More reader comments/questions (2)
Q. Have you sold the rights to "Youth in Revolt" yet? I am a Bay Area independent film maker who would love to see this made into a non-Hollywood film. Love your work. (Mario, San Bruno, Ca.)
A. No one owns the film rights to Youth in Revolt, but the TV rights presently are held by MTV. This fact tends to discourage film producers.
Q. Do you suppose that we would suffer from this political quagmire if George W. Bush had campaigned using an air ship? (David, Pasadena)
A. Very likely not. The voters would have been so impressed with W's plucky audacity they'd have voted for him in droves--even those confused Buchanan voters in Palm Beach County.Parisian donut
Q. Any plans for a book signing here in Denver? The Tattered Cover would love to have you. (Carrington, Denver)
A. I'd love to give a reading in Denver. Someday I hope to have a publisher who could afford to send me there. In the meantime, book stores can help by stocking my books and recommending them for the Book Sense promotion program.
Q. How do I get published? I done everything that the guide books advise. I'm a 48 year old frustrated artist. I have a gun in my mouth as I write this. If you hear a loud noise you need not reply. (John)
A. I understand your frustration, John. I've been struggling to get into print for 25 years. Finally, I just said the hell with it and published my books myself. It's expensive and heaps of work, but it's a strategy that worked for me. You might check out the many options now for publishing over the net. I found my first agent by sending out query letters with samples of my work. Even having an agent, though, is no guarantee of attracting a publisher. Somehow you have to find the will to be persistent and maintain a positive outlook.
Q. My affection for Youth In Revolt, I must admit, borders on obsession. Having grown up in Marin county, and attended Redwood High, you can hardly imagine my excitement upon returning once again to the world of Twisp, this time in Revolting Youth. I now attend Sarah Lawrence College, where young girls such as myself attempt to become writers. I am sure you are familiar with this precarious task. Perhaps this reads like a catalogue of compliments, but frankly, that is what it is. When I return to California this summer, for what will be a much needed break, I hope to be able to attend a book signing of some sort. I imagine you can not foresee your engagements so far in advance (I have a hard time foreseeing the next week) but again, any ounce of info you could send my way....I finished Revolting Youth with the overwhelming feeling that the story has not yet been called to a close. In other words, I predict a trilogy. Could this be your intent? I certainly hope so. (Abby, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY)
A. I will keep you posted on potential Bay Area readings next summer. Yes, it is possible that Book 5 may be rattling down the chute some day. Nick remains his usual indefatigable self; it's the author's stamina we have to worry about.
Q. Have you thought about trying to write a story like "youth in revolt", but from the point of view of a girl? I bet it would be a challenge, but one you could master. (Stephanie, Windham, New Hampshire)
A. Hey, I think I did that already. Civic Beauties is told from the point of view of two teenage girls. What a challenge. I think I prefer writing from the standpoint of a pigeon.
Q. Are the stories of Nick Twisp based on truth? (lgefge, Czech republic)
A. I don't doubt it. Very likely most of the incidents in the book have happened to people somewhere. I just haven't met them yet.
Q. Are you planning some new books about Nick Twisp? (Milan, Czech Republic)
A. Yes, I'm hoping to get in the Guinness Book of World Records by writing 312 sequels. By then Nick should be up to age 24 and the author to 102. Readers can help by buying a T-shirt or two and wearing them among their bookish friends.
Q. Who is your agent? Did you revise your work after rejection from Scott Meredith? Thanks. (Michael, Florida)
A. My agent is Winifred Golden of Castiglia Literary Agency. I did not materially revise Youth in Revolt after submitting it to Scott Meredith.
Q. All four books about Nick (and also the Mambo) are GREAT! Will you come to Czech republic? I would like to have your signature in my books... (Velvet Moon, Czech republic, Prague)
A. I almost went to the Czech Republic (and Germany) this fall. I hope to go there one of these days. I look forward to meeting the fans of Nick in Europe.
Q. Should I drop out of college if all I do is drink and do the minimum amount of work? (mike, Ohio)
A. Don't be silly. If all the college students in your situation dropped out, the nation's campuses would be empty. Your experience is pretty typical (except for my freshman roommate--yikes, what a wonk). Enjoy your college years while they last, and help keep all those professors employed.
