Today we’re lucky enough to welcome Bob Balaban to the Penguin Teen Author Spotlight! His new book is all about the classic awkwardness of mutant dinosaurs in middle school…we all know how that is, right? If you can’t get enough of Bob, check out his author video on YouTube, where Bob Balaban got the amazing and life changing experience of interviewing author and actor Bob Balaban! For now, this interview will have to do:
Name: Bob Balaban
Novel: Creature from the 7th Grade
Available: 9.4.12 (Today!)
Who’s your favorite author, living or dead?
William Shakespeare, in case there actually was such a person. If not, I choose Charles Schultz.
What’s your favorite thing about your book?
My favorite thing about my book is getting to see the world from the point of view of a socially challenged mutant dinosaur.
If you could spend one year on a deserted island with one character from literature, who would you choose?
I would choose Pip (from Great Expectations) as my island mate. I think he’d be fun to talk to and highly resourceful, finding food and building tents.
Where do you write?
I write anywhere I can find a flat surface and ten quiet minutes.
Who is your favorite hero or heroine of history?
Governor Ryan of Illinois is one of my heroes of history (recent history). In 2003, he commuted 167 death sentences into life imprisonment, after he discovered that most of those convicted had been tortured into confessing.
Do you tweet? What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever tweeted?
I tweet. If you’re brave enough to follow me, you’ll find me as @BobBalaban. I wouldn’t be caught dead describing myself as funny. The burden would be unbearable.
What is your favorite season?
My favorite season is the corny season of Spring. I love to watch the frantic ballet of birds mating and making their nests.
If you could teleport anywhere in the known universe right now, where would you go?
Somewhere where Paul Ryan wasn’t running for Vice President.
Do you have any writing rituals?
I sharpen a bunch of pencils. I pull down the shades if it’s too sunny at my desk. Then I go get something to eat and avoid sitting back down to write as long as possible.
What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Earthly happiness is handing in the final draft of my book and then sitting down to dinner with my family.
What is the best concert you’ve ever been to?
The best concert I’ve been to was my daughter’s Suzuki violin recital when she was six. Nothing can match the excitement, terror, and thrill of watching her get through “Twinkle, Twinkle.”
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently developing four television series, six movies, two plays, and book number three in the Creature series. I am casting The Exonerated, a play I am directing in the fall at the Culture Project in New York. It starts on September 15, starring Stockard Channing and Brian Dennehy. Brooke Shields and Lyle Lovett and a bunch of other talented and lovely people will be rotating in the lead roles through November 4th. I’ll also be appearing at the New Yorker Festival on October 7th.
Thanks, Bob, always fun to talk with you!
Add The Creature from the 7th Grade to your Goodreads shelf!