Friday, December 3, 2010

I Need Friends Friday: Terry Ervin

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 INFF guest is Terry Ervin. He writes fantasy and science fiction and dabbles a bit in other areas of literary endeavor. He is a teacher (which deserves extra accolades) and, I discovered, an all around nice guy. He can be found on the web at his website. Check him out!

SME: Welcome to INFF!

Terry: Thank you, Sarah. And thanks for letting me be your Friday Friend.

SME: I must say, I knew you were prime Friday Friend material when I discovered that you had used the word "passel" on your website--and you used it correctly!!

Terry: Ah, well, a broad vocabulary is handy in getting just the right word. Just goes to show you never know how what you say might affect someone. And stringing 'know, how what' seemed a bit odd as I typed it.

SME: So, from what I was able to ascertain, you are in Ohio. That sounds remarkably cold to me.

Terry: At times, yes it is darn frigid. I'm not a big winter fan, and folks tell me that have moved away, I should do it too some day. But we don't have earth quakes, or hurricanes. Just a rare tornado and the occasional snow storm.

SME: I grew up in southern Arizona, so winter is still pretty foreign to me. I am quickly discovering the importance of warm shoes and gloves.

Terry: Yep. And my students are whining that the governor just reduced the number of snow days from 5 to 3 this year, and it will be zero next year. But hats are important. You lose a lot of warmth through the scalp...even if you have hair. Which from your picture you certainly do.

SME: Yes, I have lots of very red hair.
You know, I
think that was our first INFF public service announcement: "Hats are important."

Terry: Proud to be first! May many others follow in my wake.

SME: So, you write Science Fiction/Fantasy. Have you always leaned in that direction, or was there something that sparked your interest?

Terry: Well, in college I majored in Biology and minored in English. I've been a science and English teacher through the years. I studied what I enjoyed, and I prefer to write what that direction as well.
I got some interesting stares and comments from my English professors when they saw my major.

SME: It is an odd combination, you have to admit. Although I bet you had the best written research papers in the entire Biology department!

Terry: Yes. And in grad school it was handy in writing my Thesis. Research and statistics combined with writing and grammar. My thesis looked at journal writing productivity and music. Although I don't care much for music.
"The Effect of Music on Journal Writing Productivity" was the official title, and I have it on my website.

SME: Once again you have proven yourself a true Friday Friend. I was a research major and was, if I remember correctly, four credits short of a minor in English. So, my thesis was pretty darn well written, if I do say so myself.

Terry: Very good. Really, the 4 credits short don't matter. It's what you learned along the way that makes the biggest difference in life---usually. Sometimes that piece of paper with a fancy signature makes a difference.

SME: I feel like I've more than made up for those four credits in the years since graduating!

Terry: Always learning and moving forward. Nothing wrong with that!

SME: I have to ask (because it's tradition at INFF), what's your favorite continent?

Terry: North America, although if Madagascar qualified as a continent, I might've picked that.

SME: You are fond of Madagascar?

Terry: Well, it's an interesting place--from what I've read and seen on TV. Unique wildlife. Mudskippers I think live there.

SME: Spoken like a Biology major.

Terry: What is your favorite continent, if I might ask?

SME: I always cast my vote for North America, though Europe comes in a very close second.

Terry: Works for me.

SME: As I was hanging out on your website, I discovered that you and I share a common source of enjoyment: The Princess Bride. This mutual like-ness inspired this week's INFF game!

Terry: Yes, a very cool movie. Some say I resemble the handsome Vizzini. A sad end for such a sharp looking dude--even if appropriate.

SME: Vizzini, huh? It could be worse. People could say you bear a close resemblance to the ROUSes.

Terry: Yes, life could always be worse. But some people don't believe they exist.

SME: Ooooh. Quick movie-related responses. I can tell this is going to be the best game ever!
I'm going to give you three questions about "The Princess Bride" and three multiple-choice answers. Choose the correct answers and you will be the INFF Champion!

Terry: Inconcieveable.

SME: Question #1: On what condition did Mark Knopfler agree to help write and record the soundtrack for "The Princess Bride"?
A. That he get to keep an ROUS
B. That the hat he wore in "This Is Spinal Tap" be in the movie somewhere
C. Lots of Peanut M&Ms, which inspired the line "Anybody want a peanut"

Terry: Will have to go for C, and I mean it.

