I think I’ve blogged
twice in the last year or so about one of Wisconsin’s fine authors, Michael
Perry, author of Population: 485, Truck: A Love
Story and Coop, and I can’t resist another entry after reading the morning
Perry, an amusing chronicler
of rural life as well as his experiences as a farmer and an emergency
responder, is the subject of an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel by
Jim Higgins, a talented editor and writer who I used to work with. For
starters, it’s hard to resist Jim’s unexpected lead:
“As an essayist,
humorist and country life chronicler, Wisconsin's Michael Perry has amused and informed many readers who would never
otherwise think of sticking their arms up a cow's rectum.”
Orifices aside, the article is
evidence of how good an e-mail interview can be if the subject works at it and
if the interviewer’s questions are witty and well-chosen. I suppose most
authors (and other people, for that matter) refuse e-mail interviews because
they take too much time, versus a phoner or in-person interview, but e-mail
sure does provide a chance to polish great answers, and to control how you are
a little more flavor of Jim’s back-and-forth with Perry:
farm animal would you least want to meet in a back alley?
Fear-and-trembling-wise, it wouldn't pay to get trapped up an alley with a
large hungry pig . . . one sees the beady eyes and slobber and
quickly recalls that the pig is omnivorous and that includes you.
is the most surprisingly or unexpected difference between rural life and
No one leaving
the tavern to do brakestand burnouts on Main Street at 2 a.m. That said, even
given the space of 37 acres, one fool rooster duped by a full moon can leave
you longing for the soft sirens of the city.
If you’re interested, you
can find the entire Perry article here.
--Ron Kovach, senior editor,