More reader comments/questions (6)
Q. How seriously do you take people who actually spend the time to write out a question on your site and how seriously do you take someone who repeatedly asks you dumb questions because they revere you as a god 2nd only to Stephen Sondheim? Also im just wondering, but did you like Nick first learn about masturbation when you were 9 years old? This seems a little young to me. Don't get me wrong, I would have been overjoyed if I had learned the art of whacking off at such a young age, it would have saved me hours of my life from playing worthless computer games. Last question is this: For someone so obviously brilliant and fact-ridden, why does Sheeni take that cigarette from Jerry while at the diner. This has always bothered me. Thanks for your time. (I Love Sheeni Saunders, Up North Of Uriah)
A. Sorry, I may not take answering these questions all that seriously as I am a rather frivolous person. I'm told that masturbation is common in toddlers and even younger. Guess you were a late bloomer. Sheeni accepted the cigarette from Jerry as a pose, nothing more. She's too vain to smoke because she knows it hastens the deterioration of one's looks.
Q. No question really, just wanted to chime in and say I love your books. I like to imagine that they are the sort of low-brow genius that the critics can hardly stomach but attract cult followers in droves. Something like Kevin Smith's movies, maybe. I didn't realize it until I was done with the book and could finally permit myself to read the back (it always ruins things before), but I guess you graduated from Harvard around the same time as my parents. I'll put a good word in for you as a speaker at Class Day for the class of '06. I think that when (if) I get my diploma, I could use a solid reminder that being plucky and eccentric CAN sometimes get you far in this world. (Andrew, Cambridge, Mass.)
A. Well, they can get you somewhere, but "far" may be a bit optimistic in my case. I do seem to appeal more to readers than to the gatekeepers of the literary establishment, may they all drown in deep pools of lyrical prose. Yes, I'm available for Class Day wisdom imparting and festive hobnobbing.
Q. Why does Nick stay with Sheeni when she says that his baby isn't even his? (Katie, Greensburg, PA)
A. 'Cause luv can be a heartbreakin' and gnarly thing.
Q. I am a teenager with the capacity to implement sophisticated rhetoric, however, in everyday conversation, I use appropriate language for my peers. my question is, is a vast vocabulary gained, of is it a natural occurrence that is simply unavoidable to those fortunate few? (jeff, yorktown, va)
A. I believe it is caused by the same gene responsible for one's throwing like a girl.
Q. Dobrý den, èetla jsem vase knihy a ráda bych Vám podìkovala za úzasné ètení. Nejsem dost vzdìlaná na to abych Vám napsala v Angliètinì. (Zdenka, Czech Republick - Prague)
A. Good question. Let me get back to you on that one.
Q. Alright, we all love your book, so what can we do to help you spread the word. I asked my teacher to assign it to my english class, alas, it was in vain. (Franky, NY, NY)
A. That's so rotten. Worse, I suppose they're going to ask you to read some dreary screed by George Eliot or Charles Dickens. I recommend never missing an opportunity to chat up strangers in the subway about this funny kid named Nick. Or how about picketing Doubleday for not promoting the book enough? That you could do in your own home town.
Q. I was once a college student and was once skimming through an old edition of Rolling Stone from the late eighties at our school library instead of writing a paper due the next day. It featured a cartoon of the great David Byrne and the artist was listed as C.D. Payne. At the same time I was reading Y.I.R. and listening to lots of Talking Heads. The other Nick Twisp fans in my life also have an enormous passion for the T.H.'s. and David Byrne. I was wondering if that artist who drew David is the same genius who brought to the world the wonderful Nick Twisp.
(Matthew, Long Island)
A. That was likely well-known illustrator C.F. Payne, one of the best in the biz. I've often thought that he could do the cover for one of my books, and then Alexander Payne could make the movie.
