On March 25th, Thomas Sullivan’s newest book So Much Time, So Little Change will be available in both print and kindle. Thomas Sullivan is one of HumorOutcasts.com’s most prolific writers and we are excited to shout out his latest accomplishment. The author of the very funny Life in the Slow Lane, Thomas Sullivan has a true gift for making us all laugh. We convinced Thomas to do an interview with HO so our readers can get to know hi better and later on this week, we will be publishing an excerpt from the book:
You explore quite a few topics here which are different from the first book. Was this book easier or harder for you to write?
This was definitely easier, because the topics I wrote about just seemed to appear. For example, I’d be driving down the road and suddenly get cut off by a bearded guy on a Huffy. And after swerving to avoid the guy, I’d get pulled over for executing an improper lane change. Or my eyes would just cross on their own while I’m getting a picture taken at the DMV. So it was kind of like getting Christmas gifts, only bizarre ones.
Some of these moments in life will be familiar to your readers. What sparks the funny moment for you? While some find these situations troubling or frustrating, you see them as potentially funny. Why do you think that is?
Funny usually involves the unexpected happening. And when there’s an unintended “tacky” element to the situation, it becomes funnier. For example, I once spent half a day wet-vacuuming a carpet in an apartment to get a deposit back. When I was done the carpet was a different color than when I moved in. And the chain-smoking manager still didn’t give me my deposit back (something about the kitchen fan). That’s so cheap and tacky that I find it funny. Finding something funny is a form of acceptance that helps negate the frustration.
Do you worry about anyone getting offended with your tales, or do your family and friends just say, “Well, it’s Thomas. We have to live with him.”
I only have a few stories involving friends and family. And in those instances you see their good, lighthearted sides. I try to keep in mind that we all have our good and bad parts, so I focus on the good.
Is it easier for you to go into a situation which might be difficult knowing that some comedy material will emerge? You found out you were on a Terrorist Watch List. That had to hurt before you could laugh – right?
For some reason, I love places and situations where it’s safe to bet that things won’t work right: The DMV, a crowded bus, airports. My thinking is usually “Oh, this is gonna be good.” Efficiency is largely humorless, as the Germans prove. Luckily, I was only considered a low-level terrorist, so I didn’t miss my flight. I just had to sprint for a plane.
Do you sometimes feel as if you are a magnet for trouble? To me it looks as if you are a magnet for trouble. Do your family and friends not want to go out with you?
If you’re suggesting that I have a magnetic personality, you are correct. But seriously, I do tend to attract strange and tacky situations, especially in the realm of work. A number of my former employers have been shut down or flamed out on their own. Maybe I seek them out, who knows? My family and friends do still associate with me, but it’s getting expensive.
When you are with family and friends and you try to point out the humor, do they yell at you or maybe want to hit you?
We don’t have a reality show – yet. Fingers crossed.
You are an extremely prolific writer. Does it take you a long time from deciding on a topic to completing the writing?
Topics seem to pick me. They just arrive, from who knows where. I’ll be sitting in the hot tub at the Community Center and something prompts someone to start telling me about their prom date. It’s a total mystery. What takes time is getting a piece just right after the initial writing. I’ve noticed since writing my book about teaching driver education that I now go over and over a piece until it feels just right. So I’ll revisit an essay five or six times, no matter how long or short it is.
What other writing plans do you have down the road?
I want to write and addiction/recovery book on a topic that’s never been covered, like Peeps™. But seriously, I like the essay format and love writing pieces like the ones up at HumorOutcasts. So I’m shooting for a subsequent book of humor essays at some point.
Tell us where to get the book and when it will be released?
So Much Time, So Little Change is up on Amazon. The Kindle version is already out and the print version is scheduled for release on March 25th. Folks can also visit my website at www.thomassullivanhumor.com