What's up, FYAers!! It's Wednesday! You've made it really far! I think you should fix yourself a congratulatory weekday mimosa. A weekday mimosa is just like a weekend mimosa, only before you drink it you're supposed to recite, "I don't have a problem. I can quit anytime."
Today I am super pleased-as-punch excited to announcethat we havetrapped Daniel Handler, author of the amazing Why We Broke Up and a little series you may have heard of called A Series of Unfortunate Events, between our lockers for an interview! AND! He and the kickass people at Little, Brown have graciously donated us THREE awesome Why We Broke Up prize packs - a copy of the book, a Why We Broke Up comb (makes sense if you read the book), and a postcard set and a magnet set designed by the book's artist, the awesome Maira Kalman.
I KNOW, RIGHT? So on top of all that, you'll be delighted to learn that Daniel Handler is totally hilarious and way too cool for any school I ever attended! So let's get our James Lipton on and find out just what makes him awesome!
I'm using awesome a lot. BECAUSE EVERYTHING IS SO AWESOME!
THE ACTUAL BOOK RELATED QUESTIONS
Why We Broke Up is a letter from Min to Ed that chronicles their relationship, including all the factors leading to their breakup. What made you decide on that writing style? Was it always going to be a letter format and always from Min's point of view?
I spend much of my time writing furious letters in my head; it finally occured to me that I might as well write one down. People keep asking if I'd write anything from Ed's point of view, and I have, several times. Each time the complete manuscript has fit on a Post-It.
That's just cause Ed has such miniature writing, obvs.
The book has some amazing illustrations of all of the items that Min is returning to Ed. Did you ever do something similar (give back all the items that reminded you of someone), and if so what types of things did you end up returning?
Books and music, books and music. And I never got my purple sweatshirt back, the one that always smelled like Ocean Beach from rolling around with her.
One of the great aspects of this book is that even though Ed is a low-down, good-for-nothing jerk, he's a believable jerk. He's a high-school boy level of jerk. What happens to Ed when he grows up? Does he ever become the person he showed signs of being? And how long did it take him to get to that place?
I think the question is not "how long" but "who." A patient "who" is the only way boys get over their mothers, living or dead.
In some cases, it has to be a very, very patient "who."
How many relationships have you had where you were the Min? How many have you had where you were the Ed?
I think I was the Ed maybe twice, but even then, and many, many other times, I was the Min. But aren't we all the Min in our heads?
Not me! I'm a heartbreaker!
Why'd you have to write this amazing book that made me cry like I was 18 and breaking up with my high school boyfriend again? Wasn't that trauma bad enough the first time? Do you have something against me? Are you in cahoots with my high school boyfriend?
Give him back the sweatshirt and we can talk.
It was actually a paisley 1971 shirt he bought for a quarter at a vintage clothing store, which really explains so very much.
THE YA QUESTIONS
If your real life adolescence was a YA book...What would you, the main character, be like?
Prone to overdressing.
He looks pretty suave.
Who is your secret crush?
Upright bass player of unknown gender in small tango ensemble playing Friday nights at the coffeehouse. (Realism's overrated, don't you think?)
What is your number #1 source of angst?
The steady rate of young woman going missing in the underground tunnels beneath the biology teacher's estate.
At what point would the reader pump his/her fist in victory?
The scene where I go out to the back yard, pick limes from the tree, squeeze them into a small pitcher, add gin to make the perfect gimlet, and throw it in the face of my rival.
Ah, but then your rival would lick his/her lips and get a tiny bit of gimlet. You're only rewarding them!
And who would play you in the film adaptation?
THE SLUMBER PARTY Qs
What is your secret power?
What is your #1 favorite food?
Really? You'd be a great diet partner, I guess.
Tell me about your area of expertise.
The late-period Eurythmics album Savage.
If you could assemble your own Ocean's 11 of fictional characters, who would you pick and why?
Money of Why Did I Ever, leader;
Aunt Agatha from Wodehouse, financier;
Mrs. Armitage from Mrs. Armitage, Queen of the Road, transportation;
Dorothy from Mrs. Caliban, tail jobs;
Benna from Anagrams, disguises;
Nora Jane from Ellen Gilchrist, sharpshooter;
Alice, Corvus and Annabel of The Quick and The Dead, security;
Calpurnia from Julius Caesar, moralist;
Irma Vep, whatever she wanted to do.
Are you sure Irma's job isn't just to look awesome in a leather catsuit?
What is your best karaoke song?
"Stand By Your Man."
After all, he's just a man.
Tell me something scandalous!
I knew a prominent lesbian sex activist, back when she was a geeky straight girl.
Psh. So did everyone who went to college.
What is your favorite adult beverage?
A Delmonico: gin, cognac, vermouth, bitters, served up with lemon.
Aaaand I know what I'll be drinking tonight!
What book have you read the most number of times?
Tom Drury's The Black Brook, and I'm looking for someone who loves it as much as I do.
Who is your "freebie"?
Either Julia Stiles or Sidney Poitier.
Sidney Poitier is obvs a great choice, but Julia Stiles?? While she's making that face?
YA authors are so cool. Who would you give a BFF charm to?
Adele Griffin, but my wife beat me to it.
Out of all of the characters you've written, which one do you most wish you could be?
If you were invited to the FYA slumber party (and obvs, you ARE), what pajamas would you wear, and what is the most crucial snack food and/or movie you'd bring?
Cotton, with a smoking jacket; caviar with appropriate garnishment; L'Aventurera, a Mexican melodrama that must be seen to be believed.
And, Last but never Least, we play MASH.
As always, Daniel has provided three choices for each of the categories below. I supplied a fourth choice. The random number is twelve! Let the die fall where they may!
M A S H
Coast of Wales
Coast of Newfoundland
# of Kids
Rescued from a Train Accident
The Little Match Girl
Suspicious-Looking Black Car Chauffeured by Silent Bald Woman
Peppy Vintage Sportscar with Complete Works of Stereolab Embedded in Stereo
Rickshaw Pulled by Various Muzzled Ex-Rivals
Not bad, Daniel!! Though I'm not really sure why you're driving around a Fit and living in a shack when you're so rich. Is this one of those undercover things where you attempt to get into the lives of, oh, say, thirtysomethings who write for this blog? If so, you need to do more research on champagne!
And now! THE TOTALLY AWESEOME GIVEAWAY!
Okay, FYAers, let's do this!! Like I said, we have THREE (!) prize packs to give away! So here are the contest rules! Reply to this post and let us know your favorite break up story - either how you got over a breakup or how bad the breakup was or just something funny that happened during a breakup. We'll pick the best three stories and you'll win one of these awesome prizes! Winners will be announced next Friday, February 2nd.
I dunno . . . this guy?