Five With Amy Guth

Well, it had to happen sooner or later. Since the "Five With..." interview is open to any author involved with Pilcrow Lit Fest, and well, I'm an author and I'd say I'm rather involved. I thought it was perhaps teetering on garish to interview myself, but more than one person asked when my interview would be up, and so, well, why not? Here goes nothing.


For today's "Five With..." interview, I present yours truly, Amy Guth, author of the novel Three Fallen Women and the forthcoming novel, Light of Waters Brought. And, you know, the one who said, "Hey, guys, we should have a lit fest!"

1. What are you working on now?

Doy. Pilcrow. It's been a large undertaking, but I've enjoyed it thoroughly-- from scribbling ideas on brunch napkins, to hocking everyone for things to fill the swag bags with, to finding venues for panels and parties, getting the logistics for all the programming to line up, making sure everything was done as eco-friendly as it could be, finding organizations and vendors to partner with, and convincing everyone else to come along for the ride-- well, Pilcrow has certainly had my focus since I decided to go for it. It's been great so far; I can't wait to see how festival weekend goes. I have nothing but high hopes. I've been thrilled with how positive of a response Pilcrow has gotten from everyone, fellow authors, publishers, venue owners-- man, even the lady who donated some of the table linens for the New Orleans Public Library fundraiser was so excited that she squeaked! But, now that most of the heavy lifting is finished, I need to figure out what to wear. And, I need to disassemble my novel, Three Fallen Women, for the Rebuilt Books event at the NOLA Public Library fundraiser.

But, it hasn't been all Pilcrow all the time. I recently finished editing an essay collection, Emotionally Pantsed, by Katie Schwartz. My second novel, Light of Waters Brought, is making its way into the light of day later this year, which I'm very excited about. Also, I've been working on my third novel and just started tinkering with two non-fiction projects-- one a biography that will likely take me a few years to research and write and the other a more memoir-format thing based on the assortment of unusual day jobs I held at different points in my life. I'll be continuing as host of the Fixx Reading Series here in Chicago this year as well, and hopefully many years to come, and editing an anthology of the first year's guests. And, of course, wrapping my head around next year's Pilcrow Lit Fest. Already. Can you believe some folks are already asking me about next year?!? I joke. I love it. Next year is going to be even better. Pssh, I'll have it down to a science by then!

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

Wine and schmooze, all the way. I think I'm really charming after a couple glasses of pinot grigio. Keyword: think. See for yourself during Pilcrow, I'm sure. No seriously, I am a big fan of literary festivals. The things we do, whether on the creation or production side of writing, lend themselves to isolation far more than they do to, say, community-building, so I've always enjoyed being around a lot of other people who understand that so well at festivals. I've left every festival I've attended with the best feeling of connectedness and met some of the most interesting and wonderful people and made some great friends at each festival. And, I've become familiar with all sorts of books and authors I might never of otherwise know.

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

Well, self, that's a tough one. I certainly haven't any intention of playing favorites. Especially not after I invited all of you folks here to Pilcrow. That said, I think Featherproof's mini-books are a fabulous thing, and such a creative idea. I am really into what Bloof Books is up to, and really love the we're-all-in-it-together-ness of their authors' touring efforts. Soft Skull Press has always put out books I've liked and they've shown Pilcrow a lot of love, and obviously I'm a big fan of my publisher, James Stegall of So New. Wait, speaking of Featherproof-- does the kid in this clip look like a young Jonathan Messinger to anyone else? Not the wicked baby, the older kid. Maybe? You think?

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

Hell, I don't know. I can barely hear myself think-- all I can hear right now is my upstairs neighbor having sex. Let's see, if I could put, say Tom Robbins, Chuck Palahniuk and Don DeLillo all together at one lit fest, I might be high on life for years. Final answer.

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

Well, you know me, such a Morrissey/Smiths fan, so A Rush and a Push and The Land is Ours.

I'm looking forward to seeing all of your smiling faces in May!

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