Interview with Douglas Vigliotti | NewInBooks
If you were in an elevator with a stranger and had 1 minute or less to describe Tom Collins: A ‘Slightly Crooked’ Novel before the doors open, what description would you give?
In short, Tom Collins is about a guy who’s out with his buddy, meets an older woman, they hit off and sleep together. Five days later, he’s at a work event where he wins a long-sought-after award but simultaneously learns the woman he just slept with is his new boss’s wife. And the story sets out… It’s fun, edgy, and sexy. Thematically, it deals with consumption, influence(s), infidelity, friendship, and finding oneself. The book can go as deep as you want to take it.
What part of Tom Collins was the hardest to write? What part was the easiest?
It’s funny. You’ll hear writers say, “What I wrote today was trash” or “It was so hard to get the words out today.” It’s true, some days feel like you’re walking through a foot of snow—no question. But I always find that when I look back at the first draft (after I complete it) I can’t tell which days were the hard days and which were the easy days. So apparently, the hard days aren’t as bad as you think. And, the easy days aren’t as good as you think, either. The first draft always stinks.
What books are on your to-be-read pile right now?
I’m actually about to re-read a novel I loved when I first read it a few years ago—Miles from Nowhere by Nami Mun. It really left a mark on me, so I’m hoping it holds up. I think it will.
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
I like realistic fiction. Things that make you feel as if it were happening next door, down the street, or anywhere (as long as it feels real.) If it loses that, then it loses me. I don’t read to escape life, I read to go deeper into it.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.) Where did you write Tom Collins? (your couch, a coffee shop, a bar… hey – we won’t judge)
No quirky writing habits here. People work out their bodies daily, so I apply the same theory with writing. Maybe that’s quirky. I don’t know. I have a mandatory 30-minute writing session every morning. Just like lifting weights or going for a run or something.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I’m not a huge fan of advice, but I do prefer the kind that heeds to reality. I used to host an interview podcast. On the show, Seth Godin once told me, “Reassurance is overrated. If you need reassurance, you’re probably going to need more reassurance. So a little reassurance is stupid. I think we should dispense with reassurance and say, everything is probably not going to be okay. But even if it’s not okay, you’re resilient enough that you will figure out a way through.” That’s something that has really stuck with me. I always find myself coming back to it.
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading Tom Collins what would it be?
Simple: what have you created today? I guess you’ll need to read the book to make sense of it.