1. Don’t take this the wrong way, Drew, because there’s a compliment in here somewhere (really): In some ways—and by some ways, I mean in all ways—you seem an unlikely writer to come out with a thoughtful, philosophical, poignant novel about the perils of immortality. I mean, your first book was called Men With Balls; one of your more widely read essays on Deadspin was called “Fuck You, Charlie Brown.” And now… This? The Postmortal? A novel? I read the first page and I felt like Simon Cowell watching Paul Potts singing Nessun Dorma.* How could this possibly happen? How did you go from there to here?
2. *I referenced pop culture here, and I want to punch myself in the face for it—because I think pop culture references make potential literature seem too much like fashion or a reality TV fad. They make writing seem temporary. (I always wonder what someone reading one of our stories in twenty or thirty years will know about Britney Spears; I’ve never read a Gay Talese story that made a witty jibe about Jim Croce, for instance.) But, of course, that also means I’m pretentious enough to think that anyone will be reading my stuff any length of time from now. A lot of your writing has been for an online audience—an impermanent-feeling medium. Writing a novel—especially one about immortality… Did you ever feel as though you were writing something more lasting than you might be normally? Did you think of this book as a more permanent reflection on your ability? I don’t know about you, but I think of novels as the closest things to monuments that writers can build. I like to think words might live forever.
3. You’re a husband and father with many responsibilities and a desire to maintain your impressive weight loss. How did you approach the actual writing process? Did you write at regular hours or just whenever you could catch a break? And when you started The Postmortal, did you know it was going to get published? Did you already have a deal? Or did you put all that effort into this just hoping it might work out? That seems like a big risk for a man to take. Do you remember writing the very first few sentences, what you were thinking and feeling then?
5. Your writing feels honest. When you write about yourself—such as your account of your lonely college years—you are unsparing. I’d like you to be extra-honest here. The Postmortal doesn’t come out until August. You’ve done the work; now you’re caught in the waiting—in the dreams and nightmares period. What are your hopes for your book? When you spend that much time and exert that much effort on something, is there really any way for the end to meet your expectations? Are you worried at all that your fans might not take to your more… literary… aspirations? Do you care what they think? Was writing a novel something that just had to happen for you? Are you now where you always saw yourself?