Q. Sorry, but no question, only a congratulation from your Hungarian editor. I hope that after the first three Nick novels I will have the chance to edit more Nicks in Hungarian.
(Andras Totisz (nickname:Teas) Europe/Central Europe/Hungary)
A. More Nicks in Hungarian is always a possibility. Perhaps Nick will have to hide out in Budapest someday. Great cover art on the Hungarian editions! I hope everyone books a flight soon to Hungary to check them out.
Q. Two questions. Is MTV doing anything with the rights to "Youth in Revolt", and is there a single bookstore in Chicago that stocks "Revolting Youth", because I haven't been able to find it anywhere! (Jefferson Root, Chicago)
A. MTV appears not to be doing a whole lot with their rights to "Youth in Revolt." Perhaps they are using them as a coaster in the employee lounge. Alas, large chain book stores generally can't be bothered with small press books. And I know of no independent Chicago book stores stocking "Revolting Youth." Your best bet may be obtaining it on the web.
Q. what are the titles of the four nick twisp books that you’ve written? (toonces, Sacramento)
A. The U.S. titles are "Youth in Revolt" (containing "Youth in Revolt," "Youth in Bondage," and "Youth in Exile") and "Revolting Youth" (containing "Youth in Disguise"). Nobody said comic fiction has to be simple.
Q. I missed your signing at some fair in San Bernardino less than a month ago; is it fair for me to blame this on traffic, and then demand you reappear within 30 minutes of my home so that this will not be a problem? (Caroline Cadwell, Naples Island, Long Beach, CA)
A. Yes, it is eminently fair. Fortunately, I'm available for personal home appearances. My fee is $5,000 plus expenses. (Pricey, but still cheaper than Henry Kissinger.)
Q. My ex-boyfriend is convinced that the pigeons in Union Square know who he is since he skates there all the time. He swears that they talk to him. Is there any truth to this, or is it a good thing we broke up? (Libby, San Francisco)
A. The pigeons of Union Square are known for their loquacity, so it is more than likely your ex-boyfriend has enjoyed some stimulating conversations with them. Still, this does not necessarily qualify him as good dating material.
Q. y.i.r. seems to parallel catcher in the rye in many ways. among other things, n. twisp is a promiscuous holden, francois is to n. twisp as jim steele is to holden, sheeni is a progressive jane, and trent seems to be a closet stradlater. there must be influence of some kind? (sibby, boston)
A. I think it's a stretch to look for parallels. I read "Catcher" in college, but it wasn't really my cup of tea. Any books about intelligent teenagers will have similarities. Better antecedents to Nick can be found in "Seventeen" by Booth Tarkington and the 1960s TV show "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis," which I confess I watched with pleasure as a teen.
Q. No question, just a story: I was one of those people who actually read your 50 page excerpt you used as an ad ploy and I must say I was hooked after the first paragraph and couldn't wait to get the real thing. Fortunately, I work at Moe's [book store] and was able to convince the new book buyer that it was the greatest book I'd ever read. It must have worked, because she ordered 10 for the Xmas season. A few years later, when Doubleday put it out, the General Manager finally read it and agreed it was one of the funniest things he'd ever read.
I own a review copy of the original Aivia edition which I've read six or seven times. A few years back I bought a copy of the Doubleday edition to use as a reading copy, but may never do so after reading here that they asked you to butcher it. Bravo for self-publishing your other titles. I've asked the book buyer to stock REVOLTING YOUTH for the Xmas season. I've already read it and it's a worthy sequel, though one can never match the jolt of a first true love. (Matthew W, Berkeley)
A. Glad to hear that 50-page sample I was passing out around Berkeley found at least a few readers. It's a wonder I didn't get arrested for littering. Much thanks to Moe's and other independent book stores for stocking my books. I was just in Moe's a few weeks ago buying "You Can't Win" by Jack Black and "Reading Lyrics" by Robert Gottlief and Robert Kimball. Moe's selection of out-of-the-mainstream books remains the best I've ever seen. Nick should fit right in.
Q. I read your novel, "Youth in Revolt," and I am wondering what your theme is on that particular novel. I loved it by the way. (Cori, C.C., Tx)
A. These queries should not be phrased like exam questions. The "theme" of "Youth in Revolt" was to be amusing to the reader.
