For Father’s Day: Max’s Father


A lot of the comments I get about “Anyway*” are about Max’s father. People like him a lot. They think he’s quirky and funny, but it’s more than that – they like the father-son relationship. One of the ways I established that was by having Max’s father not just kid around with Max, but say crazy stuff to Max all the time. As Max puts it, “One thing about my dad is that he lies about almost everything. Not lies, really, but he hardly ever says anything normal.” Well, he’s right – but “hardly ever” isn’t the same as “never.” When the situation demands it, as it does several times in the book, Max’s dad shifts right into serious. He’s not really a goofy person at all – he just likes having a light, fun, give-and-take relationship with his son. And, okay, he’s really funny.
People ask if he’s based on my father, and the answer is No. My father was a wonderful guy, but he was very, very different. Then I’m asked if the father is based on me, and the answer is … Sort of. Kind of. In a way. Partly. Sometimes. 
I should explain that.
Max’s father is exactly like I am as a father … when I’m at my best. Which most of the time I’m not. So I guess the answer is, Max’s father is the father I wish I were. The father I’d like to be. The father I’ll never quite be. 
But I’ll keep trying.

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