Who is your favorite character at the moment?
The Judge in Blood Meridian. I’ve always been into monsters, so such a perfectly charismatic and horrifying manifestation of pure evil is right up my alley.
Least favorite word, why?
Avuncular. Talk about dead weight.
Favorite word, why?
Clairaudience. It’s creepy, and I think it’s cool there’s a specific word for that.
Being a poet yourself, who are some of your favorite poets?
My favorite poets are James Tate and A.R. Ammons. My wife and I named our first son “Ezra,” partially after the Ammons poem, “So I Said I Am Ezra,” and I titled my first novel (unpublished as of this interview) “Something Like My Name” after the final line of Tate’s poem “Manna.”
Favorite guilty pleasure read?
The trashiest read I’ve ever enjoyed is Coldheart Canyon by Clive Barker. The book is pure garbage, lots of disconcerting unsexy sex, badly conceived violence, the story line is a mess, the whole thing should have been cut in half, the dialogue reads like it was written in a freshman creative writing workshop…and for some reason, with all the brilliant books in the world, I read each and every one of its 600 pages.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever heard about writing?
The best, and most exciting, writing advice I’ve ever received came from a professor who didn’t particularly like me. She said: “You can write. You either can or you can’t, and you can. I can’t explain it any more clearly than that. But that doesn’t mean that you’ll ever make a penny, or that one single other person will ever like any of it. So if that’s enough for you, keep doing it. If it’s not…stop now.”
ADAM PHILLIPS currently resides in Boise, Idaho with his wife and two small sons.