Friday, May 18, 2012

Interview with FURIOUSLY HAPPY Jenny Lawson

Jenny Lawson is The Bloggess, author of the funny memoir LET'S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED, and FURIOUSLY HAPPY, both of which she also reads on audio.

LOWE)  My impression of most of west Texas, having barely survived driving through it several times, is of a blasted landscape inhabited by reckless serial killers behind the wheel.  What are your impressions, and how much did it influence you as a writer?

LAWSON)  It feels differently behind the wheel.  And I was more of a mass murderer.  Serial killing requires commitment.
LOWE)  How did your blog originate, and to what do you attribute its success?

LAWSON)  I started my blog because I wasn’t allowed to curse on the parenting blog I was writing for.  The need to curse was strong with me.  Much like the Force was with Luke Skywalker.

LOWE)  Was the book your idea, or did you get tired of being told "you should write a book"?

LAWSON)  I started writing the book 11 years ago and then started blogging to help me find my voice.  Then I got distracted.  This is why it took 11 years.

LOWE)  As a writer myself, I began steering toward the right, and now I mostly steer to the left.  Middle of the roaders can get clipped on either side.  So, is Bush or Obama the worst President in history?  If neither, then who?  Or do you care?

LAWSON)  I’m the only Democrat in my neighborhood but I keep it under wraps so I don’t get stabbed.  Honestly, I think William Henry Harrison was the worst president since he only made it a month before croaking.  The man had worse commitment than I do.

LOWE)  Your book is both true and false.  Which anecdotes do readers most often guess wrong about.  And who graded your papers?

LAWSON)  People think most of my book isn’t real until they see the photographs I had to include so that people would stop assuming I was a liar.  The stuff that’s not actually true are some of the details of who sold me drugs and who sent me pictures of their genitals.  Those names were changed to protect the not-so-innocent-but-possibly-litigious.

LOWE)  What was your experience like in narrating the book? 

LAWSON)  It was…NaaaaaaRATE!  That was my impression of Tony the Tiger saying that it was great.  It’s a terrible impression.  Also, it wasn’t always great.  I have anxiety disorder so I was terrified most of the time.  Luckily it didn’t show up so much on the recording.
LOWE)  The outtakes at the end seem unrehearsed, and off the cuff.  Were they written down, or were you winging it?

LAWSON)  I winged it.  Wung it?  Wang it?  What the past perfect of “winging it”?  I did that.

LOWE)   Have you ever done stand-up?  A movie script?  What's next for you?

LAWSON)  Nope.  The idea of performing makes me vomity.  I would be the grossest stand-up comedian ever.  Next up is book two.  With a little luck this one will take less than 11 years. 

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