Five With Charles Blackstone

Next up in Pilcrow's "Five with", please welcome Charles Blackstone, author of the novel The Week You Weren't Here, as well as his new play, Rogers Party. (Psst, there's a benefit for Lifeline Theatre Company on May 6th. Go and get a preview of the play. And drink wine. Everyone wins.)

1. What are you working on now?

Trying to come up with a good excuse about why I've ignored these questions for so long. I am a bad, bad Pilcrower. It's not my fault. It's just been a busy couple of weeks. Rain on the Pilcrow, blood on the plow, this landfill nation, etc.

2. What is your favorite part of literary festivals and why?

I like getting to see in person those colleagues who I spend the rest of the year (sometimes the rest of the years) communicating with via email. These aren't even necessarily people who live in other cities. I also like the fact that in a world dominated by so many festivals (jazz, blues, food, booze, comic books, furries) that have little to do with all things literary that there can be a moment when words and the people who make them and think about them and care about them are all the rage.

3. Who are your favorite small press mover/shaker types at the minute?

Impetus Press. I've gotten to know Jennifer Banash and the more I learn about what they're doing, the more excited I get about small press publishing. Usually small presses set out to be as unlike their mainstream counterparts as possible, which means they're going end up eschewing meaningful literary fiction that is more or less formally conventional, and Impetus isn't like that. They have pretty delicious covers, too.

4. Which author do you wish was coming to Pilcrow Lit Fest this year who is not?

Zoe Trope. The last time she was in Chicago, we had such a blast. We went to IKEA, a Purim carnival, a Thai restaurant, a sushi bar, Mity Nice Grill with my friend Julie, a couple of used bookstores, the top of the Hancock building, the U-505 at the Museum of Science and Industry, Old Navy, Target, and, at one point, she baked me Snickerdoodle cookies. Now imagine adding Pilcrow to that list. Need I say more?

5. If you were in charge of picking a theme song for Pilcrow Lit Fest this year, what would it be?

This song called "Folder," by Plastic Operator. Why? Because it's going through my head right now, and because it contains the term "copy and paste," which to my mind no other song has ever included. It's also on my iPod, so it wouldn't be hard to broadcast, and it's fast, so you can run to it.

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