Q. hi! my name is ivana and I am from little country in europa-croatia.i do not know have you heard about this country before, so let me tell you that we do not speak english so sorry if there is some mistake in my writting. I borrow your book"diary of nick twips"before one day.i read about the book in some newspapers and I decided to borrow it.i have one word for book-it is FANTASTIC!i read it twice in yust one day.nick is like the most male teenagers. he is so perverse and funny! sheeni is yust like all girls-you never know what is she thinking or planning! I there are so many teenagers like nick. greetings from ivana (IVANA, SIBENIK,CROATIA)
A. Let's hope all the strife is over in the countries of the former Yugoslavia, and they can get on with important stuff like reading about Nick. Thanks for checking in, Ivana.
Q. Hey I don’t know if this question has been asked because it’s a killer trying to remember all of them. But how do you write? Do you start with an outline, the characters, the place of action, what?! Whatever you do it works! My friend Brandon found the book by chance some how, now everyone in our school wants to borrow it. and I went to the library and all their copies are out..... to somebody at our school! So I want to congratulate you on your success and tell you that I love your books as well. (jimmy, napa, california)
A. It's nice to be appreciated right next door, so to speak. Outlines are for wimps. I just start writing and see where the text will take me. Marginally interesting fact: I got one of my present Airstream trailers in Napa.
Q. So you wrote this horrible book. My son has read that book and I swear im gonna burn it. He is only 12 years old. Why don’t you put stinkin' label or a rating on it because parent need to know what there kids are reading, and I know that parents don’t want there kids reading that book! I swear if I ever catch my kid reading one of your books again I’ll buy a million copies and burn them all. (Collin, vallejo, CA)
A. This, I suspect, may be a gag. Surely one should be pleased when one's studious offspring decides to tackle a large and imposing tome of obvious literary merit. Feel free to buy and burn as many of my books as you please. I could use the income.
Q. dear mr. Payne, I love your books and I really waiting for write fifth diary of Nick Twisp. I´am in nick´s age and so I can say that nick´s problems are my problems too, but I don´t know if it´s possible. Your books (I´ve read 3, but for 17 times) are great and funny. My question is here: How did you feel when you were in nick´s age? Same as a Nick? thanks (mordancy, Czech republic)
A. Generally I felt OK as a teen--not as blissed out as some, not as suicidal as others. My life was nothing like Nick's, for which I suppose I should be grateful.
Q. In your opinion when did Frank Sinatra go flat? I say in between 1971 and 1975 but my father insists that it was earlier. I was just wondering what your thoughts were. (I Love Sheeni Saunders, Up North Of Uriah)
A. Frank hit his peak in the early '60s, but I think he was OK for another decade. After that he was just phoning it in. Still, you can't blame entertainers for wanting to continue doing what they do. Look at Mickey Rooney, who is now playing the county fair circuit at age 82. I would buy a ticket to see a show business legend like him.
Q. I love the book. But please don't make it into a movie. As it is, everyone who has read YIR pictures the characters just the way they like them, and a movie would spoil it in a way. Sorry this isn't a question! DON'T LET SHEENI HAVE THE BABY! (james, San diego, ca)
A. Bad news, dude. Artisan Entertainment is in the process of optioning the book for a movie. It would appear you have a thing against filmed novels and infants. [Later note: Interestingly Artisan got sold the day we were supposed to close on the deal. Another reason it took 17 years to get the movie made.]
Q. Thanx U very much for this tetralogi. Nick has became a part of my life, although Im not exactly teenager :-). I tried read it in original, but my language skill were not sufficiently, so I thanx to my Czech countrymens in Berkeley, too. (Btw, almost I was scare, that You make from Nick a murderer in part V. God bless Mr. Sounderson valid health ;-). (BFox, Prag, Czech Republic)
A. More proof that Nick should move to the Czech Republic, where he's really appreciated.
Q. How are readers supposed to feel about Sheeni at the end of Revolting Youth? She totally screws Nick -- why is she such a bitch? (Tara, Fullerton, CA)
A. I've answered similar questions before. We mustn't be too hard on Sheeni. She has a lot to put up with, and why should she permit Nick to impose his agenda on her?
