1. If you needed an extreme way to relieve some stress, would you rather run over circus clowns in an SUV or throw billiard balls at mimes? (Or perhaps some other way ...?)
GP: Don't hate...Appreciate. I think people should make love to mimes. So they could see their gestures when they began to achieve nirvana. As for clowns,I would never hurt a human being who was crying inside. Unless it was crawling out from under my bed with a steak knife between its teeth.
5. You're a highly acclaimed, well-respected, award-winning author. Do you get lots of free stuff?
GP: On tour, I get taken out to dinner often, which is nice, because I like good food and wine, not to mention high-shelf bourbon. Many people have given me home-burned CDs at signings, and I have been turned on to some incredible music in that way, especially rare soul sides. When I was a stockboy at a local appliance and stereo store, and I'd take air conditioners and televisions out and load them into customer's cars, I'd receive tips in the form of weed. That was 1973. Today I'd much rather have the music.
8. Who are you reading right now? Give us some Pelecanos picks.
GP: I discovered the Hard Case Crime line, and have been devouring it. The Cocaine Chronicles, edited by Gary Phillips, has some pretty good stories. I liked Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides, quite a bit. The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem was very good. Cottonwood, by Scott Phillips. In his own quiet way Scott is becoming one of the country's most interesting writers. The Known World by Ed Jones is a modern classic. With the Old Breed, by E.B. Sledge, is the best war memoirs I have ever read.
9. Can you give us a glimpse of future projects? Anything we should know?
GP: The Wire just got picked up for a fourth season, and I will be involved as a writer. I recently wrote two hours of a projected 13-hour miniseries, the Pacific-theater version of Band of Brothers, to be produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg for HBO. My father fought as a Marine on Leyte, so I was glad to be able to honor him. I hope to write a book this year. I'm looking for inspiration as we speak.