Where are you from?
I grew up in Beverly, MA, just north of Boston. And I currently live in Stoughton, MA, which is just south of Boston. Boston is my fulcrum.
Who are your favorite writers?
I have so many favorites. Stewart O’Nan, Kelly Link, Kurt Vonnegut, Jonathan Lethem, Aimee Bender, and Joyce Carol Oates just to name a few.
Which book/books have had the biggest influence on your writing?
I welcome, collect, and hoard influence from just about everything I read. But books that I can always go back to for a re-read and come away inspired (ie. reading the book makes me want to sit my butt down and write), Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, Mark Danielewski’s House Of Leaves, Chuck Palahniuk’s Choke, Will Christopher Baer’s Kiss Me Judas, and Amy Hempel’s Tumbel Home.
What are your hobbies and outside interests?
I bang around on the guitar on occasion. I’m a big sports fan and love to play basketball. I’m a very good shooter. I might even go so far as to say that I could beat any American novelist in a game of horse. Challenge issued!
What is the single best piece of advice anyone ever gave you?
You write fiction? Don’t quit your day job.
What inspired you to write your first book?
A few years back, I had this image of a woman coming into a private detective’s office and showing off her hand: she’d had her fingers stolen and replaced with someone else’s digits. I planned on writing a strange, anything-goes, near-feature science fiction/horror/noir mix. I wrote the first chapter, but then I put it away for almost a year. The title came next. And I wish I could remember where I was or what I was doing, but the title just sort of occurred to me. The Little Sleep. And I immediately thought of the private detective and the woman with the stolen/replaced fingers. So I had a title, a first chapter, mix in some research into the horrible affliction that is narcolepsy, and the novel had its spring board.
Where do you write?
Where ever I can. At home, I work in a little office that’s full of my books, horror movie and Boston sports posters, more books, signed baseballs, and other clutter. But I do a lot of writing on my laptop when I’m not home, and I can work almost anywhere. Almost to a fault, I have the ability to zone in on what I’m doing and shut the outside world out.