Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Got Oirish?

I hope you're ready for some fun today because I have Mark Koopman's from Aloha! Mark Koopman's says "Hi" from HI. If you've been to his blog or dealt with him at all, you'll know what I mean. The man is hilarious. He has become a great blogging buddy of mine and I had to pin him down and question him.

Are you dying to know what he has to share?  I thought so! I will delay no longer!

1.      Thanks for being here Mark! Now... I'm going to cut straight to the chase. How many of us are you willing to take in? I'm sure I'm not the only one dying to live in Hawaii. Do you have room for all of us?
Aloha, Leigh!
Just got in… hang on, wait a sec., let me get out of my coconut bra and hula dress… ahhh, that’s better… oh, and by the way, let me say thanks for having me here, today… after my interview with that Callie girl, I wasn’t sure anyone would have me back. (You don’t drink Mountain Dew, dew you?)
Oh, and to answer your question, it would be awesome to meet some traveling blogger buddies (“bluddies”) over here in Honolulu. Bring it on, I say :)
Sweet! I'm booking my flight. And I think we should have a picture of you with that coconut bra and hula skirt. Don't worry. No Dew drinking here. I'm a milk girl all the way. I know - super exciting drink of choice!

2. How do you find time to write when you stay home with three boys and home-school too? Is your secret identity Superman? Is your real name Clark?
Right now, I operate under the policy of “Snatch and Scribe,” which basically entails me grabbing any spare minutes during the day, and having a loving, supportive wife who understands I could really use a couple of hours once the boys are asleep. (I also take Friday and Saturday “off” so we can have some “US” time and that mix has worked out well.)
Re. homeschool…No. 1 Son is still young enough that I don’t need to hand over any official paperwork. This August, we’re going to start Kindergarten proper (right now we work about an hour a day in the School Room, but he’s a smart cookie, so we’re always in learning mode, and I do my darndest to answer every “But why Papa?” question.
Clark. Ha, I wish! Perhaps I can change mine to Klarkmans :)
Oooh! Klarkmans! Brilliant idea. You still sound like a superman to me tho.

3. You're currently working on a memoir of Donald Braswell, right? What events lead up to you doing this project?
I first met Donald Braswell, a former professional opera singer, when he was a contestant on America’s Got Talent (2008). A reporter for a daily newspaper just outside San Antonio, I’d seen Donald on the show, felt he was good, but thought it was great that he lived in our readership area :)
It took three months of dogged research to get him on the phone, but I knew there was an amazing and inspirational story just waiting to be told after one interview. After I wrote a second feature, Donald agreed to meet for a coffee (I wanted to pitch him on writing his book.) He agreed! Three kids, two major moves across the US and one former agent later,  the book will be finished this summer.
Donald’s first AGT audition is

This is AWESOME! What an amazing man and what a great story for you to share with others.
4. Your blog is growing like crazy! What do you think it takes to run a successful blog?

A double chin and a shiny, bald head?
Thanks, but considering we started at about the same time last year, I bow down to your most excellent blog and your 230 followers.
Blogging takes a ton of work – and time – (at least it does for a scatter-brain like me :) I offer the following tips (none have anything to do with relieving a “ton of work.”)
Be Real – my posts are all over the place when it comes to topics and themes, but it’s always been that way. Luckily Charmily, my quirky humor seems to inject itself in there like a manic turkey baster…
Be nice – especially to little old ladies, and everyone from Utah… they are *all* writers over there :)
Be supportive – of those who support you – especially those who support you!
Be postful and consistent – write with your love of writing. Post three times a week, and do so when you say you will. (I’m Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.)
Be a player, not a hater. Participate in Blog fests, contests, and when you win an award, pass it on, even it does have eleven questions :)
Thanks Mark! And you are right. Blogging is a LOT of work. I love your tips. So true.

Now a few chocolate chip questions - for the chocolate lovers out there!

5. Do you shave your head? Yeah - I really want to know! And how do you keep it looking so nice? Is the fresh Hawaii air, or do you moisturize?
It’s no longer just a “Bald Head.” Living in Hawaii, I have reworked my head and now use it as a solar panel that drives the left windshield wiper and the little latch that opens the gas tank lock.
(Real answer: My wife grabs the clippers to release the Shiny One from its prison of stunted hair follicles.)

