moment was when my wife went public on Facebook and called me her favorite writer. My biggest challenge so far has been attracting anything that might be thought of as an audience.
What is the one big thing you’d like to achieve in your chosen arena? Be as ambitious as you like, its just us talking after all!
I would’ve had a few by this point so I’ll say the Nobel Prize. It’s a big one, plus it’d be a great excuse to get over to Sweden.
If you are going to dream, you might as well dream big, I say! What are have planned that you are really excited about?
My next book Merely Average Lovers about a romancing conman.
I love to travel, and I’m currently drawing up a bucket list of things I’d like to do in the future. Where is your favourite place that you’ve been and what do you have at the top of your bucket list?
I lived in Boston for 15 years and think of it very fondly. At the top of my bucket list, it’s a stretch but I’d like to live long enough to get to be a great grandfather.
I love Boston. I got stranded there once at the end of a holiday by a hurricane and had to stay three extra days, it was no hardship! Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself.
I can touch my tongue to my nose (see above!)
Books are my big passion and central to my blog and I’m always looking for recommendations. What one book would you give me and recommend as a ‘must-read’?
Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas is one I’ve been recommending for the last couple of years. It really blew me away. Textured and funny and tragic, it’s a beautiful book about redemption and thwarted dreams and longing and all the other bitter sweet stuff that makes us keep trying.
He loses everything. In front of everyone.
Where does he go from here?
Daniel Kelly, a talented young swimmer, has one chance to escape his working-class upbringing. His astonishing ability in the pool should drive him to fame and fortune, as well as his revenge on the rich boys at the private school to which he has won a sports scholarship. Everything Danny has ever done, every sacrifice his family has ever made, has been in pursuit of his dream. But when he melts down at his first big international championship and comes only fifth, he begins to destroy everything he has fought for and turn on everyone around him.
Tender and savage, Barracuda is a novel about dreams and disillusionment, friendship and family. As Daniel Kelly loses everything, he learns what it means to be a good person – and what it takes to become one.
So, we’ve been drinking all evening. What is your failsafe plan to avoid a hangover and your go-to cure if you do end up with one?
First of all, there is no such thing as a failsafe. I’ve tried a lot of things but since you insist I provide advice on this topic I would say, if your legs’re steady enough, a nice hot shower.
After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?
Hanging out with my wife and son.
Jason, thanks for drinking with me this evening, it’s been a blast.
Jason’s latest book, heckler, about lives colliding in a failing hotel is out now from Unsolicited Press, and you can buy a copy here.
Three men seeking forgiveness pass through The Shelby Hotel as part of their painful journey. While the family that runs it must contend with ghosts who won’t leave.
Jason Graff’s debut novel Stray Our Pieces, published by Waldorf Publishing in the fall of 2019, concerns a woman extricating herself from motherhood. In early 2020, heckler, about lives colliding at a struggling hotel, was released by Unsolicited Press. He lives in Richardson, TX, with his wife and their son.