How excited were we when Christopher Gonzalez joined our team as a Contributing Editor? SO EXCITED. His short fiction has recently appeared online in places like Cosmonauts Avenue and Third Point Press, and he also recently curated an all Latinx issue of Barrelhouse (where he's fiction editor). Get to know Christopher even better with the 19 Rounds:
1. Early bird or night owl?
An incredibly unproductive night owl.
2. What was your worst haircut?
The decision to let a friend cut my hair in college was...misguided. One of the dorm bathrooms happened to have a tub, so I sat on the lip and she gave me a scissor cut, a very uneven one, which photographed exactly as well as you’d think. All of the photos taken during senior week are rather damning.
There was also the time I got my eyebrows trimmed in 12th grade. I’m counting this. It still chills me to my core: I wanted a simple clean up, those pesky little hairs sprouting at the very edges of my brows. My barber was great with clippers (I got a lot of fades back then—also poor choices), maybe too great, because he thinned them out and gave me arches. I felt betrayed.
3. If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I’ve listened to Riverdale’s Casey Cott’s 54 Below cover of Kelly Clarkson’s “Sober” (from her sophomore album, My December) up to 4 hours on loop at work. So, probably that. It’s easy to tune in and out when you need to do actual work, but when you’re in it, damn, it really swells up inside you.
4. Can you roll your tongue?
Had to try it again to make sure, and yes! Yes, I can.
5. Mayonnaise: yes or no?
On its own? Never. That’s the Devil’s work.
6. What is your least favorite word to come across when reading a book or story?
I don’t think I’ve ever been turned off by an individual word in a book or story unless an author abused the hell out of it. I’m more against awkward or overwrought phrases. Like “a glut of spaghetti, mossed with cheese” from a Big Book of 2016. Still haven’t shaken it.
7. Which movie was better than the book?
Crazy Rich Asians.
8. What was your first concert?
The honest answer—as in the first concert I attended on my own volition—is Glee Live, the second concert tour. But I think the real answer, and I could totally be hallucinating this, is from my early childhood days. I guess I can’t remember if it was live or if it was the VHS, which we definitely owned. It was a concert called “Check Your Connection,” featuring Psalty the Singing Songbook. If you’re unfamiliar, Psalty and crew put on children’s praise and worship programming. God bless.
9. It's Friday night. You're home alone. What did you order for dinner and what's on the TV?
Definitely Chinese food. Always. I’m probably catching up on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Jane the Virgin or Riverdale, but lately I’ve been into watching these mommy vloggers on YouTube, so probably the vlogs from Our Tribe of Many. They have 9 kids and a monthly grocery budget of $1300!!!
10. How do you take your coffee?
Iced. Even in the dead of winter. Half and half, no sugar. Unless I’m getting it from Dunkin, in which case I let them go ham with the sugar. I want to slurp the granules up through the straw.
11. What expression do you use that most people have never heard?
None that come to mind. But if anyone would like to call me out, please do.
12. What movie have you seen the most times?
Either Spanglish or My Best Friend’s Wedding.
13. What is the best thing you cook or bake?
Arroz con gandules.
14. Finish this sentence: More people should be reading _______________.
Writers of color.
15. Favorite time-waster?
Twitter’s got me by the throat.
16. What's the hardest thing about writing?
The loneliness of sitting in a room and staring at a page.
17. What's the best thing about writing?
You get to pretend for a little while you have more control over life than you actually do.
18. What is your favorite sentence from a short story or poem?
“thirsty to see myself i once walked into the lake until i almost drowned.” – from José Olivarez’s “I Walk Into Every Room and Yell Where the Mexicans At”
19. What question were you hoping to be asked?
What medium other than books do you go to for inspiration? And to that I’d say musical theater.