Q. I've been a long time fan, bought YIR first edition in '96. I came out to CA this year, what should I do here? Any recommendations? (cwlg, North Hollywood, CA)
A. I assume you've already bought the Hollywood map and visited all the homes of your favorite stars. Maybe even spotted actual Gardeners to the Stars at work in Beverly Hills (which is all I ever saw). Beyond that I can recommend the French toast at Rae's on Pico Blvd. in Santa Monica (an easy two-block walk to my old trailer park at 1930 Stewart Street).
Q. C.D... 2 questions: 1. Do you think Sheenis actually exist, because after reading your book, my standards have shot up, I want sex with beautiful girls.. I'd even dress up like one, and then get plastic surgery! You corrupted me, thank you!! (P.S. I just turned 15). 2) (I really hope I'm the first person to ask this, I doubt it because I saw the sh*tload of questions you've received already).. If the YIR movie is ever made... I want to play Nick.. more than anything on this earth... And I know for a fact, I'd do it better than anyone else. Period. I've read the book enough to be sure of it. I hope someday, I'll have the opportunity. (drop me an email and let me know when casting starts!)-- thanks man. (Zack, Suburbia NY, unfortunately)
A. Sure Sheeni exists and she's out there for you to find. Can she be a whole lot of trouble? You bet. Another movie deal seems to be in the works, so the scouts may be out soon beating the burbs for potential Nicks. Maybe you should bug Artisan Entertainment, but don't tell them that I sent you. And don't be ashamed of living in suburban NY, assuming you're not actually in NJ.
Q. Why did you chose the name Dwayne for that character in Youth In Revolt? (Dwayne L*F****, Lawrence, Kansas)
A. Well, Dwayne, I chose the name 'cause I think it's a really classy moniker.
Q. How did you think of the term T.E... it's quite clever.. (Leonard, California)
A. I got tired of typing "thunderous erection" over and over again. Turns out scientists have their own T.E. term (transposable elements) that they often discuss in mixed company without embarrassment.
Q. Wie kamen sie auf die Idee, ein Buch wie "Nick Twisp" zu schreiben? (Billy, Hamburg)
A. Never having had a day of German, I asked my friend Larry to translate this question. He also was good enough to suggest a reply: "I rotten die Buch becos I vant to talken uber issues von adolescent boys und goils." Sounds good to me!
Q. My life took a serious turn for the worse with the publication of "Youth in Revolt". Of all the dumbass names in all the languages in all the world, why did you have to use mine. (Nicholas Twisp, Nashville, TN)
A. Sorry, you will have to send me proof of your claimed identity before I'm willing to bite on that query. As far as I'm concerned, there is only one Nick Twisp in the world.
Q. Would you ever consider turning Nick into a movie star? (Brittany, Cleveland, OH)
A. Nick is a dude in charge of his own fate. So far, his career aspirations have leaned toward writing--something you can do with a criminal record.
Q. I love "youth in revolt' and "revolting youth" and it seems you leave the door open for a third nick twisp piece of literature. My question is how do you not get burnt out on this story, or better put, it is known that you had struggled to get this book published, so much to the point that you had to do it yourself. what drives you to make such great stories after struggling so much, did it make you want to give up? (nathan, ventura)
A. Yeah, all that rejection did inspire some thoughts of tossing in the towel. And it discourages me from continuing Nick's tale--especially as sequels tend to be viewed as the unwanted stepchildren of literature. (Ms. Rowling's many Harry Potter sequels being a notable exception.)
Q. Hi there. I am a newly-turned 31yo teenage wannabe from Perth, Australia, and I'm wondering if I'm perhaps your first Australian fan?? I've read the Nick Twisp books twice over now, and I'm absolutely amazed at how Nick manages to get away with everything, every time. Am eagerly awaiting his further hijinks in future books. Oh, and I'm also a frustrated non-published writer of a story I first wrote back in 1988 and have consequently rehashed every year since, so I admire you for finally getting yourself published. (David, Australia)
A. Yep, you may be Nick's first Aussie fan, though Aivia Press's celebrated book cover illustrator, Joanne Applegate, lives down under in Brisbane. Now your job is to tell Nick's story to everyone you meet. And good luck with your writing.
