The Questionnaire: Mark Haskell Smith


How do you get up in the morning? 

Espresso with hot soy milk.

Do you succumb to nostalgia? 


Do you write long and cut, or short and backfill? 

I just write.

How do you feel about your Wikipedia entry? 

Happy to have one.

Lunch with any three people who ever lived; who do you invite?  

Joe Orton, Federico Fellini, Richard Brautigan

Best piece of advice you ever received? 

Don’t be boring.

Have you ever been defeated by a genre?

Yes. Romance.

What country would you want to be exiled in?


What’s your poison?


Title of the book you’re probably never going to write, but would kind of like to get around to?

100 Years of Disco

Do you require a high thread count?


Who reads you first?  

That is a secret.

Sexy and dangerous, or brilliant and kind? 

All of the above?

Does plot matter? 


Does age matter?  

Too young and you can get into trouble with the law.

Do you prefer to write standing, or must you lie prone in a field of dandelions with a steno pad and a good pen? Or what? 

I sit in a big purple chair.

Is there a literary community? 


What’s the question or questions we should have asked, had we known?

Why do you write comedies?




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Open to any author writing in English about the Chicanx/Latinx experience, the Rivera Book Prize is committed to the discovery and fostering of extraordinary writing by a first-time or early career author whose work examines the long and varied contributions of Chicanx/Latinx in the US. The Rivera Book Prize aims to provide a platform that showcases the emerging literary talent of the Chicanx/Latinx community, to cultivate the next generation of Chicanx/Latinx writers, and to continue the rich literary memory of Tomás Rivera, Chicano author, poet, activist, and educator.

Entry Fee: $35. Entry fees are non-refundable.

Apply HERE