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News & Features » February 2013 » Literary Lions: 15 Questions with Dennis Lehane

Literary Lions: 15 Questions with Dennis Lehane

Johnny Temple: Who’s the first person that encouraged you to be a writer?Dennis Lehane

Dennis Lehane: My high school English teacher, a kind Irish priest named Larry Corcoran.

JT: What is your biggest pet peeve?

DL: Any sort of rudeness. People who take two parking spaces should have their tires slashed, for example.

JT: What’s your most effective tactic for getting your children to sleep?

DL: Whiskey.

Um, I got one kid who sleeps like a champ and another who it takes five books and some music and sitting beside her so she’s not scared while she eventually, finally, maybe, possibly nods off. So I’m the last person to ask.

JT: What book has given you nightmares, or otherwise appeared to you in dreams?

DL: The Shining by Stephen King. The movie doesn’t even come close to the terror that book evokes in a reader.

JT: What book are you reading right now?

DL: Elsewhere by Richard Russo. It’s outstanding.

JT: What is the worst film adaptation of a great book that you have ever seen?

DL: Clockers. And that’s not on Richard Price who’s credited with the script. Blame falls squarely on Spike Lee who stood up on a bully pulpit and beat the same note for 2 hours, turned the greatest urban novel of our time into an ABC after school special.

JT: Have you ever been to a town hall meeting?

DL: Yeah, a long time ago. We won the fight against an unscrupulous developer so that was kinda cool.

JT: Have you ever been to a freak show?

DL: Nope.

JT: Who’s your favorite author (or book) that no one’s ever heard of? 

DL: I don’t know if no one’s heard of it, but a book I adore that few people have read is Buffalo Soldiers by Robert O’Connor.

JT: Who’s your favorite author that everyone’s heard of?

DL: Cormac McCarthy.

JT: Do you avoid high school and college reunions or do you embrace them?

DL: Avoid. If we got along in high school—hell, grade school—we’re still friends. I got such a deep bench of friends, in fact, I don’t need new ones.

JT: What’s your favorite single syllable word?

DL: Fuck.

JT: If you could make up a word, what would it be? No definitions permitted.

DL: Prettiful. Actually, my daughter already made it up. I stole from her.

JT: What existing word would you prefer had a different definition? State word and redefine.

DL: Bucolic: Stage of a post-apocalyptic disease involving lots of mouth sores.

JT: What question would you like to ask of me?

DL: What’s with all the questions?

DENNIS LEHANE is the author of the Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro mystery series (A Drink before the War; Darkness, Take My Hand; Sacred; Gone, Baby, Gone; Prayers for Rain; and Moonlight Mile), as well as Coronado (five stories and a play) and the award-winning novels Mystic River, Shutter Island, and The Given Day. Mystic River, Shutter Island, and Gone, Baby, Gone have been made into award-winning films. He is the editor of Boston Noir and coeditor of Boston Noir 2: The Classics.


Posted: Feb 1, 2013

Category: Literary Lions | Tags: , , , ,