Q: What is the best part of being a writer?
A: Getting to make a living from spending time with your imaginary friends.
Q: Is it true that you said that the Bram Stoker Awards of the HWA are an "embarrassment." If so, why do you feel that way?
A: I probably said it at some point, but I don't wish to dig up old nastiness. The Stokers don't really mean anything to me one way or the other these days.
Q: Is it true that Courtney Love dropped by at odd hours during the writing of the unauthorized biography and stole a certain blue pill?
A: No, thank God.
Q: Is it true that you keep your pens in a smiley-face mug on your desk?
A: Yes indeed. It was a gift from David Niall Wilson, and I don't know why he sent it to me, but something about it caught my fancy.
Q: Can you tell us a little about the research you did for your new novel Liquor?
A: I already knew the New Orleans restaurant scene well enough that I didn't have to do a lot of research, except about small, technical things like licensing. Of course, I did have a great many restaurant meals that were called "research" for tax purposes!
Q: Your latest book, Liquor, takes place deep inside the restaurant industry. What drew you to this particular world? Did you ever want to become a restaurateur yourself?
A: I've been married to a chef for fifteen years, and had long hoped to write a funny novel set in the New Orleans restaurant world. I remember first thinking about it in 1993 and realizing I didn't know enough about it yet. After several years of hearing stories, meeting characters, and eating meals, I finally felt ready to do it. As for being a restaurateur, no—Chris co-owned a restaurant in Athens, GA several years ago, and I don't...