This week we chat with writer and Motel 6 spokesman Tom Bodett. Tom talks about his latest project, reveals to us the little-known secret about writing children’s books and tells us who he thinks should play him in the movie about his life. Here is this week’s TDQ Q&A with writer Tom Bodett
The Daily Quarterly: How did you hear about thedailyquarterly.com?
Tom Bodett: By reading all the way to the end of that question.
TDQ: How excited were you that The Daily Quarterly asked you for an interview?
Bodett: I would have to put it somewhere between starting the car and finding my wife has filled the gas tank and thinking all day that it’s trash pick-up day, then realizing it’s not. There’s definitely some low level endorphin activity.
TDQ: Would you say the writing on The Daily Quarterly is the best anywhere on the web, or just the best you’ve found on the web?
Bodett: Definitely the best I’ve found in this region of the web. Previously divided into quadrants, the web has expanded to include several uncharted territories containing the blogs of part-time dog breeders and those two guys who sell possum butter. When you let that over the transom other things wash in with it, and it’s good to see you.
TDQ: What was the first piece you wrote for which you got paid?
Bodett: An accomplished forger since I learned cursive in the 3rd grade, my first paid writing was a phony note from Ernie Prentergast’s mom excusing him from school. He shoplifted me two Smarties and an Atomic Fireball.
TDQ: Who was your favorite writer growing up?
Bodett: Writers growing up are a confounded lot and I didn’t really like any of them. Hemingway was always pretending he was Ring Lardner. “Fartface” Scotty Fitzgerald used to sneak the altar wine out of the sacristy at church and get hammered. Billy Faulkner was a huge drag. He’d try to tell ghost stories on campouts and we’d all just fall asleep.
TDQ: Who was your favorite hotel chain spokesman growing up?
Bodett: Same thing with those guys. Difficult kids with no real sense of where they were going. Just looking for life’s cheapest room and then going on non-stop about the experience.
TDQ: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Bodett: I wanted to be a heroic kung fu fighter of some sort who was also rich. I didn’t know then how to make money as a hero martial arts expert, but gradually the secrets were revealed to me and I’m living the dream.
TDQ: What’s the best career advice you’ve ever gotten?
Bodett: Don’t order the eggrolls.
TDQ: What’s the worst career advice you’ve ever gotten?
Bodett: Try the eggrolls.
Part 2 of our TDQ Q&A with Tom Bodett will run next Friday