Q. I am reading Youth in Revolt for my college course. I am a fast reader but I am only on page 56 and I need to get to 100 for my test. I am not enjoying all the parts of the book..do you have any suggestions on how I could get through this book without skipping sections? Thank You. (Blondie, ca)
A. You could cut back on your web cruising and devote more time to your reading.
Q. Hey Mr. Payne, more of a comment than a question, but I saw the earlier question about the movie "100 Girls" and I picked out two lines in particular that seem lifted straight from YiR. The exact words used in "100 Girls": "set off my hair-trigger erectile response" and "loomed as a titan in my masturbatory dreams"... I think the movie went straight to video, so tell your lawyers I said good luck. (Nate, Seattle, WA)
A. Thanks for the tip. I will have to rent the video, then unleash my mad-dog lawyers.
Q. At first, I would like to thank you for writing these amazing books. Lots of thanks. I would like to know, whether you believe that every single person on this planet has only ONE person, which is predestined to be his/her only love in all life. Sorry for rough formulation, but I believe that you will understand. (hellward, pilsen, Czech Republic)
A. My romantic side would be inclined to answer yes, but my practical side would more skeptical. I do believe that after one experiences a love affair like Nick's, one is unlikely ever again to fall in love so intensely. Nick's dilemma is he met the woman of his dreams too soon.
Q. Hey, Nick's my hero! Thanks for producing such great literature for angst-ridden teenagers to read! It truly made me laugh (still does) when I was feeling irrevocably blue. Is Lakeport an actual place where people go to vacation and attend church? But what I really want to know is did you ever know a Dwayne in your life? I know one, he's my ex-boyfriend :X Thanks bunches! (Sonita, Kalamazoo, MI)
A. Yes, Lakeport is a real California town on Clear Lake with an active tourist business and well-attended churches. I was just up there this fall and had a fairly poor Mexican lunch beside the lake. I never met an actual Dwayne, but it's comforting to know there are women attracted to that sort of guy--if only temporarily.
Q. Just finished reading YOUTH IN REVOLT (loved it!) Was wondering: did you write this book like a journal, too? (For example, did you write Twisp's entry for July 1 on July 1? Did you write Twisp's entry for December 18 on December 18?) (Susan, Chicago)
A. No, because the time required to write each entry varied widely depending on my schedule, mood, inclination to write, phase of the moon, dog's digestion, etc.
Q. Why is it that Youth in Revolt is the only book that Barnes & Noble and Borders will keep in stock? (Doug, NJ)
A. Generally large chains don't bother with small press books. If they stock Youth in Revolt, you'd think it would occur to them to stock the sequel as well. Still, Revolting Youth is nearly sold out of its second printing, for total sales approaching 10,000 copies. Not bad for a book the big chains have never heard of. Frisco Pigeon Mambo is also in its second printing.
Q. First, I am very happy to hear that YiR is being optioned by Artisan, one of my favorite movie companies. Second, as I was rereading the book for the 98th (seriously, I swear on Albert I's grave) time, I was thinking about the band that you referred to several times called "the flesh eaters" I was recently in my local 'dollar store' and bought a CD by a band with this same moniker. did you know they were a real band before hand, or did you just pick a violent, extreme sounding name? I still have not heard of the moist panties or puking libidos, although they sound like hard-core bands too. Anyway, good luck on the movie deal, hope you rake it in, and I can't wait to run your movie someday!! (Bob, Conway, NH)
A. Since YiR has been out for a decade now, it's possible the musical Flesh Eaters borrowed their name from Nick. Pretty sure no such band existed when I wrote the book--at least I hadn't heard of them (which is not saying much). The least they can do is send me a free CD.
Q. I loved youth in revolt soooo much.. it was the greatest books I ever read. I think that it would be really cool if it were turned into a movie.. do you think that it will happen?? (Sam (im a girl), Miami, FL)
A. Having been around the block a few times already with Hollywood, I'm not making any rash claims about when the movie will come out. Happily, though, the option check has arrived and been cashed.