6. Let’s pretend that you're not Superman for a moment. Is there any other super hero you'd like to be? What is your favorite super power?
I have never thought about running around in spandex tights and a wicked cape to revel others in my super-poweredness. However, I am, in fact, a super hero (to me… and have the picture to prove it :)
 My given name is Super Irish Guy, or (SIGGY) and I venture from my nocturnal hiding place but once a year – and only on a certain day in the middle of March.
(My super slogan: Never mind the Ides of March, beware the Ides of Ireland.)
My super powers include, but are not limited to, drinking copious amounts of adult beverages – without paying for them, super idea, right? Other people dig the homemade costume and always hook SIGGY up like he was a brudda from anudda mudda in Dublin’s fair city.
With my face painted in the Irish Flag, and my pants those of a clown, I stand astride mounds of old beer mats, hands on hips, waiting patiently for the next cry of “Seriously, let’s buy him another round – he talks funny :)”  
Bahahaha! *more laughing* This is spectacular. I would totally buy you a drink. You'd have to buy me a milk tho!

7. You're a cook, right? Suppose you have Donald Braswell, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King and Brandon Mull all coming to dinner. What would you make?
Hang on…. Have to Google the Mull guy… be right back...  wow, he’s an awesome author with Simon & Shuster… sweet!
OK, so if there were no allergies, and everyone liked wine, here’s my menu:
 Apps would be homemade crab cakes (paired with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc) EntrĂ©e would be filet mignon (with a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon) with grilled asparagus, roasted peppers and my secret recipe, oven baked potatoes, known simply as “Ma’s Roasties.”
Dessert would be an apple pie (previously frozen… I don’t bake :)
Did I mention me? Yeah - with a menu like that, I'm coming to!

8. If Hawaii was going to be consumed in a natural disaster and you had to move to another planet (because the rest of earth is just too full...) what planet would you most want to live on?
Seriously… why didn’t anyone tell me… Sweethie, grab the kids, we-…. Oh IF Hawaii was going to be consumed… I’d move to Planet Hollywood… I used to work there when I was younger and I’d love to meet Shaq or James Caan again :)
hehehe. Planet Hollywood! Now there's an excellent decision!

9. Last but not least... share a favorite quote with us!
Rather than me write it, here’s a two-minute clip from the very end of Band of Brothers, (a HBO series that followed a group of paratroopers from D-Day through the end of WWII.) Each of the featured men has a great quote, but the last one (at 1:26) is from Retired Army Maj. Dick Winters, who was the CO of Easy Company. If you know his story, it makes what he says even more profound.

This is awesome! And look how prepared you are! I'm so impressed!
THANKS Leigh for having me over. You’re a great “Bluddy”:)
No- thank YOU! It has been wonderful. 
Also - as you guys probably know, St. Paddy's day is coming this week! And Mark has the awesome "Got Green?" Blog Hop going on to prove it! It's running all week - so pop over, hook yourself up with the linky and post your favorite St. Paddy's traditions!

Now show him some Oirish love!  


Sarah Pearson said...

I knew I was in for a treat when I saw who you were interviewing, Leigh. I can't say anything about Mark without sounding like a fan gurl, so I'll just say great interview :-)

Mark Koopmans said...

Ok, so I promise I didn't stay up all night trying to be the first to comment, (it's only 11:50 p.m. over here, I'm still writing :)

Seriously, though, Leigh, you are a RockStar and a true "Bluddy." :)

Thanks so very much - I really appreciate the support - to be shure to be shure :)

Mark Koopmans said...

See I talk too much, and Sarah justs cut in front of me :)

No more Monster Munch for you :)

Nick Wilford said...

My first exposure to Mark was his "captcha" based story in the first challenge of the current Campaign. It was genius, as is this interview. Nice one Leigh! :)

Tara Tyler said...

mark is a hawairish riot!
siggy =) ha!
and band of brothers was the best series!
great interview guys!

inluvwithwords said...

Great interview, you two!

Miranda Hardy said...

I'm getting on a plane, Mark. Make room for me, too. I've never been out west at all.

My brothers are solar panels, too. Lol

Anonymous said...

A stay-home, homeschooling dad--who can cook...how cool is that?

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute. That sounded sarcastic, but it was meant to be praise. Let me rephrase it.

A stay-home, homeschooling dad--who can cook? AWE-SOME!!!!!

Cassie Mae said...

Oh my gosh, that picture!!! I'm still laughing!!!

