Shalom Auslander

How did you become a writer? A lot of really bad shit happened to me when I was younger, and I can’t rap. Also, I don’t like people very much, and there aren’t many jobs whose description includes spending long hours alone in a dark room with the blinds drawn.

Name your writing influences (writers, books, teachers, etc.). Beckett. Kafka. Vonnegut. Heller. O’Connor. Bill Hicks. Lenny Bruce. The Ramones. The Dead Milkmen. Al Qaeda. Charlie Brown. Bugs Bunny.

When and where do you write? All day. Anywhere there isn’t internet service.

What are you working on now? Dunno. I’m walking a lot. A few miles every day. That usually sorts it out.

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? I’ve suffered from caring too much. From giving a shit. But it passes.

What’s your advice to new writers? Don’t give a shit. Don’t care. Books, until recently, were dangerous: banned, burned, watched. Write something dangerous. Say something you shouldn’t. Blow something up. But well.

Bio: Born in 1970, no college, no Iowa Writer’s Whatever, no Yaddo. Author of “Beware of God: Stories,” “Foreskin’s Lament,” and “Hope: A Tragedy.”