Hi, I’m Karl Fields, author of The Odd Job Squad. It’s my first book and I’m very happy to be here! Trust me though, it’s better if I don’t sing. That way nobody gets hurt.
3LB: Haha, most authors seem reluctant to sing or dance. That, and haiku-writing. Of course, you have your other talents. Who or what inspired you to write? Do you have any role models, whether in writing or life in general?
My father is my role model. He started from some pretty humble beginnings, overcome a lot of obstacles and has been very successful. He’s a constant reminder to me of what can be accomplished through hard work. I’ve been inspired by many writers, but the one I come back most often is Donald Westlake. He’s best known for these oddball adventures called capers, and there’s a little bit of that in a lot of what of I write.
3LB: Synopsis in a Tweet! Describe your book in 140 characters or less.
Four friends who operate an anonymous revenge club use every trick they know to escape trouble after a classmate uncovers their secret.
I’ve been known to play a practical joke or two, which is how the kids in the story operate – they use pranks to get back at kids who have bullied, betrayed or otherwise done a classmate wrong. Also, Ander, the main character, and I share a fondness for fortune cookies. Pinks are his favorite. I don’t know if those actually exist, but I’m looking.
3LB: Wait... pink fortune cookies? Haha! I've had a blue one before. If you could hang out with one of your characters for a day, who would it be?
I’d love to hang out with Joe. We’re both very laid back, so we’d get along pretty easily, plus I’d like to learn how to actually do some of the high-tech stuff he pulls off in the book. Of course, I’d only use that knowledge for perfectly legitimate purposes. ;-)
3LB: Right... that's what they all say. I'm sure everything in your eyes will be perfectly legal. What plans do you have for the future?
I’m working on my second book, Instant Preplay. It’s another mid-grade novel with a slightly different take on the time travel theme that I hope readers will enjoy. I’m making good progress and it should be available in the fall.
3LB: Time travel seems to be a growing theme this year. I wish you all the best with that one! What is your favorite movie of all time?
Tie! The Shawshank Redemption and Ocean’s 11.
3LB: Favorite book as a child?
Finally, an easy one: The Outsiders. It was the first book that I reread as soon as I finished.
3LB: What’s your favorite food?
My favorite type of food is Italian, but my favorite dish is the spicy cashew chicken at the Cheesecake Factory. It’s to-die-for3 and I hear it’s also good for writer’s block.
3LB: Dog or cat person?
Dogs, big ones, especially Labradors and German Shepherds.
3LB: Time travel: Future or past? And where and when would you go to?
Is this because I said my next book involves time travel??? Future. I have plans for a story (not the one I’m working on now) set in the year 2300 and it would be fun to see if anything I make up actually comes true.
3LB: Tell us five interesting things about yourself.
1. At 6’5”, I’m probably the tallest writer you’ll interview.
2. I’m army brat and by the seventh grade I’d been to six different schools.3. My elbows are double-jointed.4. I’m addicted to Dalton the Awesome! (iPhone game where you’re chased by zombies)5. I was an extra in an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond.
3LB: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I think now is the best time ever to be a writer. I feel that way for a lot of reasons, none more so than the fact that because of sites like this, people like me can connect directly with readers, which is an awesome thing. Thank you very much for allowing me this time.
Thank you, Karl! For more information about Mr. Fields and his books, visit:
Buy The Odd Job Squad, out now!