Smash Lits with Sara Crowley

Read Tom Cowen’s nonfiction piece, The Road Ahead

1) How do you organise your bookshelves?

They are not color-coded, that’s a Room Rater no-no. I organize my books vertically by topic. Craft, Memoir, Fiction, Business, Sales & Boxing are my top categories.

2) What is your favourite biscuit?

Kentucky Fried Chicken’s biscuits.

3) Your writing is music, what style is it?

Eighties rap mixed with some Adele moments.

4) Have you ever had a nickname?

Tommy Gunn for the antagonist in Rocky V. I boxed and looked like Tommy Morrison, the real-life boxer who played Tommy Gunn.

5) What’s your favourite thing from childhood that you’ve still got?

A big penny. I bought my big penny on a cub scout trip to Philadelphia when I was nine. It was stolen in the schoolyard at PS 175 in Queens several years later.  I suspected two girls but they told the security guard that there was no such thing as a big penny. When I visited Philly years later I bought a big penny, nickel, dime and quarter.

6) You hold a dinner party and can only invite writers. Who do you invite?

Ann Hood, founder of my Newport MFA program, Malcolm Gladwell, Cheryl Strayed and Norman Maclean, who published A River Runs Through It at 74 years old.

7) What’s your favourite swear?

I love the way Holy Schnickes sounds, although I don’t use it as often as I should. I’ve used Fucking Chucklehead quite a bit during the pandemic.

8) What word or words make you cringe?

Eye surgery.

9) Who is your favourite TV detective?

Harry Ambrose played by Bill Pullman in The Sinner.

10) Write me a question for the next Smash List interview I do

What keeps you up at night?

11) What is the last thing you Googled?

Sunflower Farms in Connecticut. I am looking for a place to spend some time on the anniversary of my son’s passing.

12) What was your first concert?

Foreigner at Madison Square Garden.

13) What two emoji smashed together best encapsulate you? (Question from previous interviewee, Aaron Burch).

Sunglasses emoji and boxing glove.

14) What was your favourite book as a child?

Anything on sports, so probably Orr on Ice by Bobby Orr. Where the Wild Things Are and I now live in Maurice Sendak’s town. The Go Getter by Peter Kyne is one I wish I’d read as a kid and I think all children should read it.

15) Bacon VS Tofu—who wins? Why?

Bacon, the smell, the taste and you can’t overcook it. I love when people wear shirts that say Bacon, Bacon, Bacon. What more can be said.

16) What colour is Tuesday?

Crystalline blue like the sky in NYC on 9/11.

17) Write me a question for the next Smash List interview I do.

What brought you to this place?

18) Who is/was your unlikely crush?

Elisabeth Shue from the Karate Kid and now Cobra Kai.

19) Do you have a picture on your wall? Describe it.

I have pictures on either end of the bookshelf over my desk. They are paintings of fish with the first and last pages of A River Runs Through It. A River Runs Through It is the rare book voted to include all-time great first and last passages.

20) What question should I have asked you?

Tell me about your son, Justin. Few people do, I wish more would.