Q. Hey did you base any of Nick twisps experiences from personal experience? (John, Pennsylvania).
A. Only the passages relating to self-abuse.
Q. First of all, I'd like to say that I loved your book Youth in Revolt. I know it sounds kind of hackneyed, but it is the only way of expressing how I really felt about the book. Even though I can't relate to what happened to Nick, it is evident that every teen experiences what he experienced to some extent. Well, keep up the good work. (Doug, Florence, MT)
A. Wow, they've heard of Nick in Florence, Montana. Things are looking up.
Q. Has any one approached you with the idea of a nick twisp movie or adaptation of any of your other book? (tenchi)
A. Many have approached, but few have coughed up the dollars. I hope someday to auction off the film rights to my exciting life story. It should be a real blockbuster.
Q. Hey man! Why have u done to write Nick's stories. I'd like to read more. Because it's great. I hope u will write more book. (Uruly, Budapest in Hungary)
A. Is that second sentence a question? Apparently not. But it's always nice to hear from Hungary.
Q. Do you write the 5th volume of Nick Twisp's story? (Peter, Czech Rep.)
A. How do you say "eventually" in Czech?
Q. Are you aware that you are God? (John, Sacramento)
A. I've been aware of that for some time, but my wife is still having trouble with the concept.
Q. I just wanted to tell you that I really do think that your books are great! My son and I started reading them about a year ago and just got the second book about a week ago, for Christmas as you can guess. We tried to get it earlier but when we ordered the book from Borders but the wait was too long. just another fan telling you to write another book about Nick Twisp, my personal hero. (Paul, Oakland CA)
A. Lucky Paul is doubly blessed. He lives in Nick's home town and has the same name as Sheeni's brother.
Q. How come Nick didn’t have any problems with his teeth? I mean all these huge breakfasts in Flampert's, preparing him for hard times... (Adam, Czech rep)
A. Good point, Adam. But you'll notice that both Nick and Sheeni do a lot of energetic flossing--a hygiene must for heavy donut consumers.
Q. hello, I love "Youth in Revolt". my sister bought me it for christmas and I havent put it down since. I read 300 pages in 3 days. and I just ordered the sequel. but my question is, did any parts of the book actually take place? thank you. (ed, north huntingdon, pa)
A. Some readers evidently have trouble with the concept of fiction. Must be all those memoirs being published these days.
Q. when can we hope to see "Revolting Youth" in our German bookshops? (Arnold W., Dusseldorf, Germany)
A. My foreign agent is still trying to interest German publishers in the new book. If any German publishers read this, please respond!
Q. Memories of ArtieQ. I missed nick so much after the last page of Y I R that I wrote a song borderlining association and we play it in my indy rock band, that is beginning to tour... (jim, columbia, sc)
A. I can only hope your band measures up to the high standards set by the Young Dickheads.
Q. No doubt this is a common question, but why do you scramble brand names in YiR (i.e. "McDanold's")? Is it a legal thing or what? (Riana, Fremont, CA)
A. It was pure self-publisher paranoia. I didn't want to get sued.
Q. This has nothing to do with YIR, or, well, anything in your literary career. At least I'm not asking for yet another sequel. It's just a question. I'm trying to revive the not-so-long lost art of singer/songwriter. Would it be a mistake to use obscure-ish words and phrases like hairshirt and "crossing the Rubicon" in a song while still trying to appeal to the masses? (James, St Louis)
A. It seems to me that Cole Porter appealed to the masses and he didn't dumb down his songs. I say go for it. See my comments on the Young Dickheads above.
Q. What aspects of your life inspire you write such fantastically outrageous novels? (Steve-O, north of the bay)
A. My guess is I have too much time on my hands. I should take up a nice hobby like juggling bowling balls.
Q. First off, I want to say that I am OBSESSED with YIR, it is the greatest thing invented since oxygen, and I live to read the books. I have read the first (YIR) more than 30 times, cover to cover, and just received the second book for Christmas and have already read that one over 20 (It was not quite as long, as you know). My question is after the Nick YIR series of books is finished, I was wondering if you plan to write a set of diaries from sheeni's POV. IT would make for quite the interesting read. If I recall correctly from the first book, her diaries were encoded and Nick inquired as to if maybe "in 100 years maybe they would be decoded and cause a literary sensation." Sheeni says that would not be so because her words would pretty much have lost all real meaning. Well, it has not been 100 years, so soon would be the time to decode them so as they do not loose everything.
