I Thought You Were Pete Nelson

I’m pleased to announce the release of THIS book (on the left, here) written by THIS guy (on the right). THIS guy, of course, is PETE NELSON, author and singer-songwriter (no MySpace page…I already checked) who also wrote the not-so-fictional Left For Dead.

A little bit about I Thought You Were Dead: Paul Gustavson is a hack writer for the wildly popular For Morons series. His wife has left him, his father has suffered a debilitating stroke, his girlfriend is dating another man, he has impotency issues, and his overachieving brother invested his parents’ money in stocks that tanked. Still, Paul has his friends at Bay State bar, a steady line of cocktails, and a new pair of running shoes (he’s promised himself to get in shape). And then there’s Stella, the one constant in his life, who gives him sage advice, doesn’t judge him, and gives him unconditional love–which is appropriate–because Stella is Paul’s dog.

Besides being funny and real and lovable (much like Stella, herself), this book is #1 on the April Indie Next List. We’re so proud! And we’ve taken this opportunity to get a little blog-interview with Pete about his writing, great literature, and the world’s ugliest band.

1. Describe your new book in one sentence.

I Thought You Were Dead is a story about love in a variety of forms, between a man and a woman, a man and a town, a man and his bad habits, a father and a son, between two brothers, and finally the most unconditional kind of love I know, the love between a man and his dog, in this case, one who can talk.

2. Where do you do your best writing?

I do both my best writing and my worst writing in the same place, which is generally on my laptop in a public restaurant or coffee shop where I cherish the company of my fellow humans but where its loud enough that I don’t have to listen to them.  By that I mean, I like a good din. If it’s too quiet, I’m forced to eavesdrop, which can be distracting.

3.  What is your motto or maxim?

I’m not sure it’s a good idea to have mottoes, or rather, to have only one.

4.  Do you have any secret skills (besides writing, of course?)

I am a fair musician, and I received a B.A. in studio art.  After college, I reckoned that of all the things I enjoyed doing and had some talent for, I was best at art, and decided that it would therefore make more sense to go to graduate school in something I needed to work on, so I earned an MFA in writing.  Now, I rarely do any art, even though for
my entire childhood, I thought I would grow up to be an artist.  Or maybe an outfielder for the Minnesota Twins.

5.  Describe the plot of the first story you remember writing.

I wrote a poem in second grade called “Hail the Mighty Golfers” that won an award.  I wrote a play about Persephone in 5th grade, in which the actors stood on a table, and when they went down into Hades, they went under the table.  I can’t remember anything I wrote in college (or for that matter, anything I read).  My first short story in graduate school was about a mother who can no longer cope with her twin 5 year-old girls and spends the day on top of the refrigerator.

6.  If you had to change professions, and needed no credentials, what would you do?


7.  Which band would you like to have follow you around, playing the soundtrack to your life?

The Travelling Wilburies, once dubbed The World’s Ugliest Band.  I would probably look pretty good, standing next to them.

8.  Where do you hope to catch people reading your new book?

In the shower.

9.  What is your all-time-absolute-favorite book?

Moby Dick.

10.  What books have you read recently that you’d recommend?

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi Durrow; Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes;  and Slouching Toward Fargo by Neal Karlen.

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