3-Minute Interview: Matt Richtel

The San Francisco resident is a New York Times reporter, comic strip writer, novelist, Scrabble aficionado and occasional songwriter. What powers his productivity? Regular naps, he says. Richtel will read from his novel “Hooked” at the San Francisco Public Library’s West Portal Branch today at 7 p.m.

Give me a synopsis of “Hooked.” Man sits in internet cafe in Marina. Gets handed note. By the time he looks up, the note-giver has walked out the door. Walks to follow her. Opens note. Note says, “get out of the cafe, now!” Cafe explodes. Sitting in rubble outside café, man finds himself thinking of his ex-girlfriend, who died four years earlier. Thinks of her all the time because he still obsessively mourns her, but that’s not why he thinks of her now. It’s because he recognizes her handwriting.

And then? This 30-something character begins a hyper-fast-paced pursuit of lost love, and a search that takes him into the dark underbelly of San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

You’re also a New York Times reporter. Yes. I write about technology, Silicon Valley and the way technology changes and impacts how we live.

And you write a comic strip? I write a comic strip called Rudy Park. The comic strip is set in an internet cafe and it revolves around an exceedingly consumer-centric barista and the people he’s surrounded by.

What inspired you to write a comic strip? I was very inspired by Doonesbury growing up. I liked the idea that you could get a taste of the world in four panels, and maybe learn and feel something in such a short format. The otherthing is my parents clearly failed to teach me that I shouldn’t try anything I want to.

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