Q. How much of your public persona is you and how much is a character?
A. Well, the important thing in all creativity is honesty. Even if you are being utterly fake. Even if you are writing a book of fabricated history and fake trivia, you have to be honest, in the same way that an actor who is pretending to be someone else has to be emotionally honest, given the situation. So the John Hodgman who was a professional writer in the first book, and then suddenly an accidentally famous minor television personality in the second book, and by the third a deranged millionaire whose fame had dwindled and instead was filling his time as all deranged millionaires do, with visions of wine and narcissism and apocalypse, all of those things reflect, through something of a funhouse mirror, where I was at the time I wrote those books. And they are all named John Hodgman for a reason. They are all me with certain slight exaggerations.
Interview has been condensed and edited. Nick A. Zaino III can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.