Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Showcase: The Barber’s Conundrum and Other Stories: Observations on Life from the Cheap Seats by John Hartnett

The Barber's Conundrum and Other Stories: Observations on Life from the Cheap Seats

The Barber's Conundrum and Other Stories is more than just a collection of thirty-seven short literary humor pieces that will make you laugh. It provides a treasure trove of tips and invaluable advice to help you navigate safely through marriage and relationships, raising kids and to finally understand the more peculiar aspects of day to day living that up until now, had been tossed into a big heap as just another one of God's mysteries. For example, did you ever wonder why weather reporters continue to stand in the middle of raging hurricanes to tell us what hurricanes are like when everybody else already knows what hurricanes are like? Did you ever wonder why people stop their cars in the middle of the street to let geese walk past even though geese have been flying long before Cro- Magnon Man was in knee pants? Did you ever think that if aliens do exist on our planet, most of them work in customer service? They do! All of that, and more is in the book, so what do you say? At $8.99, you're guaranteed to receive at least $10.50 worth of terrific advice and life extending laughter, which as we know is the best medicine, and there's never a co-pay with laughter so you're up well over $20 already and this is only the back cover. Think of the possibilities to save when you read the whole thing.

Image of John Hartnett

John Hartnett was born in Jersey City, NJ, grew up in Cranford,NJ, and moved to Los Angeles in 1984 after graduating from Emerson College. He has worked in the restaurant, construction, entertainment and publishing industries as well as several others which thankfully have been suppressed from memory. He moved back to his hometown of Cranford in 1997, where his parents still reside, and is married with three children. His first love has always been comedy and his second love is his wife, but sometimes the order is reversed depending on who's in the room with him. He also writes the humor blog: The Monkey Bellhop

Q.  What inspires your writing?

A. It's examining the more mundane aspects of life and mining it for humor.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being an author?

A. I love having the opportunity to entertain and make people laugh.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being an author?

A. Resisting the urge to purchase a tweed jacket.

Q.  If you could not be an author, what would you do/be?

A.  Probably a congressman because I like to sleep in almost every day,

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?

A. "If You Only Purchase One Book in Your Entire Life, Make Sure It's This One."

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

A. "Sometimes A Great Notion" bu Ken Kesey

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?

A. The mouse in "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie".  I'll tell you why that's the case if you have any cookies lying around.

Q.  What character from all of your book are you most like?

A.  My first book was on OSHA Compliance so no characters there unless you count the federal government and in my second book, many of the pieces are autobiographical so I guess I'll just say ...that one.

Q.  What is your favorite season?

A.  Swim suit.  Ok, summer.

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?

A.  I love the old photographs that are part of a Smithsonian Collection called the FSA-OWI collection (Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information).  The images capture American life in the late thirties and forties.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.

A. I had a signing in New Orleans during Mardis Gras which is not a great time to much of anything except celebrate Mardis Gras.  Several senior citizens did come and let's just say the setting was intimate so I sat down to speak to two women who had come together.  I told them that I had started out as a joke writer and they asked me to tell them a joke which I did -- something that was in the news recently about a person finding the bones of Richard III beneath a parking lot in London.  I said that I could understand how something like that could have happened because one time I parked my car at Macy's and wandered around for six hours before I found the car again.  They didn't laugh and said, "We don't get it."  So I explained it to them and they said, "Oh, it's funny when you explain it!"  Believe me , no joke writer wants to hear that.

Q.  Are you working on something new?

A.  Yes, I am working on a novel and also doing a lot of work on my comedy site, The Monkey Bellhop (

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A.  First and foremost, thanks so much for taking the time to read this and I do hope you got this far!  Your support of writers and love of books and reading is both encouraging and greatly appreciated!

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