Q. will you ever make youth in revolt into a film, if so would you be inclined to write back and take into consideration that my life would be complete if I got to be nick. and yes I have no film acting experience, but I do have acting experience in an off broadway production of peter pan. (brendan, just outside chicago)
A. Since movies cost so many mucho millions these days, I think the producers will be inclined to go with experienced actors. This is why there are so many 24-year-olds playing teens on TV. Since I have zero say as to who will be cast (assuming the movie project gets to that stage), I can be of no help to you. Sorry!
Q. I am such a huge fan of your writing. They are some of the funniest things I have ever read. Just wondering, when you be releasing another book and what might it entail. Thanks and keep the humor coming! (Dennis, New York City)
A. Sorry, no news to report on future books. Wait a minute, there is. See below.
Q. Mr. C. D. Payne, we know that you get a substantial amount of mail talking about turning YIR into a movie, but my sister and I have taken it one step further and begun. However, all we have is our imagination and a couple of songs (AKA, we're broke). We've still thought of some songs that would go well with some YIR scenes however: When Nick sees Sheeni for the first time, "Godzilla" by Blue Oyser Cult will play. When Nick gets into the crazy domino-effect car predicament, Bing Crosby's "Dinah" will be playing. When Nick decides to become a woman, we will make a scene which depicts the process (Nick applying lipstick, stuffing oranges into a bra, etc.)and throughout the scene Etta James's and Harvey Fuqua's "If I Can't Have You" will be playing. Lastly, when the credits begin to roll, "Rush" by Big Audio Dynamite will play (the lyrics uncannily describe Nick Twisp). The trailor will include "I Wanna Be Sedated" by the Ramones and it'll probably be in another part ! of the movie as well. And yes, there will be Sinatra tunes playing throughout the movie, too. Those are our ideas, Mr. Payne; what do you think of the song selections for the scenes? Much thanks. (Susan & Karina, Chicago)
A. Sounds like a good start on the music score to me. Of course, you must realize that a guy with my retro musical tastes hasn't heard of most of your selections. But thanks for the effort.
Q. hey I was given the book: "youth in revolt" as a xmas gift a year or so ago, and it is easily the best book I’ve read in years. since then I’ve loaned out my copy to tons of people to spread the word. I was so inspired by the book and nick, that I wrote a song based loosely on mine and nick twisps life. I was just wondering if youd be interested in hearing it and maybe givin me an official seal of approval. thanks for your time and book... (rob, florida)
A. Songs about Nick are always welcome. Maybe we can get Frank to record it (alas, Frank Jr. that is).
Q. First of all, I love your books and am presently doing a thesis paper on it (I don't know if my English Teacher was expecting this) and I was wondering where you got the idea of Frank Sinatra being Nick's musical idol and if his songs affected Nick's feelings for Sheeni or any other things in the book. (Bekah, Baltimore)
A. Since Nick is both a romantic and retro sort of guy it seemed appropriate that he should appreciate Mr. Sinatra. You'll notice he often refers to lyrics of songs sung by Frank. It's apparent that he listens closely to the words and has absorbed their romantic messages. Therefore, we can conclude that he would not have been as obsessed with Sheeni if instead he had been listening to say, the Flesh Eaters.
Q. We would like to hear you speak... Do you ever give official lectures locally (Bay Area)? If so, how can we find out where and when???? You are our hero!!! (T n A, Alameda, CA)
A. Being a frighteningly obscure author, I'm not invited to speak at literary-type gatherings. In 2005 I may have some readings scheduled at bookstores when Young and Revolting: The Continental Journals of Nick Twisp (otherwise known as Book V) comes out. Stay tuned.
Q. I admire you Mr. Payne. Your Books ( youth in revolt ) guide me during my youth. Now I am 21 and I have to read it again and again. There is some magic into your words. I can´t believe, that you aren´t nick twisp. I don´t have any question, excuse me. I only want to thank you for it, so Thank you Mr. Payne. (Stepan, Prague - Czech Republic)
Q. THANKS! Nickie is very popular in Czech! Harry Potter is dead! Nick Twisp is WIN! C.D.Payne, you are my god! You are megagiant brain! Your books are THE BEST!!! What is C.D.? Thanks! Your reader Patrik (sorry, my english its no good!) Holesov city (Czech).