Also, it appears in this second book that Sheeni is lying to Nick an awful lot, and it is hinted around that Sheeni has actually slept with Trent. Is this so? Did she really lie to Nick in the first place? My life really can not go on much longer if I do not find out what is going to happen to Nick and Sheeni in... Well, I don't want to spoil it, for those who have not finished the sequel... (Barron, age 17, Conway, Nh)
A. I'm not convinced it would be interesting to readers to go over the same material from Sheeni's POV. And can anyone ever be sure what's going on in her head? Did she sleep with Trent? We may never know the answer to that question.
Q. Hi. I saw that my friend Barron had a message on here, and since he is the one that got me hooked on this book, I thought I might ask a question. First off, I loved the books (all 4 of them) in the YIR series, and also Civic Beauties and Fresco Pigeon Mambo. I have read the original YIR over 35 times also, it is so true to life...at least as much as one can be for fiction.
Anyway, I noticed that a lot of people on here asked specific questions about the characters as if they were real, and even if they were based on real people, they are still fiction. So I thought I would ask a question about why the characters came out the way they did. Actually I have 2 questions.
1) I was wondering if any of the characters were perhaps based on people that you know or knew as a kid; such as a fat smelly perverted kid like Dwayne, or a pimpled 14 year old computer junkie like Nick? 2) I know writers always say that the characters they make are always little parts of themselves, but I was wondering which character you think you are most like in the YIR book, or any of the other books you have written.
I would say I am most like Nick, only because I relate to all the crap his life has and I admire how he deals with it.
What about you? (Bob, Conway, NH)
A. Generally, the characters in my novels are not based on real people. For example, I have never met anyone like Dwayne (and hope I never do). The character in Youth in Revolt I most resemble is, alas, Nick's father.
Q. Has anyone optioned Youth in Revolt to make it into a feature film? If so, who? I am a writer/ producer, love the book, and am interested in its development. (Shelly, Miami, Florida).
A. The film rights are available, but the TV rights are tied up. This fact tends to discourage film producers.
Q. Why don't you come and do a guest appearance at Tattered Cover in Denver, CO? Everyone would come!!!! (S.O.S., under a bed in my smelly grandmother's house...)
A. I hear the altitude is pretty bad in Denver. I'm used to sea level or below.
Q. I am a total addict of your books and have shouted at local bookstores for lack of copies. They've got that underway, and I will not shut up until I see your novels back on the shelf, (I've been convincing people to buy the books.) What I wanted to ask you, is if you were planning to make Youth in Revolt a TV show, I would love to play Joanie. I could totally look like Joanie and I feel a bond with her, perhaps because I'd like to run away from my family and live in Marina Del Ray with a roommate and be totally cool at the same time. Please keep me in mind, I would do anything to have the role of Joanie- I could provide an acting resume or anything. (Kristen, Edmonton, Canada).
A. Good news, Kristen. You are now number two on my list of people to play Joanie, right after Julia Roberts.
Q. I was born and raised in Twisp, WA. Are you familiar with the town, and/or do you have a connection with it, vis-a-vis Nick Twisp? (Kevin, ex-Twisp, WA)
A. We have friends who live in Twisp, WA, and, yes, Nick was named after that scenic mountain town. Seems like a nice place to grow up.
Q. I first read Youth In Revolt three years ago and have just finished the sequel Revolting Youth. Though I loved Revolting Youth I was still disappointed that Lefty did not appear. I'm wondering if we'll ever see Lefty in the future? (Chivas, Seattle)
A. Funny you should mention that. I've been thinking the same thing lately. Look for Lefty to return!
Q. first of all youth in revolt is the best book I’ve ever read. why is lefty gone for so much of the book. and why does something bad happen to Nick whenever he gets close to Sheeni? (bman, ca)
A. Lefty has a larger role in the Aivia Press edition, but his appearance in Book II was cut from the Doubleday edition to save on paper costs and make the type bigger. Miss Ulansky answers your second question: "The course of true love is never easy, or so 10,000 screenwriters [and novelists] would have us believe."
