As far as I’m concerned, any book that makes me laugh is a good book regardless of whether its fiction or nonfiction. That’s why I’m so excited to meet and interview Philip Rivera, a lover and writer of humorous books.
Thanks for being here today! I always like to start at the beginning: what was the first chapter book you read? What did you like/not like about it?
I don’t remember the first chapter book I read, but I remember the first chapter book that was read to me. It was The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I was in 5th or 6th grade and I remember loving the mixture of science fiction with odd, dry British humor. Maybe that’s why I wanted to be a funny astronaut as a child.
What was your favorite chapter book? What did you love about it?
James and the Giant Peach. I loved the image of a giant peach and all the magical creatures that lived inside it. I wouldn’t mind living in a Giant Peach today… but without the magical creatures.
What was the first book you read that you couldn’t put down?
Piercing the Darkness by Frank Peretti. My wife and I listened to it on our Babymoon (a vacation before your first child is born. A sort of goodbye to carefree adulthood). At night, instead of watching TV, we would huddle around the phone in our Tennessee cabin, turn down the lights, and let the story take us away.
If you could have dinner with any fictional character, who would it be?
Any character from the show Lost. Because ten years after the show ended, I still find myself asking questions about the Island, especially when I’m stuck in traffic or on an airplane.
If you could turn any book into a movie (yours or someone else’s), which would you pick? Who would you cast as the main characters?
Any of Joel Rosenberg’s thriller books. They combine several elements I enjoy reading: international intrigue, action, suspense, Middle East conflict, and faith. I would cast Dev Patel as CIA operative David Shirazi.
What book are you most looking forward to reading next?
Joel Rosenberg’s Jerusalem Assasin.
Who’s your favorite author?
Joel Rosenberg, because his stories are based on real-life situations that could really happen. I also enjoy the humorous style of Dave Barry.
My faith in Jesus Christ is at the center of everything I do. Whether I’m parenting, teaching, or writing, I want to glorify Him with all my gifts. Although my stories are not overtly Christian, they celebrate the role of fathers and the importance of family fun in a way that is relatable to everyone.
Philip Rivera’s humorous debut book, Suburban Luchador: The Cul-de-sac Chronicles won the Indie Originals award for best memoir/biography in 2020.
He lives in the adventurous suburbs outside of Tampa, Florida with his accommodating wife and four imaginative, spunky children. Philip is a full-time high school teacher, and when he’s not changing diapers, judging ballet moves, or fighting ninjas, he moonlights as a humor author. His stories prove that minivans, child-rearing, husbandly duties, and teaching high school can be the subjects of epic adventures. Suburban Luchador: The Cul-de-sac Chronicles is a collection of humorous slice-of-life stories loosely based on his average Joe misadventures. Philip’s stories highlight the magic found in mundane life… if only we let our imaginations get carried away.