What fictional character do you most identify with and why?
Comic book hero Mr. Terrific. He's the black nerd superhero. I love him because he's really smart, which makes up for the fact that his super hero power is almost useless- the ability to not be noticed by electronics. That is so amazingly lame it's amazing. No one has ever thought, You know what would be cool? To be unable to use a touch-screen.
I find myself to a combination of really lame attributes that I sometimes manage to turn into advantages. It's a great feeling, winning when you know you're a loser.
How do you live "quirky brown"? (quirky brown is my year long reading challenge focused on fiction depicting atypical Black experiences, like your work!)
I think all you have to do be quirky is to be true to yourself. If you kill off your impulses because you think, Oh that's weird, or, How would that look, then you kill what is unique about you. Learning to listen to your own impulses is one of the greatest paths to freedom.
What books would readers be most surprised to find on your bookshelves?
I'm not sure, because I don't know what people expect of me anymore. I'm looking over at the shelf now. I have Lose Your Gut Now! Is that good? Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom? How about Raising Your Spirited Child?
Who's your favorite quirky brown author and why?
Samuel R. Delany. I used to see him walking around Manhattan. He had a big white beard, suspenders, big grey afro. He looked like a black gay Santa Claus. You gotta love that dude. Also, he's a brilliant writer, with one of the best essays on writing as well.
What's your favorite quirky brown book and why?
Almost anything by Percival Everett. He's one of the baddest dude's in the game. He's the writer all the other writers jock. Specifically, I would choose Erasure. That book really opened my eyes about what could be done in a novel, but that's just for sentimental reasons, he has so many great books.
What 5 songs would you consider the soundtrack to encompass your literary work?
Wow, that's a tough one. Try this:
Pharcyde: Passing Me By
Tricky: Black Steel
Junior Kimbrough: Meet Me In The City
Keith Frank and the Zydeco Allstars: Co Fa
John Coltrane: My Favorite Things.
What 5 songs would you consider part of your life soundtrack?
Songs? I got to do albums:
John Coltrane: Love Supreme
Tribe Called Quest: Low End Theory
Bob Marley: Confrontation
Bois Sec and Canray Fontenot: La Musique Creole
Fela Kuti: Live
Which, if any, of your works would you like to see in a film adaptation?
Shit, I'll take any of them, I could send my kids to college. But probably just the graphic novels, the novel aren't made for it. Seeing a book I worked on so hard turned into two hours of mediocrity, that would be horrible. I'd still take the check, but it would kill something in me.
What's next for Mat Johnson?
More books, a few nice reviews, some sales, and then slowly I grow older until I die. Party!