Q. I never thought there could be such a thing as fun reading until I read your book. At camp my counselor read it to the kids in our cabin and we could all relate to Nick in some way or another. I was wondering do you have and children or know any teenagers that you talk to. Because being a teenager myself Nick seemed like a real kid. (Ben, Pa.)
A. I have no children or teenagers. That is how I am able to maintain my sense of humor. I know a few teens, and find them an interesting species to study.
Q. First...on this web page, they said previously asked questions would not be answered, however I read like, 20 variations of the question as to whether or not the characters were based on real people..........o well....I have a few things to say....I turned to a random page in YIR after having it around the house for about 2 weeks as my brother was borrowing it from a friend....I got hooked and read all 3 of the first books in under 48 hours, and I must say it was the best 48 hrs of my life.....excluding my suffering math grade....you are truly a genius...I have no particular talent of my own, so I choose to admire yours...I plan on reading all of your books...COME TO MIAMI. (HeadCase, Miami, Florida)
A. I'm not old enough to go to Florida. People from Ohio don't do that until they hit 60.
Q. how about some twisp-esque marketing schemes...twisp tshirts, watches, bookmarks...I would buy it, and I think anyone who has read the books would. thanks for making me laugh out loud numerous times on the dreary shaking subways of chicago. (pedro, chicago)
A. Take your nose out of that book, Pedro, and you'll notice that lots of Twispesque merchandise is available here (click on the order form and go wild).
Q. Ok well I just read all the questions and I had an idea--tell me what you think . What if you added on to this website a chat forum for us Nick Twisp reading C.D payne loving teens of america? where we could chat with each other and discuss your novels? do you like the idea yes no maby? I also would like to say that I think it is impressive that you went to Harvard yet still manage to be so down to earth (Owen, 16, Sarasota, FL)
A. The chat forum is a possibility. I will look into it. Actually, I'm quite a stuck up little snob.
Q. Why on earth does MTV have the rights to Nick? did you not see Dead Man on Campus...MTV has a bad habit of butchering its films So I ask again why and how MTV? (Anthony, 15, Brattleboro, VT)
A. Can't say I'm a big-time watcher of MTV--not enough Frank to suit me. Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time as a way to get the book publicized. Fortunately, the time remaining on their rights contract is rapidly running out.
Q. Have you personally had a chance to view the play? If so, how do you feel about it? Is it true to the novel? Thank you and Youth in Revolt is officially my favorite book. (Mike, Walnut Creek, California)
A. I have viewed the play many times (not as many times as Carl the director though). It is a fun evening of theater and true to the spirit of the book.
Q. I bought Frisco Pigeon Mambo to read on vacation last month. Not being aware of your work and enticed by the cover I thought I would give it a try. While at the counter of the Sebastopol bookstore a young woman congratulated me on my choice. Given the difference in our age (me over 50, she under 25) I was afraid I might be making a mistake. Needless to say I loved the book and last night finished Youth in Revolt. Looking through your web site though, I am a little concerned. I may be your oldest fan! Please put my mind at rest, if I go to the S. Rosa production will I be the oldest member of the audience? (John, Santa Rosa)
A. Fear not, John. I know several fans of Nick in their 80s. Some of them I'm not even related to. You may be in an age bracket minority at the play though.
Q. I read in one of your interviews that Youth in Revolt started out as a much longer novel and was edited for publishing purposes. Where can I get my hands on the complete version? (Bo, San Francisco)
A. Fear not. All of the cut passages from Youth have been published in the book Cut to the Twisp: The Lost Parts of Youth in Revolt and Other Stories, available now from Aivia Press. It contains nearly 100 pages of text cut from the U.S. editions. Or, you might be able to scrounge up an Aivia edition of Youth (with the full text) on the Internet.
Q. Mr Payne, I have first read Youth in Revolt several times in Czech, Pigeon's Mambo as well. Will there be Czech edition of Revolting Youth and Civic Beauty? And working in London at the present, where can I find the English version of your books? I haven't been lucky so far. Concerning the book "Cut to the Twisp: The Lost Parts of Youth in Revolt and Other Stories" is there a chance of Czech translation as well? And finally, my wife is flying to Washington shortly. I would like her to bring me Civic Beauty and "Nick 4", where should she look for it? Thank you and respect for the great work! (Peter, originally Slovakia, now London)
A. Revolting Youth is out in the Czech Republic; Civic Beauties is not likely to be translated. Nor is Cut to the Twisp as Czech versions have the full text. I doubt if any of my books are available now in UK. In Washington a store called Politics and Prose may stock some of my books.
