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19 Rounds with Clancy McGilligan

Clancy McGilligan recently joined Split Lip's editorial FAM as Reviews + Interviews Editor, and we are psyched to have him on board! His novella, History of an Executioner, recently won the Miami University Novella Prize, so give him a huge round of applause from wherever you are and learn more about him through the 19 Rounds:

1. Early bird or night owl?

These days, a night owl. Unfortunately, I’m most productive in the morning.

2. What was your worst haircut?

Every haircut I get is pretty bad, but at the beginning of my freshman year of high school I unintentionally got a buzzcut and it looked terrible on me.

3. If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?

John Coltrane’s “India.”

4. Can you roll your tongue?


5. Mayonnaise: yes or no?


6. What is your least favorite word to come across when reading a book or story?

I don’t think I have one.

7. Which movie was better than the book?

Children of Men, though there are some things I liked better about the book.

8. What was your first concert?

Dr. Octagon.

9. It's Friday night. You're home alone. What did you order for dinner and what's on the TV?

I usually cook but if I’m ordering I’m going to get lamb chettinadu and garlic naan from this excellent restaurant near my apartment. I’m probably watching something suspenseful.

10. How do you take your coffee?


11. What expression do you use that most people have never heard?

Maybe none. I’ve lived in a number of places and my diction has been de-regionalized. But when I first moved to New York I asked people for a “Tyme machine,” Tyme machines being a regional term for an ATM (in and around Wisconsin).

12. What movie have you seen the most times?

The Prophet (directed by Jacques Audiard) or The English Patient.

13. What is the best thing you cook or bake?


14. Finish this sentence: More people should be reading:

Garth Greenwell.

15. Favorite time-waster?


16. What's the hardest thing about writing?

The uncertainty.

17. What's the best thing about writing?

Getting a piece published and knowing/thinking it’s good.

18. What is your favorite sentence from a short story or poem?

I don’t have one, but I like the opening of Seamus Heaney’s “Badgers”: “When the badger glimmered away / into another garden / you stood, half-lit with whiskey / sensing you had disturbed / some soft returning.”

19. What question were you hoping to be asked?

None. I’m pretty shy.


Visit Clancy's Split Lip bio to learn more!


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