Interrogation—Benjamin Whitmer

Who: Benjamin Whitmer

What: Author of PIKE, which was nominated for the 2013 Grand Prix de Littérature Policier; CRY FATHER, recently released from Gallery Books; and co-author (with Charlie Louvin) of SATAN IS REAL, a New York Times’ Critics’ Choice book.

Where: Colorado

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

Yesterday was the Fourth of July. Can you tell me how Patterson Wells, the protagonist of CRY FATHER, would have spent the holiday weekend?

It’d depend. To my mind, holidays only exist if you get the day off work. Right? If you’re making money for somebody else instead of spending it with your friends and family, it’s not a holiday. President’s Day is a bullshit holiday, because nobody gets off work; Christmas is usually a real holiday–though there’s been years I worked it. Fourth of July is a weird one, in that you get it off on some jobs, not on others. It all depends.

That said, I can’t imagine Patterson ever heading to some hot, crowded field to endure Lee Greenwood and Toby Keith for four hours so he can spend 15 minutes pretending to be impressed by fireworks. I question the sanity of anybody doing that who doesn’t have children to make them. I’ll bet he’d just drink some Evan Williams and read Jim Harrison – which I’d consider a better and more patriotic celebration, anyways.

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