Three dozen authors read from Lane Smith’s popular story “It’s a Book!”
Tonight, I have my first ever New York City Barnes and Noble reading (7 pm, Union Square!), where I’ll read from and sign The Waking Dark for the first time.
Tomorrow, The Waking Dark officially comes out.
So am I nervous?
So apparently THIS is happening:
(Sidenote: If anyone has an early copy of this, I will trade you ANYTHING for it.)
I was a Nickelodeon kid. Watched it morning to night, toddler-hood all the way through adolescence (and embarrassingly beyond). Watching Nick was how I figured out how the world worked (much easier than talking to people). This led to occasional misunderstandings—like the fact that I spent most of my childhood thinking the Canadian accent was actually the “Nickelodeon accent” and they’d just trained all their actors to talk that way. But for the most part, I’d say a life philosophy shaped by You Can’t Do That on Television and Clarissa Explains It All has proven pretty sound over the years.
Still, I have SOME LINGERING QUESTIONS.
1. Where is she now?
2. Hiring Marc Summers to host Double Dare…sadistic joke or happy coincidence?
3. Speaking of Double Dare, did anyone ever actually make it through that obstacle course and win the trip to Space Camp?
4. Why am I apparently the only person who ever watched this show (and if that’s the case, how did it stay on the air)?
5. Also this one.
6. Is it weird that I strive to live my life on the principle WWCD (What Would Clarissa Do)?
7. If the the Roundhouse kids faced off against the Kids Incorporated kids, West Side Story-style (ie dance-off rumble), who would win?
8. Did anyone consider the pedagogical and philosophical ramifications of teaching small children that admitting “I don’t know” would inevitably result in public humiliation and a literal coat of filth? (Alternate question: Can I get a bucket of green slime for myself?)
9. How did this guy become lord and master of all children’s programming?
10. What’s really in the burgers?
Today has been eaten by feverish twitter debate on the subject of awesome and sexy captains. So that I can get back to work (or, um, TV), I thought it would be a good thing to settle this once and for all.
**post title unabashedly stolen from RAINBOW ROWELL (and speaking of, go order her new book). Rankings my own.**
THE CAPTAINS (in descending order of awesome/drool-factor)
(Jean-Luc does not approve of this entire undertaking.)
(Kara Thrace, on the other hand, is above such things.)
(So dumb, but OH SO PRETTY. And yes, I picked a shirtless one. You’re welcome.)
(Come on, we all know the shipwreck was totally Gilligan’s fault.)
Runners up: Captain Hook (whose sexiness cannot be fairly evaluated and who was dealt a harsh blow by Dustin Hoffman) and Captain Janeway (who I guess is in principle an awesome lady but unfortunately that doesn’t stop me from hating her - we clearly need more lady captains)
At one school, the popular girls were called the “chicken patties,” but the jocks were just the “jocks.” How teenage crowds get named.
If you’re a YA writer, you must read this. Everyone else…actually, you must read it, too.
If you’ve ever met me, then there’s a 99% chance you’ve heard me talk about VC Andrews and how much I love Flowers in the Attic. (This is not an exaggeration.) If you’ve never read Flowers in the Attic and made the mistake of mentioning this to me, you’ve probably also been treated to my infamous rendition of its plot…and if you were too slow to escape, I then surely moved on to summarizing My Sweet Audrina, stopping short of spoiling the greatest plot twist in all of English literature. (Also not an exaggeration.)
Flowers in the Attic is not my favorite book. Nor, it kills me to admit, is it a particularly good book, at least by any sane standard. And yet it is somehow, a great book (cf the Holly Black Theory of GreatnessTM , in which a book’s capacity for true greatness is directly proportional to the amount of crazy it contains). It is what VC Andrews’ editor brilliantly dubs an “awful classic.”
And I know this, because she told me herself.
Along with a bunch of other stuff, some of which I was even allowed to write down and publish for public viewing.
That’s right. This is how I spent my summer vacation, or at least the most important day of it: INTERVIEWING VC ANDREWS’ EDITOR, the woman who helped shape Flowers in the Attic (and My Sweet Audrina, and all the other real VC novels) and bring it into the world.
How to go about interviewing one of your heroes:
Step 1: Find out The Toast is doing a VC Andrews day.
Step 2: Beg the nice people of The Toast to let you participate.
Step 3: Pitch them your dream article, aka an interview with Ann Patty.
Step 4: Email Ann Patty, but given that you’re in the middle of the worst stretch of bad luck you’ve had all year, don’t hold out much hope.
Step 5: Get an immediate response that contains a big fat YES.
Step 6: Freak the f#^& out.
It looked a lot like this.
While, if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you know of my VC Andrews obsession, but it’s doubtful you know of my massive phobia about interviewing people. This may stem back to my adolescent journalism career, which was filled with traumatic events like interviewing the dentist who’d given his dog a root canal or the woman who’d been making custom lingerie for fifty years (this at an age where I was still a little afraid to say the word “bra” in mixed company), not to mention the year when it was my (part-time) job to wander up to strangers on the street and ask if they’d done ever anything weird enough to merit spotlight in the local paper.
It might have something to do with my stint as editor-in-chief of the world’s saddest high school newspaper when, among other things, I was forced to write an article all about the evils of smoking pot. (As you can imagine, this did wonders for my popularity.)
I am not kidding about that:
It may simply have been that I was incredibly shy and socially awkward and terrified of having conversations with strangers, not to mention getting sued by them later, having misquoted their lingerie statistics or dental procedure.
For whatever reason, by the time I got to college, my vision of being a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist was somewhat torpedoed by the fact that every time I wrote an article, I had to overcome a mini-panic attack before calling anyone on the phone for a quote, and would then spend the next week wracked by nightmares that I’d gotten it wrong and would soon be sued for libel.
Anyway, my point is, there’s very little that could have dragged me back to journalism, at least the kind that requires talking to other human beings. (If only blogging had been invented just a couple years earlier, I coulda been a contender), but this was worth it.
And it turns out talking to other human beings and writing down what they say? Not so bad as I remember.
Though it definitely helps when the other human being is saying things about VC Andrews. AMAZING things. As you will see RIGHT HERE.
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Reblogging this today from:
I have been waiting many, many, many…well, hours, really, because until this weekend I forgot this was happening, BUT! IT’S STILL EXCITING!
Because today is the day I (and hopefully you) have been waiting for.
The day one and all (and hopefully you) can acquire the paperback version of THE BOOK OF BLOOD AND SHADOW!
Isn’t she pretty?
Don’t you just agree that:
Apologies for the crappy video, which looks like something I could have filmed myself at my last trip to Disney World circa 199-something.
I was going to say something else, but I forgot it in the fog of nostalgic ecstasy that descends whenever I hear that song.
And now you know my secret.
Don’t use it for evil.
Sometimes, you discover stuff you would really be better off not knowing (like the fact a certain picture I refuse to link to is now electronically attached to your name forever).
But other times, you discover that the first chapter of YOUR BRAND NEW BOOK is ONLINE for anyone to read.
John Green has a fascinating post in which he discusses the success of THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and opens the topic up for conversation. This post has made me think about many things, among them the way we talk, in general, about the causality of a Book Becoming Really Big.