Q. Hello Again to the God I worship: This is the girl that you've promised the role of Joanie to if Julia Roberts is not available. I'm hoping you still live up to that promise, and I'll try to make sure that Julia Roberts is a very busy lady. : ) I was thinking that you should come up to Canada and come talk to everyone in Edmonton and I could be your special assistant. I'm famous in Edmonton, because I got strawberry seeds all over the library book. (Edmonton Public Library has only one copy currently!) You see, I was at a juice bar drinking my drink- and reading, because I have never laughed at a book out loud, until I came to this funny part in the book, and strawberry juice and the seeds came out and on to the book. I did a pretty good job of cleaning it though. And to your eldest fan, when you're reading literature, you're ageless- and if you're reading Nick Twisp, you're obviously very young, cool and in touch with the groovy people. (That's us!!) I honest to god hope that there will be one mo!
re book- (perhaps Lefty's problems can get straightened out. haha! Get it?) Love to you all and may you feel the warmth of my love, (Kristen, Around Edmonton, Canada)
A. Kristen, you're still in the running. That new Oscar may have priced Julia right out of our market.
Q. I just read one of the questions to you which mentioned that Doubleday made you chop some of YIR down. Is there a version available that is different from the current one available from DD? Unfortunately the only thing left for me to read by you would be that, and your response to this question. Please write more. (Ken, Long Island, NY)
A. The only U.S. edition with the full text is the 1993 Aivia Press hardcover (hard to find). See my note above about Cut to the Twisp, recently published with all the deleted passages.
Q. I’m looking forward to the Cut to the Twisp book. What are you working on now? and where can I get an "I'm single, Let's mingle" t-shirt? (Brian, Dayton, oh)
A. Like most guys in America I'm working on keeping my grass mowed. Check back soon for your t-shirt. We may have them shortly.
Q. more of a comment... a few friends of mine are starting a Yahoo! Club dedicated to nick twisp. just trying to gather followers!
(happitree, Miami, FL)
A. Good thing I'm not like Groucho Marx. Any club that would accept him as a member he didn't care to join.
Q. First of all, I am sorry to read about how much trouble you had getting Youth in Revolt published. I don't want to imagine what it would be like to have never read it. Secondly, was Sheeni set up to be an unlikeable character? What I mean is Nick is obviously the hero of the story so shouldn't he deserve someone who appreciates his genius by at the very least having sex with him whenever he wants? I guess I just feel that Sheeni is acting ignorant about sexuality with her out of date mind set. She seems to try to fit into a role of what girls "should" be and she just ends up being a prude. (Gwyllion, Orange County, California)
A. If you think Sheeni's a prude, you obviously didn't have the luxury of growing up in Ohio in the 1950s. Those folks had prudery down pat. Reactions to Sheeni among readers are mixed. Some find her most sympathetic and appealing.
Q. in revolting youth, you made reference to a "spiff" several times. at first I thought it was a typo, but then I saw it again. I think you have it confused for a spliff--which is a cone shaped joint. just thought I’d bring it to your attention for avoidance of further embarrassment on the trivial smoking jargon front. but the book reads great otherwise, so thanks a lot. also, did you have an editor for that book? there are a ton of typos and complete words missing from the text. (Mike, worcester ma)
A. Thanks for clearing up that joint misuse. Authors often have trouble with slang words that haven't quite made it into the dictionary. Guess I've been hangin' with the wrong crowd. All those typos in Revolting Youth are in there to keep you readers on your toes and to continue the tradition set by the first Aivia Press edition of Youth in Revolt. It's a mess.
Q. What's with the boom in writing? I love the fact that you are writing more, but why so many and so sudden? Did you have this material ready, but not send it out? (George, Bakersfield)
A. I produce at my usual faltering pace, but things backed up for a few years while my agent attempted to interest the indifferent publishing world in my stuff. This bottleneck has been cleared away through the tender mercies of the vast staff at Aivia Press.
