Stephen Elliott is the author of seven books including, the brand new true crime memoir The Adderall Diaries. He has written for the New York Times, Esquire, The Believer and others and his work has been anthologized in The Best American Non-Required Reading 2005 & 2007, Best Sex Writing, and Best American Erotica.
For our readers who may not be familiar with your work, what’s the most accurate thing someone else has said about it?
Someone told me recently I had mastered the art of inconsistency.
What have you read/watched/listened to/looked at/ate recently that will permanently change our readers’ lives for the better?
We Did Porn by Zak Smith will permanently change your readers’ views on the porn industry and the art world. The Baader Meinhoff Complex will renew their faith in film.
Whose ghostwritten celebrity tell-all (or novel) would you sprint to the store to buy (along with a copy of The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius so that the checkout clerk doesn’t look at you screwy)?
I can’t imagine wanting to read a ghostwritten book.
Have you ever been a Starving Artist, and did it make you brilliant, or just hungry?
When I was thirteen and then fourteen, all of eighth grade, I spent a year on the streets of Chicago. I slept mainly on a rooftop but also in broom closets and when it was particularly cold I broke into boiler rooms. Sometimes during that time I ate out of dumpsters. I was arrested at the end of summer 1986 and made a ward of the state and I spent the next four years in group homes. I don’t think the experience made me brilliant but it gave me a lot to explore and think about at a later date.
What would you characterize as an ideal interaction with a reader?
It would be in a giant hall. There would be thousands of readers. I would have cooked something simple in large cauldrons. Chili, or spaghetti. Something you serve with a large spoon. There would also be plates full of homemade chocolate chip cookies. There would be good music playing, maybe The Coup, or Lauren Hill. And I would be bartending, but the drink options would be limited.
Have you ever written anything that you’d like to take back?