And you didn't know Brandon Mull? I think he's the Rowling of Utahns, right Leigh?

No Dew drinking in HI? Come on, Melvin (hehe), you know you'd take in this Dew girl. ;)

Emily R. King said...

Nice getting to know you better, Mark! You're such a fun guy. I want you at my party. Bring some of Ma's Roasties!

Thanks for having him, Leigh!

Jennifer Lee Young said...

Funny stuff over here! Love to try and make that dinner, sound delicious!

Thanks for sharing Mark & Leigh :)

J. A. Bennett said...

LOL! Mark is hilarious and that dinner sounds amazing! I want to come :)

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

Very inspiring story of Donald Braswell. That book will help so many people.

Entertaining interview.

I have one suggestion. Use darker ink choices. The light green and orange were a bit hard to read by my middle-aged eyes.

PS: I hope to qualify for that lovely dinner some day.

Maggie said...

Okay, you're right. He is hilarious! I will have to check out his blog.

Jenny S. Morris said...

Mark add an extra plate I'm coming over for dinner!! As always so funny and great.


David P. King said...

Remind me never to drink Mountain Dew while reading an interview with Mark. That was absolutely hilarious, you guys! :)

Yeah. If we ever make our plan to visit HI work, we're going to have to hang out. Thanks for hosting Mark today, Leigh.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

I'm jealous that Mark gets to spend all of his day in paradise.

Mark Koopmans said...

@Nick: Thanks man, I appreciate the comments and I'm glad that Captcha seems to have lost the "darkground" even if it is a pain in the rear :)

@Tara: Do not knock the SIGGY... he turns all green and will drink your bevarage:)

@inluvwithwords: Thanks! Leigh is awesome - and I was honored when she asked :)

@Miranda: We'll wait at the airport... you'll see the shiny head beacon :)

@Linda: Thanks, and no worries, I got your intent first time :)
Trust me it's a real-life WIP, but no one's ended up in the E.R. yet (from my cooking skills anyway :)

@ Calista Mae: What?? There was water in my ear!!!
Hangs head... sorry I didn't know Mull, but seems like an awesome success story:)
If you ever make it to HI, we will ship in a crate of Dew from the mainland:)

Mark Koopmans said...

@Emily: Thanks and it was all Leigh.... she came up with the out-of-box questions... I was scrambling to catch-up :)
Roasties are on the way (too funny:)

@Jennifer: Hey, let me know if you need any of the recipes (Oh my, did I just say that out loud... ManCard, wake up! Wake up!! We need a medic.... stat!)

@J.A.: Thanks!! See above for something I offered Jennifer... can't say "recipe" again... :)

@Mary: Glad you enjoyed the interview, sorry if it was a bit colorful (but at least it wasn't the lanuage :)
Leigh, we're going to need a bigger table for the dinner!!!

@Maggie: Thanks for the kind words... it's not me, it's the ManCard talking:)

@Jenny: Looking forward to it - thanks... and wouldn't it be fun to actually have a "Followers Convention one day... then we *could* all break bread and enjoy Ma's mysterious Roasties :)

Mark Koopmans said...

@Dave: Beware of the Keyboard-killing Mountain Dew Drink:)
Glad you liked the interview, and it would be sweet to say Hi! in HI :)

@Michael: Thanks, but I'm only here at Leigh's for today. (But I get what you mean... Leigh is awesome, her blog is amazing... it does feel like paradise here :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Super Irish Guy - funny!
Agree with you 100% on number four. If you're not all of those things, you'll never make it here.

Mark Koopmans said...

@Alex: Thanks and I'm learning from one of the best... You :)

Carrie Butler said...

The part about you using your head as a solar panel killed me. I had to mask my giggles with a cough so no one would question me. :)

Great interview!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Funny guy. Loved Band of Brothers. Very hard to watch. I'll bet it was much harder to live.

Angela Brown said...

This had to be one of the most hilarious interviews I've had the pleasure of enjoying. Mark and Leigh, together you brought the biggest smile to my face...and that dinner menu for JK and friends made my stomach growl.

Morgan said...


Best. Interview. EVER.

Yes, everyone from Utah ARE writers, lol!

And Mark had to google Brandon Mull. <---LOVE IT! (he's a total Utah celeb--my bro lives next door to him!)

Too funny, Mark. Loved it. Leigh, brilliant interview. Seriously will have me grinning all day!

