Deviant Author Interviews

Deviant Author Interview – George Bishop

Welcome to our author interview series, Deviant Author Interviews! In this series, you’ll get to know the deviant minds behind some of New Orleans’s most talented writers through five rapid fire questions that are sure to bring out their idiosyncrasies. Get ready, because this isn’t your ordinary interview!


Photo – Copyright Elsa Hahne 2012

This interview is with George Bishop, whom you can meet at the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival this weekend! Check out the festival program here. George will be moderating a panel on Friday at 4:00 p.m. in the Queen Ann Ballroom at the Hotel Monteleone titled Not Even Past: Southern History in Contemporary Fiction.

George is the author of two novels, The Night of the Comet and Letter to my Daughter. He earned a degree in English literature & communications from Loyola before moving to L.A. to become an actor. After eight years of commercials, stage plays, guest starring roles in TV sitcoms, and a lead role in the dismal B-movie Teen Vamp, he traveled overseas as a volunteer English teacher to Czechoslovakia. He has lived and taught in Turkey, Indonesia, Azerbaijan, India, and Japan. He earned an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he won an Award of Excellence for a collection of stories. His stories and essays have appeared in The Oxford AmericanThird CoastPressAmerican Writing, and The Turkish Daily News, among others. Pat Conroy calls him “a novelist to keep your eye on.” He now lives here in New Orleans.

Check out George’s website, and go “like” the Facebook fan page for The Night of the Comet!

We caught up with George about The Night of the Comet, his worst review on Amazon, and the things teenagers do that really irk him.

Imagine your characters are on Survivor. Who would they vote out of the book?

In The Night of the Comet, poor Lou Coot, the protagonist’s neighbor, would be voted right out. He’s a nice man, but hopeless. He wouldn’t last a day on a desert island.

What’s the worst review you’ve received on Amazon, and what was your reaction to it?

For Comet, there aren’t any terrible reviews on Amazon. For my previous novel, Letter to My Daughter, I got one two-star review, and I actually loved it. It begins:
“this book impacted my daughter’s life. just like in the book, my daughter, then 16, ran away. she escaped out the window and stole my car. i barged into her room and there wasn’t a note or a clue. just this book placed on her pillow . . .”
[Read the entire review here. Sounds like it worked out just fine.]

Pick a popular book with an ending you didn’t like. What is the new ending?

I love the ending of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and wouldn’t change anything about it. But for an alternate ending, how about Anna, her young lover, Vronsky, and her husband, Alexei, all move to Levin and Kitty’s farm in the country, where they experiment with free love and live out their days in a very modern, open, five-person marriage.

The Night of the Comet is told from the POV of a teenager. What’s one thing that teenagers do that really irks you?

Everything. It’d be better for everyone if the teenage years could be skipped over somehow.

Pick a popular literary character and write their death scene. Extra points for creativity!

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia, the girl who loves Hamlet, could go mad and drown herself, and then Ophelia’s brother, Laertes, could have a duel with Hamlet, with poisoned swords, and just as they’re both dying, Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, could die, too, maybe by accidentally drinking poison that was meant for Hamlet . . .
Oh, no. Wait. That was Shakespeare’s ending. Never mind.

Meet George Bishop at the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival on Friday, March 21 at 4:00 p.m. at the Hotel Monteleone Queen Ann Ballroom. You must purchase a panel pass to the festival to see the panel discussion. Get your tickets here!

Have ideas for deviant questions? Let us know! We want your suggestions. E-mail us at nolafleurdelit@gmail.com. If your question gets selected, you just might uncover a special surprise!

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