Friday, May 28, 2010

I Need Friends Friday: TJ Bronley

It's that time of the week:

(Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow-author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.)

Today's guest is T.J. Bronely, a writer and all around great guy. He and his lovely family stopped by a book signing and said hi, which makes them all uber-cool. He blogs and tweets and is responsible for pretty much the coolest blog post of the year, which, of course, we will talk about in his interview.

Time to meet T.J.
SME: Welcome to INFF!

T.J.: Thank you. I'm so glad to be here. I mean, I worked hard at my flattery to get an interview with you.

SME: The kissing-up was very, very impressive.

T.J.: I've learned over the years how to bribe people properly. The chocolates are at Annette's house.

SME: First question, and perhaps the most important one... what is your essential writing food? Stuff that has to be close by when you write.

T.J.: Oreos are some of the most essential. But you know what, you can't have milk to dip in. A milky keyboard is not as easy to clean as a Cheetos-filled one.

SME: This is true, my friend. Cheese powder can be lightly brushed away. Milk, not so much.
Have you always wanted to write or is this a recently acquired sickness?

T.J.: I have dreamed of being a writer since I was about 10 or 11. I'll have to say that random ideas started really flowing into my head when I was 14.

SME: So, TJ, what's your favorite continent?

T.J.: (Yes, the continent question!) Europe.

SME: Europe receives a steady flow of votes. Why Europe? Not that there's anything wrong with Europe...

T.J.: I served my LDS mission in Belgium and France. My mother's parents were native Hungarians (really want to go to Hungary one day.) My wife's mother was raised in Ireland and my wife loved visiting her grandparents in England. And without Europe, we'd be left without the best forms of chocolate.

SME: All I heard was "blah, blah, blah chocolate." All-in-all, a very convincing argument.

T.J.: Chocolate is always convincing.

SME: You are the genius behind the uber-popular "Survivor: LDS Authors" post. And, as such, I have fashioned a new game particularly suited to you.

T.J.: Sweet! Bring it on!

SME: I have entitled this game "'Survivor: LDS Authors,' the details"

T.J.: Sounds difficult already.....

SME: I will ask you 3 questions regarding various details of this undertaking and you, as the creator, will decide which option would be the best fit. Cool?

T.J.: Cool...or in the words of Elana Johnson: awesomesauce.

SME: Alright.
Detail #1: Location. Knowing the need for a remote, destitute location in which survival is not entirely assured, which of these 2 options would be best for Survivor: LDS Authors?
a.) a small meeting room at the next LDStorymakers Conference
b.) a remote island without access to books, the internet or the latest copy of Publishers Weekly

T.J.: Tough one. But I have to say "a". What you don't know is I'll make sure that none of you have cell phones or laptops.

SME: *slight choking sound* um... I feel faint...

T.J.: Also, no one cares about the where with Survivor: LDS Authors as much as the who.
Or is it whom?

SME: Where's Annette Lyon when we need her?

T.J.: Probably eating chocolate, writing about chocolate, baking with chocolate. Somewhere around there.

SME: Okay.
Detail #2: The Immunity Idol. Motivation is key with the I.I. and I'm thinking a bunch of spacey authors need added incentive. With that in mind, which of the following would make the best immunity idol?

<-----a.) an iPad with fully charged batteries
b.) a Whitney Award------>

T.J.: I'm going with the iPad with fully charged batteries. What a luxury to have that thing!

SME: And when the batteries run out... you can use it as a very small coffee table.

T.J.: Or hit your enemy over the head with it during a challenge. Somehow, weapons were brought up for Survivor: LDS Authors

SME: We are a cut-throat lot. No weapons barred, particularly the literary kind.

T.J.: Yes, writers can get creative.

SME: Detail #3: The Winner. I'm not naming names *Josi Kilpack* but there was some smack-talking going on in the comments of your post. *Josi Kilpack* Let's set the record straight.
Who, between
<-------myself and
someone I'll call...
uh... Kosi Jilpack,----------->
would you consider the most likely to win?

T.J.: Nice headshot!