Coleen Patrick said...

Snatch and scribe--okay that is just going to stay in my head. Great interview!! :)

Mark Koopmans said...

@Carrie: Well, I might as well use the darn thing for something other than a beacon of light in a dark tunnel :)

@Donna: Thanks! I got the chance to meet Babe Hefron (from BoB) and it was amazing to hear him describe some of the things they did...

@Angela: Awwww, shucks, thanks Ma'am. Appereciate the kind words... (goes behind the door) LEIGH!!! We got one more for the dinner!!!

@Morgan: I'm just glad I was googling a writer and not one of those six-pack ab guys Leigh normally has up on her page... Glad you liked the interview... Leigh made it fun with those whacked out questions :)

@Coleen: Seriously it's the only way I can during the day... the boys keep me on my toes!! Thanks :)

Kelley said...

SO fun! Thanks so much for sharing. I'm definitely doing the blog hop :)

Anonymous said...

Woot-woot! Go, Mark, go! You def. are up there in my books as THE man all other men should emulate! Homeschooling is THE best! You rock, man!

Lara Schiffbauer said...

I think I want you to come and cook me dinner! That sounds marvelous, and something I never could make! Loved your interview - was a fun as always!

Jenny Sulpizio said...

Fabulous interview and how fun is Mark? Love it!

Patricia T. said...

I'm still laughing. Mark is hilarious. What a great interview. Leigh you really ask the best questions! Enjoy your sense of humor. This was certainly a treat!

Mark Koopmans said...

@ Kelley: Awesome that you're in the O'hop... but with a name like yours... I wouldn't expect anything less... to be shure :)

@ Jack: CLASSIC comment :) Sooo glad I'm not the only male Whoot! Whooter! (aggghhh, that sounds so ManCardless of me :)

@ Lara: Hey:) We're taking bookings for a second seating, but meet me around the back, and I'll squeeze you in on Leigh's table :)

@ Jenny: Thanks and just read your latest post :) Good luck to you, too :)

@ Patricia: Thanks for the kind words and yeah, Leigh rocks with the type of questions you wished you asked your husband on your blind date :)

Shallee said...

Ha! What a fun interview, Leigh! Thanks for being here, Mark. :) I love your thoughts on blogging, by the way.

Cortney Pearson said...

Awesome interview, Mark, you're so fun! Can I come to dinner, too? Yummy menu AND great writers!! Sign me up!

Stacy Henrie said...

Fun interview! I want to live in Hawaii. :)

Jessie Humphries said...

I couldn't be more jealous about the Hawaii thing. But whatever. He is one funny dude.

Scarlett said...

Please put me down for a plate full of those grilled asparagus and roasties! OMG.

I have an odd Mountain Dew story. It involved me in a LazyBoy recliner, my sister-cousin with a leprechaun's knack for pranking in the kitchen, and a tall glass of... wait for it...

yellow food coloring(for effect), a smidge of tap water, baking soda(also for effect), vinegar and ice.

Voila! Mountain Dew! Drink up poor sap! (Umm, yeah. That's me.)

Note: Everybody knows my first drink is ALWAYS a long, tall drink, no matter the libation. Let's just say, I got myself a good dose of nasty.

Mark, You are one of a kind, apparently working on a full house! Wait. Is my poker knowledge lacking? Three kids, and a pair. Full house, right?

Question: Do you speak with an oirish accent? Give it up. No, seriously. Can you record yourself, say.. reading your next post... and vlog it?!

Question: Am I any less oirish if I speak with a southern accent?

Your "Got Green? Blog Hop" sounds like so much fun, though, I cannot for the life of me think of anything to add! Honestly, I've been dealing with a little girl's 16th birthday this week. But, I will be coming by all who entered tomorrow to read and follow, if I'm not already!

Leigh~ You're Awesome! Thanks so much for the interview of the notorious SIGGY. Seriously... Let's DO buy him another round!

Signed ~ Irish by blood, Southerner by birth, Midwesterner by demand, Human by chance

Melissa Sugar said...

Fun interview, Leigh. I am just getting to know Mark and I think he is awesome. I am not just saying that because he lives in Hawaii and I want an invite to visit, LOL. I enjoyed the interview and the blog o'hop. Good advice, Mark on building an enjoyable blog with loyal followers.

eva fhadilah said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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