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Between Two Lockers with Brian Katcher

An interview with YA author Brian Katcher, where he answers the kind of hard-hitting questions usually reserved for secret locker rendezvous and slumber parties. Plus: MASH!

Between Two Lockers with Brian Katcher

Welcome to the first installment of our new interview series, Between Two Lockers, where we ask YA authors the kind of hard hitting questions usually reserved for secret locker rendezvous and slumber parties. And where we'll ALSO end each interview with a game of everyone's favorite predictor of the future, MASH!

Y'all, I'm so excited to announce our first author: Brian Katcher! Now, I've said this before, but when I first read Almost Perfect (my review here), I went into it really expecting a BOOK ABOUT IMPORTANT ISSUES. What I got instead was a character driven story that felt very real. I never once felt that the plot or devices were contrived, it was simply a beautiful story told well.

Since that time, Mr. Katcher has become a regular (and much appreciated) commenter on FYA, and we were thrilled when he agreed to be our first interview!

Now, Brian Katcher is a favorite around here, and upon further reading, I'm sure you'll see why. A big thanks to him for being such an awesome interview, for playing MASH with us, sending a picture from his early days, having the balls to ask what a 'freebie' was, and doing it all DURING A MOVE!

THE QUESTIONS

AKA THE BIG ONE: If yr real life adolescence was a YA book...What would you, the main character, be like? Who is yr secret crush? What is yr number #1 source of angst? At what point would the reader pump his/her fist in victory? And who would play you in the film adaptation?

If you've ever read Playing With Matches, you get a very good idea of what I was like as a teen. I kept having to tell myself that I was not writing my autobiography. I was nerdy, funny, and afraid of girls. My secret crush was the girl I based the character 'Buttercup' on...she had a boyfriend. Angst: My father was a central office administrator, which made me the boss's kid. As if I didn't have enough problems. Fist pump: When I kissed that girl after the dance at the Key Club convention. I was 15. Film: I'm so out of touch with who's popular these days, I can't give a good answer to that. I hope they cast me as one of the annoying teachers.

What is your secret power?

I can fix the computers at work, so they can't fire me.

What is your #1 favorite food?

Authentic Mexican tacos.

Tell me about your area of expertise.

Urban legends. I've always been fascinated with the stories that people believe are true, despite evidence to the contrary. That's the theme in the book I just finished (hope the publisher is as interested as I am).

If you could assemble your own Ocean's 11 of fictional characters, who would you pick and why?

1.  Lt. Milo Minderbinder (Catch-22) as the Money: The guy ran a trans-European business out of the mess office. He could could set us up with the cash/equipment.

2.  Ex-PFC Wintergreen (Catch-22) as the Computer Guy: wrong era, but the guy secretly ran an airbase by diverting the mail. I think he could handle modern technology.

3.  Chief Brombden (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) as the Inside Guy: Last guy you'd suspect. And nothing goes unnoticed like a seven-foot-tall Native American schizophrenic.

4.  Katniss (The Hunger Games) as the Kid: When things fall apart, she'd be the one to keep her head.

5.  The Terrible Old Man (The Terrible Old Man, H.P. Lovecraft) as the Decoy: Sure, he's 105 years old, but the last guys who crossed him ended up stomped to death by ghosts.

6.  Dave Lister (Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers) as the Wheel Man: The guy drove a stolen taxi for months, I think he could drive the getaway car.

7.  Colonel Aureliano Buendia (One Hundred Years of Solitude) as the Muscle: No one crosses the colonel.

8.  Long Tom Roberts (Doc Savage adventures) as the Safecracker: Sure, this tech experience is 70 years out of date, but the man was the greatest electronics expert of the 1930s, he'll figure it out.

9.  Shadow (American Gods) 10. and Julia (1984) as the Leaders: two of the most street savy characters I've ever read.

11.  I absolutely could not think of anyone to be the Chinese acrobat.

What is your best karaoke song?

"Indiana Wants Me".

Tell me something scandalous!

In Mexico, I shared an apartment with two beautiful women, a la, Three's Company. It's a lot more frustrating than you'd think.

What is your favorite adult beverage?

Coffee with whiskey in it

What book have you read the most number of times?

Catch-22.

Who is your "freebie"?

I'm informed that this is someone you can have sex with and it does not count as cheating. As Mrs. Katcher is a big fan of your site, I decline to answer this one. But here's a joke from some comedian:

My wife and I agreed to never cheat unless we had a chance with our ultimate fantasy person. She chose Richard Gere, I chose Cindy Crawford. Last year I suggested we update the list. She chose Brad Pitt, I chose our babysitter. Now she's all mad because I won.

YA authors are so cool. Who would you give a BFF charm to?

Guys don't really give BFF charms. I'd give a macho fist bump to John Green.

Out of all of the characters you've written, which one do you most wish you could be?

Sherman Andrews, from Everyone Dies in the End, a Romantic Comedy. He was me in college. Too bad that book got rejected.

Brian Katcher (far left) at 19. HE IS NOT WEARING A WIG!

Now for MASH! Brian supplied us with 3 choices for each category, and we threw in the "bad" choices to make things interesting!

Spouse
Sandra Katcher
Molly Ringwald
Jodie Foster
Sarah Palin

Job
Novelist
Archaeologist
Writer for Lonely Planet travel guides
Trapeze Artist

Hometown
Mexico City
New York City

Macando
Witchita

# of Kids
1
2
3

11

Pet
none
none

none
parakeet

Income
million
billion
zillion

$30K

Car
'85 Buick (his first car)
VW Bus
Harley
Pinto

Honeymoon
Mexico City
Alaska
New York

Gary, IN

Well, it could have been worse, right? I guess maybe it's a good thing Brian Katcher's future wasn't decided by MASH, after all.

Jenny Bird's photo About the Author: Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.
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