Q. C.D., I just read your book and I found it delightful. I was wondering how much critical reception of the work and all the mention of J.D. Salinger makes you feel? Is this a blessing or a real pain in your ass? Great work, it's nice having such a fresh electric voice in fiction again! (Scott Huntington, West Virginia)
A. I don't mind if Mr. Salinger doesn't. He may in fact be annoyed by reviewers' tendencies to make facile comparisons to his books, but fortunately he hasn't been calling many press conferences lately. It's always nice to be appreciated in West Virginia, where I lived as a small lad and which produced many of my noteworthy coal-mining ancestors.
Q. First off, I am going to thank you for writing the YIR books, as they are some of the only things that are getting me through my pathetic "life". Ok. My question is, if Youth in Revolt gets made in to a movie, would you be happy about it? What current stars would you want to be cast as Nick and Sheeni? (Ronna, Stanwood, Washington)
A. Since I just finished a screenplay of Book I of YIR, I would be most pleased if it got made into a movie--assuming my script was not completely altered as is Hollywood's wont. I used to think Melissa Joan Hart would make a good Sheeni, but she may be getting too long in the tooth. I have no idea for someone to play Nick. Anybody have any suggestions?
Q. I love youth and revolt, and I was so excited to hear you speak about a year ago in portland. I now go to harvard, and I live in wigg. did I read somewhere that you also lived in wigg? if so, which one. (I live in G, on the third floor.) anyway, hope you come to visit harvard soon. (Leila, Portland, OR)
A. I did live in fashionable Wigglesworth Hall. Alas, after all these years I've forgotten my exact address. When entering the Yard through the main Mass. Ave. gate, it was the first entry in the first building to the right on the first floor. We could hear the subway rumbling by, though after the first few days we somehow tuned it out. This is my 30th reunion year (how time flies), but I don't expect to be in Cambridge soon.
Q. You wanted a suggestion for a character to play Nick...What about Malcolm, from the Fox show Malcolm in the Middle? (Steve, Chicago)
A. I think his look may be too quirky for Nick and he's too identified with that show.
Q. C.D., as far as a boy who might play a good Nick in a movie version, there is an actor who often guest stars on the show Boston Public on the Fox network and was the main kid star on Freaks and Geeks a few years ago. I can never remember his name, but maybe you know who I mean or someone else can help me out with the name of the kid. I just think that he would make a good Nick, because he could definitely pull off the smart ass type of routine. Plus, he looks kind of what I picture Nick to look like. Eh, just a thought. (Bob, Conway, NH)
A. I haven't seen either of those shows, but thanks for the suggestion.
Q. I was wondering if the radio drama will ever be available in the US at any time, or if there is another group that is doing it in the US now? (Bob, Conway, NH)
A. No to both questions. Sorry.
Q. I find it really hard to believe that with such a huge, cult following now, that "mainstream" publishers still hesitate to accept and publish your work. I think "Youth in Revolt" is the funniest book I've read in years. When I first read it a few years back I simply couldn't put it down. The morning after I started the book, I got up extra early and didn't put the book down until I'd finished it..at 11pm that night. Good God did I have to pee! I recently went to the Dominican Republic to visit some of my wife's relatives and I loaned Revolting Youth to one of her cousins. (I'd been reading it on the plane, and bugging the hell out of everyone by laughing the whole way down). So, now you know that somewhere down in the Caribbean, a young man is perfecting his English from your great work (because I forgot to get my copy back from the little bugger before we left). I can't wait for "Cut to the Twisp" and hope you continue the Nick Twisp saga. And I agree with the other questioner, if they make "Youth" a film, the kid from Bostom Public and Freaks and Geeks would be perfect. (His name is John Francis Daley, by the way). Keep up the great work. (John, Springfield, VA)
A. Thanks, John, for introducing Nick to the Dominican Republic. Wonder how you say "Thanks a pantsful" in Spanish? Looks like we have a strong candidate for Nick. Any recommendations for Sheeni?
Q. I guess this isn't really a question (but I'll try to make it into one)...I actually did a project for one of my classes a couple years ago in which I had to pick a book to be made into a movie, and I had to pick a cast for it, and naturally I chose Youth in Revolt. I know she's kind of old for the part, but I always, ALWAYS saw Christina Ricci playing Sheeni. Also, do you ever make any appearances in the New York area? (Robin, new paltz, NY)
A. Yes, Ms. Ricci in her younger days could have made a sultry Sheeni Saunders. I was last in NYC in 1970--have things changed much since then?
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