Thursday, September 29, 2011

Interview with Knox McCoy

Back in April, I had the distinct pleasure of being asked to be a part of Awesometown over at Knox McCoy's blog. Now, I'm probably one of the oldest members of Awesometown and it's just a bit too noisy for me, so I summer over here in Prodigiousburgh (with the H because why stop at G?). Still a resident of Awesometown, but without riff-raff like Tamara Out Loud.

Anyway, Knox has taken a moment away from his brand new baby girl to stop by Prodigiousburgh today and talk about his delightfully funny and surprisingly insightful book, Jesus and The Bachelorette: Finding Christ Among Roses, Tanned Bodies and Hyperbole. Because the man has to pay the bills.


Alise Wright: First, my maiden name is McCoy. What are the odds that you and I are related?

Knox McCoy: One thousand percent. I don’t know about you, but my surname has a collection of “colorful” personalities on the limbs of it’s tree, so absolutely nothing is off the table in terms of relations. If my family had less people in jail and we could actually pull off a reunion, you and I would TOTALLY see each other there.

AW: Most of us can understand the desire to write about The Bachelorette, but what made you think to tie it to Christianity?

KM: I’ll just say it: I’m kind of strange in terms of what I find similarities in. But I think on some level, for me, similarities are more impactful when they are strange. It makes me listen more. If I’m in church and the Pastor makes a limp comparison of David and Jonathan to some other bibilical pairing, I’m probably going to daydream 15 seconds in. But if he compares them to Mario and Liugi or Uncle Joey and Uncle Jesse, I’m ALL in and taking notes.

AW: Did you share this project with anyone in your church? What were their thoughts about it?

KM: Absolutely no one. I’m terrible at self-promotion. I’m savant-like in how truly awkward I can be with positive attention. And also because explaining the link between topics does take a bit of, um, finesse?

AW: While writing this book, were there any comparisons between The Bachelorette and Christianity that caught you by surprise?

KM: I think the chapter using the fantasy suite jumps out in my mind. For the uninitiated, the fantasy suite episode is basically when the contestants have the sex audition for the Bachelor/ette. I compared the awkwardness of that episode with the awkwardness of Christians who are supposed to be all about love and then judge everyone in their field of vision. I wasn’t sure that comparison was going to hold water and it’s probably pretty debatable that it did, but I liked that I got to talk about the sex audition because I mean when you can work an idea like a sex audition into a book about Christianity, I think you pretty much have to do it. Everytime.

AW: What is the line that you’re most proud of in the book?

KM: The bail out answer would be: “anything that bridged a gap between perception and reality for a reader in terms of their faith.” But you know what, Alise? I don’t DO bail out answers.

This line is probably my favorite because of the idea behind it, which is close to my heart:
“Though the big picture focus is good, we Christians tend to get caught up in thelittle picture things. The fine print of our faith, as it were, and this serves toinflame the larger cultural opinion about us. Whether it’s only paying lip service toloving our neighbors, allowing ignorant ideas to speak for us or rigidly holdingnon-believers to our biblical standards, the point is that these little details fog outour overarching hope and instead emphasize our worst qualities.”
AW: If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?

  • Write. Don’t ever stop producing. Your early stuff will be awful, but it will get so much better.
  • Make friends that if you never ask them to help you, you’d still be friends with them.
  • Three drafts of everything. If beauty, wit and realization are going to arrive, they will always arrive in that last draft.
  • Find your voice and fly your freak flag. People will resonate with authentic voices, never with imitations though.
AW: If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring Bachelor/ette contestant, what would it be?

KM: If you have a child, just don’t. Instead of pouring all that energy into hopefully seducing a stranger, maybe be a parent instead?

AW: If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring Christian, what would it be?

  • Challenge yourself. Know what you believe and WHY you believe it.
  • Love people, first and foremost, and this will allow others to define you with you supplying the definition.
  • Concern yourself with others, particularly the less fortunate, and your happiness will be easy to maintain.

Thanks so much Knox! Now, go forth from this place and purchase Knox's book. Because you guys, it has a chapter about sex auditions. And for reals, I have watched half an episode of a Bachelorette-style show and never the ACTUAL Bachelor/ette, and the book is still fantastic. Also, please be sure to subscribe to his blog so you can read his new serial and follow him on Twitter.


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