Q&A with and by Paul Benedetti

Q&A with and by Paul Benedetti

Posted on March 9 by Paul Benedetti in Interview
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I have been quietly sitting here by the phone waiting to be interviewed about my new book, You Can Have a Dog When I’m Dead.

It’s already been three days and the only calls I’ve received are from people asking me to put out used clothing and a man trying to sell me a roof that lasts for one hundred years. Maybe I should have called the book, “I Won’t Need a Roof When I’m Dead”.

Anyway, I’ve decided to do the interview myself, and ask the questions that have not poured in from legions of interested readers.


Q: Are the stories in the book based on real incidents? I don’t believe anyone is as dumb as you appear to be.

A: Thank you. Funny, my wife says the same thing. Yes, the essays are true, leaving some room for exaggeration, usually to try to make me look better.


Q: On the same note, is there really a neighbour named Dave? And does he really do the things you say? Have you ever phoned the police on him?

A: That’s three questions. But yes, my friend Dave lives one house away and, according to his wife, he is not a fictional character, although sometimes she wishes he was.


Q: There seems to be a lot of references to drinking in the essays. What’s all that about?

A: You try having three kids born on the same day of the year and see if you don’t drink.


Q:What made you think about putting your essays into a book collection?

A: Well, I thought that taken together they might tell an interesting story of everyday life, of growing up and growing older, that people could relate to. When Dundurn said yes, I was happy that some of our family story — as goofy as it sometimes is — would be preserved in a book.


Q: Some of the stories in the book are lighthearted, but some are not, like the story of your mom’s death.

A: Yes, as I wrote the columns, sometimes I just had to write about what was happening around me. That included when my aging parents got sick. When my dad died. How my mom coped and went on, and then, how she fell ill and died. These were some of the most important things that ever happened to me and, in a strange way, I just had to write about them. The same thing happened when our kids hit certain milestones or some other life event would occur and I would find myself trying to capture it, to write about it in a way that other people might enjoy.


Q: Are you excited about the book?

A: Yes, I am. I have high hopes for the book and have already made a down payment on a Ferrari. Well, it’s actually a small metal model of a Ferrari, kind of like a Dinky Toy, but a little bit bigger.


Q: That’s ridiculous.

A: I know. And please don’t tell my wife. She’s already mad that I have two other small metal cars.

Paul Benedetti

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014

Paul Benedetti

Paul Benedetti is an award-winning journalist, author, and writer. His essays have appeared in the Globe and Mail, Canadian Living, Reader’s Digest, and regularly in the Hamilton Spectator, where he has a widely read Saturday column. He has won the Ontario Newspaper Award for Humour Writing and Canada’s National Newspaper Award for Best Short Feature, and he teaches journalism at the University of Western Ontario.