A Conversation with Gallagher Lawson
  Conversations    May 12, 2015     The Last Bookstore

This Saturday, Gallagher Lawson’s The Paper Man, will debut at The Last Bookstore.  Here’s your essential introduction to the man himself:

 

Hello Mr. Lawson – welcome to Dwarf + Giant, the official blog of The Last Bookstore. We’re excited to host your launch party for your debut book!

First things first, pizza or tacos?

Without hesitation: Tacos. Sometimes I eat them three or more times a week.

What actor/actress would play your protagonist and why?
I’d say Freddie Highmore, because he looks young for his age. In the novel, Michael is trapped in a paper body made when he was 15, and even though 10 years have passed, he still looks the same from when he was a teenager. And Freddie has played an outsider who struggles to fit in, which Michael is when he runs away to the city by the sea. Freddie is great at showing the tension between control and impulses, and I think he’d be a great Michael.
paperman

Wow – yeah, right on the money. What was the first story you ever wrote? (this could include things you wrote in grade school, terrible poetry you wrote in college, the first thing you had published – anything–feel free to even include a sample)

The first stories I ever wrote were in first grade. Remember those book order forms from Scholastic? They were printed on thin tissue paper, had descriptions of all these new books, and on the back was a column where you could mark which books you wanted to order. Well, I loved ordering and receiving books so much that I made my own book order forms of made-up titles. I handed these out to kids, and based on their orders, I wrote the stories, stapled them into books, and distributed them at recess. I remember that the title “P U, U Stink” was the most popular order.

I remember Scholastic! The aniticipation for those orders was killer. So, you got an early start. Are you for writing craft books or against them? Any you’d recommend?

I’m all for craft books. I binged on them for years. Favorites of mine include Showing & Telling by Laurie Alberts and Stephen Koch’s The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop.

What author(s) do you think are under-appreciated?

I love translated literature, and feel it’s underappreciated in the US. Publishers such as And Other Stories, New Directions, Other Press, Phoneme Media, and Unnamed Press are doing the country good by bringing a lot of attention to great translated works. I’d recommend checking out the books and stories by Mario Bellatin, Cesar Aira, Silvina Ocampo, Bernardo Atxaga, Kristiina Ehin, Elvira Dones, and Yukio Mishima.

Ok, here’s a fun one. You’re stuck on a desert island, what three books do you bring?

Stuck on a desert island does not sound fun. But if I were there with books, I might be okay for a while. Let’s see, I’d probably choose this way: to keep my imagination active: The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens; to live as another creature: Watership Down; and to keep me laughing: A Confederacy of Dunces.

Lastly, where can we find out more about you? (feel free to include website, twitter, facebook–even the name of your favorite coffee shop where you write!)

I love to chat on Twitter and Instagram (I’m on both as @ga11agher). My website address is gallagherlawson.com. And I’m a runner, so I love going for a long run in the hills of Griffith Park every weekend.

Gallagher Lawson is a graduate of U.C. Riverside’s Palm Desert M.F.A. program. He has worked as a travel writer and technical writer, and plays classical piano. He lives in Los Angeles. The Paper Man, Lawson’s debut novel, is part fable, part surrealistic journey and explores the nature of artistic identity and its tenuous relationship to the greater good. Find out more about The Paper Man, including the launch party at The Last Bookstore on May 16th here.

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