A. Why are my astute Czech readers so much farther ahead on the curve than the rest of the world? Growing up in Akron, Ohio did I somehow magically plug into a vein of Czech cultural life that revealed itself 30 years later? Don't know, but I think the true answer may lie in the excellence of the Czech translations by Tamara Vanova. As for C.D., it stands for C. Douglas, which happens to be my name--no symbolism intended.
Q. Dear Mr. Twisp- I am 15 yrs. old and let me say I was at kind of a gloomy state, until one day I found the perfect book sitting on the shelf at the public library and let me say, this is the ultimate....I read it in two days. I even got busted in school for having such a graphic book. (I wonder what they mean?) But I mean it was time the world figured out the true life of teens. I have so many questions to ask, but I'll only ask the key important ones. Do you relate to Nick at all? Whatever happened to Lefty & Millie? And please tell me if Nick murdered that bastard Dwayne? I don't think I could compliment you enough on this piece of art. Mr. Payne you have given me and my fellow friends a never forgetful memory with this book. The Revolt lives on! (Dawson, Springdale)
A. Sure, I can relate to Nick. He's helping me pay my mortgage. Lefty and Millie are married and living in Fresno. Nick has not murdered Dwayne as he is concentrating his vitriol at the moment on Vijay.
Q. Exist web side about Jessica King alias Sheeni? PLEASE! Uf...why don’t exist Sheeni? She is mega giga tera NICE girl! I think, that she must exist. . . somewhere . . . sometime! You vizit sometime Clear Lake? (Lakeport) (Koiler (Sheeni lover one), Holesov city (Czech)
A. Sorry, I'm not getting the Jessica King-Sheeni connection. No, I think Sheeni does not really qualify as "nice." Been to Lakeport. You can look it up on the web and read all about it. I suspect Holesov city might have more to offer though.
Q. Im in the Army and I wish to be a writer but Army life has me losing my wit. I don't want to write books on shining boots. Any advice? (PFC Arturo, Camp Hump., Korea)
A. Keep reading and let your imagination wander in your leisure hours. If you don't have much time off, writing may have to wait until you can relax and be by yourself. I find idle hours are a must for any creative pursuit. In the meantime, you can observe people as preparation for being a writer.
Q. Did you really go to Harvard? If so, how did your education influence the creation of... da da daaaa... Nick Twisp. Do you spout big words too> (Justine, San Francisco)
A. Do people commonly lie about going to Harvard? I wasn't aware of that. Harvard certainly claims me as one of their own, since they are constantly dunning me for donations. I can't say my college education contributed much to the creation of Nick, except for his occasional references to the hydrogen atom (a fixation of my college Physics course). In my daily life I rarely mumble words over two syllables.
Q. More of a comment than a question. On a whim, I searched "Youth In Revolt" on the Internet Movie DataBase (www.imdb.com) and was pleasantly surprised to see that a movie adaptation has been announced. Any more information you could supply on the project, Mr. Payne? And if I may make a suggestion... please please please don't let them screw up the movie like so many other book-to-film adaptations. I think I speak for all YiR fans when I say we want a faithful adaptation (i.e. an R rating) (Nate, Seattle, WA)
A. Sorry, I don't know much more than you do. One must maintain an attitude of hopeful expectation. Readers of a religious bent might remember poor Hollywood Nick in your prayers. And while you're at it, light a candle or two for the pigeons, who have been wandering in the wilderness of animation development for 5+ years.