SME: A very good guess. The answer, however, is B. The hat can be seen in the grandson's room. (Although Mark Knopfler (of the band "Dire Straits") said afterward he was only kidding about the hat).

Terry: I will have to look for it in the room.

SME: Question #2: The only injury Mandy Patinkin (Inigo Montoya) says he sustained during the filming of "The Princess Bride" was the result...
A. Straining his neck looking up at the Cliffs of Insanity
B. Getting water up his nose during the "sobering up" scene
C. Bruising a rib trying to hold back his laughter during Billy Crystal's Miracle Max scenes

Terry: Well, Billy Crystal was funny, but not that funny. The cliffs of insanity were mostly painted. So, I would guess that the sobering up scene would be the answer (b). Although I do know that Andre the Giant was struggling with back pain during the filming.

SME: Apparently, Billy Crystal is a riot in person. Mandy Patinkin swears he hurt himself trying not to laugh while they filmed those scenes. Rob Reiner (the director) says he couldn't even be present during the shots because his laughter would mess up the filming.
Who knew.

Terry: Ah, well. I did love it when his wife chased him around the room shouting "Humperdink!"

SME: *snickers* And, by the way, bonus points for knowing Andre was having back trouble.

Terry: He was one of my favorite Big Time Wrestlers as a kid. Him and Dick the Bruiser.

SME: Question 3: Pretty much my favorite line from "The Princes Bride" is…
A. Fezzik: "It's not my fault being the biggest and the strongest. I don't even exercise."
B. Yellin: "Oh, you mean *this* gate key."
C. Grandson: "Is this a kissing book?"

Terry: Okay, you have kids, so "Is this a kissing book?" might be up there. But I would think the Grandfather pinching the grandson's cheek would override that. I will go with B. "Oh, you mean *this* gate key."

SME: Ding, ding, ding! That lines cracks me up EVERY TIME.

Westley: "Give us the gate key."
Yellin: "I have no gate key"
Inigo: "Fezzik, tear his arms off."
Yellin: "Oh, you mean *this* gate key."

I love it!

Terry: Well, I wasn't shut out then.

SME: That answer, combined with your Andre the Giant knowledge and the fact that you threw in an "Inconceivable" is enough for me to declare you INFF champ!! ('Cause I am the final voice in these things.)

Terry: I will take a win anyway I can get it...except for cheating.

SME: No cheating. Just impressing the judge!
That brings us to one of my favorite parts of every interview: The Portrait!

Terry: I have been awaiting and awaiting this moment!
Certainly you visit many museums for inspiration.

SME: Someday museums will be clamoring for my portrait collection.

*draws a fantabulous portrait*

Terry: Sweet picture. Hat and all. Even the scarf, and mittens (what are often called gauntlets of fumbling).

SME: I thought, considering your climate out there, some winter gear would come in handy.

Terry: I get to share this pic online with all of my friends (and jealous enemies--should I ever acquire them). Awesome.

SME: You will be the envy of all you know, I am certain of it.

Terry: Without a doubt, young lady!

SME: We have now arrived at the final question of every INFF interview. Top 5 reasons this is the best blog interview you've ever done. Ready. Go.

Terry: Okay, here are the five reasons.
1. Got to talk about The Princess Bride and use the word Inconcieveable.
2. I now have a picture to match the only thing I can draw well. A cockroach.
3. The discussion reminded me of an English professor who was a writer who used to call me, "Mr. Biology."
4. Madagascar was mentioned. Always a forgotten island.
5. This was fun meeting you and getting to chat a bit. How can that be topped?

SME: Quite frankly, it can't be topped.
Well, thanks for joining me "Mr. Biology"!

Terry: You're welcome! And again, thank you for inviting me!

*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!

PS!!! Leave a comment and you'll be entered in November's Fantastic Giveaway!

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Janette Rallison said...

Not only info about Terry, but the Princess Bride, too. This is the sort of high quality interview I've come to expect from Sarah.

Good job!

Angie said...

I love the Princess Bride too. Thanks for a great interview, Terry and Sarah!

Terry W. Ervin II said...

Thanks Janette and Angie.
Any time one can discuss the Princess Bride, it's bound to have positve and uplifting results.


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