College Senior Jeff Sandman has gone part-time to smoke his pipe, drink his scotch and write the great American novel.

What's the last book you read?

I'm reading Tom Wolfe's I Am Charlotte Simmons right now. [The last book I finished was] Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk. It's pretty twisted. I like him and David Sedaris and all those kind of offbeat writers.

What's the first book you ever read?

I think it was Hop on Pop actually. No, no, no, no, it was I Can Read with my Eyes Shut!. Eventually, I memorized the book, and I used to go around with my eyes closed and read verbatim I Can Read with my Eyes Shut!, claiming that I can read I Can Read with my Eyes Shut! with my eyes shut.

What's your book about?

In a word, "college." It's going to be a dual narrative. One character's going to be a cynical outsider from an extremely prestigious and pretentious university like Penn, an outsider who kind of judges people yet doesn't establish his own character from within. And then the other narrative is going to be a character that you love to hate, a guy in a super WASPy fraternity, you know with coke-snorting buddies and more money than God, and yet I'm going to try to be sympathetic to him.

How do [the two narratives] overlap?

There's going to be some incest between a mutual girlfriend.

Have you started?

I have, I'm on page 19 right now, so we're rolling.

What do you do to get in the writing mood?

Well, it's ironic, because I write best when I'm depressed, and yet when I'm depressed I can't do any writing. I smoke my pipe sometimes; it gets the creative juices flowing -- nothing drug-related, just a tobacco pipe, just sit back with my Crown Royale and kick back and light it up and enjoy it. I usually pop a beer, play some music and go for it. I lock my door, I kind of tune myself out from the world and try to create something worthwhile.

Fuck, Kill or Marry? Ayn Rand, Daisy Buchanan and Carrie Bradshaw.

I'd love to say kill Ayn Rand because of the people who kind of subscribe to her ideology, yet The Fountainhead is my favorite book of all time, so I'd probably marry her and sit around and be a cynic with her. I'd like to fuck Daisy on a bed of Gatsby's shirts while the Owl-eyed man watched from a distance. And that means I'm killing Carrie. I'm perfectly OK with that. Carrie can go. If you had said Charlotte, we'd have an entirely different set of circumstances.


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