Q. Is it true there is going to be a "Youth in Revolt" movie? If so, do you know any info yet on auditions, like when or where? I was so excited when I found a small mention of the movie announcement. I was shaking, and had to be sent to the office. I hope that doesn't weird you out too much. I loved the book, and I believe I relate to Nick a lot. Thanks a lot. (Phil, Canton, Michigan)
A. It's true a movie is in development, which means there MAY be a movie someday if all the ducks get lined up in a row. Nope, the producers will not be phoning me up to announce that auditions are being held. The authors of novels are very far down on the Hollywood food chain. And why is there a Canton in Michigan when there is a perfectly adequate one in Ohio? Same goes for that superfluous Akron in New York state.
Q. You seem to hit the nail on the head when it comes to the description of Nick's experience while hallucinating on mushrooms. Was this great page or two filled with metaphors by your own personal observations? (Frank, New York City)
A. Very possibly.
Q. I'm a 22 year old Nick type without a Sheeni. Any advice on how to ask a girl out? Artsy beautiful preferred. Although I am greatly attracted to silicon. (the computer kind that is, har har) (Brian, Sonoma, CA)
A. I've had some successful with the line, "Hey, would you like to take a ride in my hot air balloon?" Perhaps I should start a dating service for Nick readers. At least you'd have one thing in common. Any Sheeni types in Sonoma who'd like to meet Brian? Email here and I'll forward your message along.
Q. I saw on IMDB.com that you wrote an episode (or episodes) of the show Recess. I love that show and was wondering what episode(s) you wrote. (Bob, Conway, NH)
A. I wrote the episode "Mama's Girl" in which the tomboy Spinelli addresses her teacher as "Mama"--resulting in terminal embarrassment. It was extensively rewritten by the staff, thus ending my career as a wannabe TV writer.
Q. Well, I hope you're happy. Thanks to you I now have a ridiculous obsession with Uriah. I pester my friends who are from there and they all think I'm crazy. (Antony, Santa Barbara)
A. Everyone needs a hobby. Being obsessed with a small California town is much less boring than say, collecting old cookie cutters. (Yes, these people have national conventions.)
Q. I just wanna ask you if there will be another Nick Twisp book? If you still writing or no. And ask you if what’s your full name? Thanks for answer, you are very good person. (BlaDie, Chlumec, Czech Republic)
A. I am writing another Nick Twisp book. It should come out in 2005 here. The Czech version will require more time, alas. My full name is C. Douglas Payne.
Q. Why are you so hot? (Cam, University Place, WA)
A. Usually happens when the ocean fog moves offshore and it warms up around here. Uncomfortable, but good for the wine grapes. Last week I was doing some plumbing in our crawl space and got pretty hot doing that. Also known to sweat if my wife's been monkeying with the thermostat. Thanks for asking.
Q. In the About an Author section, it said you used to be a copywriter. That was Nick's dad's job. Is there any underlying reason for this? Or the way Nick seemed to look down on his dad for his profession? Let me just say, I love these books more than anything else. I read books 1-4 as fast as I could and was sleep-deprived as a result. After I finished them, I felt incomplete. I tried to fill the void you left with incessant guitar-playing and I must say, I have improved significantly. Thank you very much for that. Could you please write about the babies? I also read Frisco Pigeon Mambo but I would prefer if you sticked to tortured teenagers. I could relate to that a lot more. Could you please come to Tacoma and sign stuff or something? And I may or may not have to kiss you if you do. (Charlie, Tacoma, Washington)
A. I gave Nick's dad all my unpleasant traits, not excluding my then day-job. I didn't care much for the job, which may have rubbed off on Nick. Glad to hear Nick deprivation has improved your guitar skills. Babies? Tacoma? I try to stay away from both. If you enjoy tortured teens, check out Civic Beauties, which is now being reprinted and will be available again in July.
Q. First of all, I have to write Thanks to you, for writing YiR. YiR is the greatest book, I have ever read. I can say you, that you have many, many and one more time many fans here in the Czech republic. Are you planning to visit us? Do you like books of the Terry Pratchett. I am sorry for my English language. And one more greetings from European Union. (Gor, Spindlerùv Mlýn, Czech republic)
A. Not planning any European visits at the moment. Hard to get there in an Airstream trailer (full disclosure: I recently upgraded to a 1968 Boles Aero, see photo on website's "About" page). Haven't read any Terry Pratchett yet, but will soon.
