Monday, October 10, 2011

Generally Horrible Questions: Chris Hoyt

Chris Hoyt actually works in the receiving department at BookPeople in Austin.  Lots of people are in involved in bringing books to readers, though, and that includes the guys in the back rooms.  Even though he's not a front  line bookseller, Chris is a terrific reader and absolutely hilarious guy, and when he endorses one of our books we know he'll help it sell.  Enough with the niceties, though.  Chris may or may not be a liar, and therefore we suggest you take his answers to our questions with a grain of salt...or a pillar of salt.

Generally Awful Questions: Chris Hoyt

1. How did you get into the bookselling business?
It's a funny story really. At the time I had been laid off from my construction job and started mowing lawns to make ends meet. I was hired by a woman in North Austin and she paid me an extra 30 bucks to mow her lawn shirtless. I needed the money so I thought, what the hell. So anyways, I'm mowing this woman's lawn shirtless and it turns out Elizabeth is this woman's neighbor. She somehow knew that I was more than a Diet Coke break commercial and saw a real human being with great potential and hired me right on the spot. I've been with BookPeople ever since. I guess you could say she's the Coach Taylor to my Tim Riggins.
[Elizabeth refers to Elizabeth Jordan, the inventory operations supervisor at BookPeople and Chris's boss.  And as far as we know this is a big ol' lie....although Elizabeth does love her Diet Coke.]

2. What's the best experience you've had working at the bookstore? 
Bill Bryson teaching me how to hotwire a car. Watching a Dallas Cowboys game with Jennifer Egan and letting her cry on my shoulder. Karen Russell and I holding hands on the ferris wheel. I gave her the stuffed animal I won in the ring toss and she kissed me on the cheek. Special memories, each and every one.
[Lie, lie, and lie.]

3. What book(s) changed your life? 
When I was but a child my mother somehow thought it would be fun to read me Stephan King's Tommyknockers as a bed time story. Do you know how terrifying that is for a seven year-old with a loose tooth? I've never been the same since. My childhood is one only Mary Karr could understand.
[This could be a lie, we're not sure, but the Mary Karr part is the truth.  Ah, East Texas.  No place quite like it.]

4. What are you currently reading?
Stirring It Up With Molly Ivins by Ellen Sweets
How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive by Christopher Boucher.
Watergate by Thomas Mallon.
And American Gangbang by Sam Benjamin. Don't judge. It's a love story.

5. Boxers, Briefs…Other?
I'm a little disappointed Union Suit wasn't an option.

6. Would you rather....Alice Walker, Alice B. Toklas, Alice Hoffman, Alice Sebold, Alice Munro?

Considering the foxtrot is the only dance step I know, I'm going to have to go with Alice Munro.
Wait, this is a Dancing With The Stars-related question, right?

[No comment.]

7. What's the biggest lie ever told by a sales rep?
You NEED to see Titanic!
I love this book.
Coming Spring 2012
[Liz: I stand by this statement.  It's one of the funniest movies ever.  I particularly like the part where the guy bounces off the propeller.  And for the record, the reason I was talking about Titanic was because there's a book called The Dressmaker coming out in the spring that's set on the Titanic and I was giving a staff presentation at BookPeople.  At least I didn't sing...though I did quote the lyrics to that Celine Dion song.  ...Moving on.]

8. What's your second favorite bookstore?
Booked Up. Archer City, TX

9. Gianna or Liz?

If this were a Jon Krakauer survival sort of situation, I'd have to go with Liz on this one. I hear she's a bit of a veteran hiker. If this were a Dirty Dancing remake I'd have to go with Gianna. Cause no one puts Gi Gi in a corner. 
[As always, the correct answer is 'Liz.']

10. The most depressing book you've ever read?
My Check Book! Zing! Ha Ha. No really, it's pretty depressing. You'd think Cormac McCarthy was writing my budget.

11. I've never read ____________.  And I'm so ashamed.


12. Tattoos?  What, and where?  And why?
I got a heart on my arm after a D.C. Talk concert in Dallas one night. I was about three drinks away from getting the wrong ladies name on it when I ran out of money. At least now I have room to put "Liz hearts Gianna" around it. Real classy like.
[Lie.  We all know that it's "Gianna hearts Liz."]

13. Dish on your boss.
There's a resemblance.
She's not going to like that I told anybody, but here goes. She makes us sing. She makes us sing and dance every single damn day. Just last Friday she made us perform Wicked in its entirety. I said, "Boss, me and Allan have actual work to do." She started screaming, "By Allan you mean Ephalba! Now SING Glenda SING!" and threw a Jack Reacher ARC at me. Poor Allan got the worst of it. He just couldn't hit those notes during "Defying Gravity" the way Boss likes them. He gets out of the hospital tomorrow. I don't have the heart to tell him that Boss has already started referring to him as Conrad Birdie.
[...All true.]

14. I wanted to be a ___________ when I grew up.

15. ________________ is my favorite book ever.
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. "They say he loved that whore."

1 comment:

  1. i miss that virtually-windowless fourth floor receiving / returns department! hell, i miss Bookpeople. be back next year some time, with my new daughter in tow. I hope there is at least one or two old-timers from 1997-1999 around so i can sneak upstairs to say hi.