Q: What made you decide to become a writer?

A: I don't know. Stop asking.

Q: How did you find an agent/get published, and can you tell me how to do the same thing?

A: I have a standard form letter entitled “Advice to Writers,” which I crafted in 1996 and which details my own experiences. It should prove invaluable to any writer hoping to get published in 1997. I'd be happy to send it to you, but it's in an obsolete format and will most likely damage your computer. (In all seriousness: this is a tough business, and a lot depends on factors that none of us can predict or control. I'd like to help you. But I probably can't.)

Q: I heard there might be a film version of The Human Slice. Is that ever actually going to happen?

A: Let's all think good thoughts and not hold our breath.

Q: I don't have a question. I just didn't like your book __________.

A: I'm terribly sorry to hear that. If you can provide me with a receipt, proving that you purchased the book (and purchased it new at retail price), I will gladly send you a check for the sixty-three cents of that money that made it to me.

Q: I'm writing a paper on your work. Could I send you several questions to answer in your spare time, rather than bothering to look at the numerous interviews that are available online?

A: Of course! If I'm very good, may I write the paper for you, as well?

Q: Will you speak to my class/book club/historical recreation society/circle of shut-ins?

A: Maybe. I get a lot of requests like this, and my decision-making process is complex and wildly erratic. Try me, and hope that I didn't skip breakfast today.

Q: How much would you charge to sing at my wedding?

A: I suspect you may be trying to reach a soloist named Olivia Frist, who performs in the greater Pittsburgh area. Try Googling again.

Q: Are you any relation to Milo Frost, lead singer of the band Pareidolia?

A: Yes.

Q: Can I ask you a few questions about that?

A: No.

Q: But I just wanted to ask about the lyrics of that one song...

A: No.

Q: If you could go back and rewrite your earlier books, would you? What would you change?

A: I'm not sure how to answer this one. It's something I think about every day.