Q. I was wondering what C. D. stood for in reference to your name. My girlfriend tells me it is a pen name, but I say sometimes the given initials in a name sound cooler than the first or first and middle names. (i.e. J.R., T.J., B.M.) I get a combo meal at Taco bell if I'm right and she gets it if she's right. We have a bonus bet going too. The winner of the bonus bet gets all you can eat sushi if they are right. I win if your name is Cornelius Douglas Payne and she wins if your name is Charlemange Davis. I'll buy you all you can eat sushi if you lie and say I'm right... it's gotta be believable though, like putting it on the Young and Revolting cover. (Cory, Santa Rosa, CA)
A. I don't know, it seems to me if a guy were going to invent a pen name he wouldn't choose C.D. Payne. Nope, that's my real name, such as it is. Full name is C. Douglas Payne. End of (rather boring) story.
Q. I haven't bothered going through the 3,000 Q&A's left on this site, but I'm aiming to ask something witty and interesting all Nick Twisp fans would be dying to know: Who would win in a fight- Holden Caulfield or Nick? Both of them aren't prone to fighting, and admit being sissies. Don't give Nick the lighter hand because he's your alter ego, either. ;) (Dickie, Los Angeles, CA)
A. Nick's not much of a scrapper, but I'd have to give him the upper hand since Holden must be fairly geriatric by now. That's assuming Nick could be persuaded to strike the grey-haired old gent.
Q. I've loved Youth in Revolt (read it all in one day, if you can believe that), and just discovered the unedited version, which I plan to buy as soon as possible. Just wondering (not that anything is going to deter me) why your book was edited in the first place? And whose decision was it? Also, did you perhaps get any of your ideas from the fictional diaries of Adrian Mole (by Sue Townsend), or perhaps Running with Scissors (Augusten Burroughs)? Thanks. (Echo, Albuquerque)
A. The book was condensed because Doubleday wanted to make the type bigger and it was published during a spike in paper prices. I was aware of Townsend's books, but have never heard of the other novels you mentioned. There may be some overlap in such novels because of the subject matter.
Q. Is the ad on the main page of this site for "BabySee, the best baby monitors" so that us Nick fans don't ever have to be in the room when our repulsive brothers fall to the floor? Because frankly, if one of my baby siblings were to fall to the floor with a "sickening thud", I would rather not be in the vicinity. (Rob, Sheeni's Bedroom)
A. Those ads vary according to who is paying Big Bucks to the Feedback Form folks on any particular day. I imagine infant dropping can be traumatic even when viewed remotely. Nick's incident was inspired by a similar mishap my wife experienced in her days as a teenaged babysitter. The mother, she reports, was surprisingly nice about it. No report on how the kid turned out.
Q. Now, I saw this article about how the rights to your books have been bought for a movie, now I believe something like this has happened in that past, but now I am seeing websites that say this movie is going to be out in 2005. I am very curious to know exactly what is going on. Much Love, Kitty (Millington, New Jersey)
A. When it comes to Hollywood, very few know exactly what is going on--especially me. Yes, earnest folks with Industry Credentials are beavering away on this enterprise. Yes, they hope the movie "Youth in Revolt" will come out in 2005. Am I holding my breath? Not at the present time.
Q. Dear Mr. Payne, I was introduced to YIR and A Confederacy of Dunces on the same day by a bookstore clerk in the now-defunct and greatly missed Bookland bookstore in Whittier. I loved both books. So far I have loaned them to friends and the statistically-odd relatives that seem even somewhat literate. They have loved them also. One question I have wondered about is the name Sheeni. I don't mean to stereotype anyone, but it seemed unusual that Sheeni's Mom would name her daughter a non-biblical or nontraditional name. I am a near-elderly woman, though not from Chechoslovakia. I would appreciate a non-flippant answer, young man. (Linda, Whittier, Calif.)
A. I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the mystery of Sheeni's peculiar name is explained in Revolting Youth. The bad news is that you will have to read the book to find out.
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