SME: See how very prepared I am? Now THAT'S a survivor!! I'm no sweet, halo-adorned competitor! I'm fierce and a force to be reckoned with!

T.J.: Yes (if I can keep talking maybe I can stall for a really good answer to the Sarah vs Josi dilemma)

SME: I'll just let you think about that. *pointed look of warning*

T.J.: If the final two were somehow you vs Josi, I think the winner may be you. Sorry to Josi, but I say that because Josi writes murder-mysteries while you write calm, peaceful historical romance.

SME: Oh yeah. I think I'd be all over the out-of-nowhere victory. They'd never see it coming. Mostly because they wouldn't be looking low enough.

Perhaps we should head on over to the portrait gallery to check out your portrait.

*Sarah's whips-out yet another fabulous portrait*

T.J.: I love the Ninja Turtle bandana/Survivor buff. And it looks like I'm holding some yummy french fries.

SME: Those yummy french fries are the Immunity Idol iPad. Very chic, I know.
It's been decorated.

T.J.: Yes, very much so. Maybe I'm just hungry and want French Fries. But yes, it's a book-loving, Survivor fan's dream portrait.

SME: Heck yeah.
That, my newest INFF friend, brings us to the final question of the interview. Top 5 reasons this is the best blog interview you've ever done. Ready. Go.

T.J.: 1: This is my first interview and will go down in history as the most crucial in my career.
2: Any conversation with European chocolate is good.
3: I got awesome red sandals in my portrait
4: I got to pick a Survivor winner, (though I still maintain Howard Tayler would win.)
5: I'm so vain that I think this interview is about me.

SME: I look forward to the day when Survivor: LDS Authors becomes a reality. I will be there with concealed weapons and devious plans!

T.J.: And I look forward to hosting it and getting to interview you instead.

SME: Thanks so much for stopping by.

T.J.: Thanks for having me.

SME: *cue exit music* Well, this has been "I Need Friends" Friday. Come back next week when I will make another friend!!

If you'd like to be interviewed for "I Need Friends" Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!

Don't forget to enter May's Giveaway. Plus, TJ receives 2 extra entries if his interview gets 5 or more comments. So, comment away, folks!

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Elizabeth Morgan said...

My favorite part is the pictures. All of them are awesome!

Angie said...

Love the interview! Sarah, I think you would definitely win Survivor!

Kimberly said...

I want to leave a witty comment here, but I'm too busy giggling. You two are FUNNY.

Marsha Ward said...

Nice interview, Sarah. Maybe someday I'll put a pic of TJ together with his name. The sketch helps, though. Next year I'll look for the LDStorymakers Conference attendee wearing the Survivor buff and the cool red sandals.

T.J. said...

Yes, the pictures were the best part of the blog.
For Marsha, here's a post I did a while back that actually has a picture of me in it.

Elana Johnson said...

Great interview! TJ's survivor post was indeed, awesomesauce. :)

Sadie said...

I found your blog via Annette's. I've always loved books... and writing. And I've always dreamed of writing my own novel, novella, book, something substantial... Anyway, between the 4 kids and what not I never have. But I fell a good story just waiting to get out of my head. Thanks for being an inspiration and funny and witty. I have a feeling that I'm about to totally emmerse (immerse?) myself into the writing/blogging world thanks to you and Annette.

mormonhermitmom said...

Man! We'd better all watch our backs!

Jon said...

Wow, what a fun game. I would follow it. And I am impressed by a man who understands the value of chocolate. Fabulous!

Annette Lyon said...

Great interview!

**licks chocolate off keyboard and ignores the who/whom question**

M. Gray said...

the the ipad weapon. wacking people on the heads is definitely how i would use it.

Apryl DeLancey said...

TJ rules, period.

Josi said...

I would simply like to point out that I placed 2nd in the Halo-ankle-wrangling competition at my high school only because the principal's son took first place through absolute nepotism. I'll end with the simple reminder that Chinese stars and brass knuckles are immensely easy to hide in big hair and I grew up in the 80's so I KNOW big hair.


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