More reader comments/questions (7)
Q. how in god's name did you find the ability to actually make me fall in love with a book?? It makes me laugh and uses big words- my dreamboat! (kathy, new jersey)
A. Better not go near the Oxford English Dictionary. It's full of even bigger words.
Q. My question to you fine sir is this, Have you ever had any parents complain to you about their kids pulling a "Nick Twisp" sort of speak. (Cole, Memphis,TN)
A. Don't get many complaints from parents. I find them to be a generally dispirited and sullen lot.
Q. I am a 16 year old teenage reader and I have found your book "Youth In Revolt" to be one of the most excellent works of black comedic literature available to readers today. It was a laugh from start to finish. I would like add to your slew of compliments by saying that you have perfectly captured Sheeni: the smart woman confined to a small town, rather obnoxious, using, and fickle, but startlingly beautiful. With some vanity on my part I can successfully identify with Miss. Saunders.
I do have one question... Why on EARTH would you ever consider subjecting this classic piece of comedy to the clutches of some movie director?! The suggestion by readers of the character from "Malcolm in the Middle" to play Nick Twisp makes me feel profusely ill.
Please do not subject this book to that. It's brought me laughs from start to finish, and I intend to read every other book you have written. I have not examined "Queen of America" but if it proves to be fairly inexplicit I will try to have my school perform it in our statewide play competition.
Keep up the astounding work. Please don't subject this wonderful book to a movie, as previously stated. (Phileda, Karnes City)
A. People hope that making a movie of Youth in Revolt would open it up to a larger audience, thus vaulting its author from obscurity to semi-obscurity. (See next query below.)
Q. I just wanted to tell you that I love your books so much. I don't know why you aren't huge!! I recommend your book to all of my friends. I was at a used book sale at my local library, and as I was leaving, I decided to look through the FREE boxes. My mom yelled at me that it was time to go, so I just grabbed the first book I saw. How very lucky, it was Youth in Revolt. I've read it more times than I can count, and it has changed my life. Thank you so very much for writing it. I purchased Revolting Youth this morning, and I have already finished. I look forward to the next chapter in Nick's wonderfully wacky life. I also think the idea of writing a book from dear Albert's life is great! p.s. The one I got for free was signed by you! YAY! (molly, 16, montana)
A. Albert is dear? I thought he was rather vicious and nasty. And thanks for alerting me to the value of my autograph.
Q. Do you think that your new book coming out in 2005, Young and Revolting is better than pie? What about spoons? P.S. What does Nick have against Dwayne not wearing underwear? (Kittie B****r (not a nickname, my parents are ex hippies), Millington, NJ)
A. I fear the book is not likely to be a match for my wife's apple-rhubarb pie, but then few things are. She uses Gravenstein apples grown right here in Sebastopol. The rhubarb is from our back yard. As for Nick, he merely prefers that Dwayne keep his underwear status to himself--a rule we might all do well to follow.
Q. Gustin Nash is scheduled to be the director of the film version of YiR, as well as co-writer along with yourself (according to the IMDB). I am assuming, then, that you have met the guy. His work credits are extremely slim...do you think that he can bring across the vision that is the greatest book ever written? I surely hope that the release date stays at 2005...the sooner the better. Any other "insider" word on casting or otherwise not posted on the web? I know that lots of people are asking about the movie...is the script covering all 3 of the first novels, is a series anticipated? keep us posted! (Rob, Newton, MA)
A. As usual I am not the best informed guy on the block. I have not met Mr. Nash and I am not the co-writer of the movie. A script has been completed (unseen by me) and it is being reviewed by Lions Gate. I don't know how much of the novel is covered, nor do I know when, if ever, the film will reach the screen.
Q. Hey, C.D. How are you? Well I hope. I just finished reading Youth In Revolt for the 12th time in 2 years. I'm obsessed, if nothing else. There are just a couple of questions that have been vexing my mind. Where did you come up with the name Sheeni? If Sheeni knew Nick was Carlotta from day 1, why did she reveal things to him? How is Sheeni so smart? Did they breed her in some top-secret Harvard chemistry lab? I'm engaging myself in learning French and am jealous in the extreme that she's so learned. Is there an Ecole des Arts et Litteratures in Santa Cruz? Does Sheeni play any sports? I'm guessing Lacross. Oh, and does her mother have a job? Merci beaucoup. :) (Sonita, Kalamazoo, MI- Go Spartans!)
A. Sheeni, in case nobody noticed, is the universal "she," hence her peculiar name. Can't explain why Sheeni revealed things to Nick; she's pretty devious though. Sheeni is smart so that she can better torment Nick. No, I'm not aware of any French language high school in Santa Cruz. Sheeni plays no sports unless compelled to in gym class. Her mother is a confirmed Christian homemaker. It's true that I once fell into a lake fully clothed near Kalamazoo.
Q. I've wanted to write you so many times, but every time I start a letter either I sound like some gushing groupie-type or like I’m hitting on you. Yeah, that wasn't a great start either, but since I've done this so many times before, and I'm a bit tipsy, I'm just going to keep writing until I forget that first line. Youth in Revolt and Revolting Youth are the best books I've ever read, and I've read a hell of a lot of books. Many of my friends have read it as well, although I do have trouble lending it out because if I need to read it and don't have it on hand then I tend to freak out. I'm positively addicted to YIR. I'm so pleased that there's a new one coming along in 2005. Please tell me that it's coming out January first, because any later than that and I’m going to go insane. Anyways, thank you so much for writing it. I'm really very very grateful. Will there be a big launch with book signings and meet-the-author in the California area? I'd LOVE to meet you. Er, that sounds bad...I'm not hitting on you, I swear. Or maybe I am, bwahahaha. No, really, I'm not. Ok, maybe I should go feed my fish now. bye, (liz-e, Santa Cruz, CA)
A. Uh-oh, I fear the new book may be coming out in the latter part of 2005. Better get a grip on yourself. I'll try to arrange a reading in Santa Cruz, one of my favorite places to visit.
Q. I heard that "Youth In Revolt" was originally self-published. What process did you go through. How long did it take to become successful? (it must have been, to have attracted a commercial publisher) Would you recommend self-publishing, and, finally, how did you market "Youth in Revolt"? Thanks for your time. (Bobby, Skowhegan, Maine)
A. Self-publishing did lead to acquiring an agent and the sale to Doubleday. Generally, though I think self-publishing is to be avoided unless you have no other alternative. It's simply too difficult to get anyone to pay attention to a self-published book, especially fiction.
Q. My sister gave me this book because she thought that there were a lot of great SAT words in it. Wow, let it sit around but I finally read it and it is the best book ever. But my question after reading this book is did you happen to have some bad experiences with the American public school system! (Max, Thousand Oaks, CA)
A. Probably no worse than most people. Had some good teachers, but most I encountered should have been in another line of work (prison guard? bridge toll-taker? pigeon trainer?).
Q. Okay, okay... we wouldn't all even be anywhere near this site if we didn't love your work, so I'll skip the mounds of praise I have for YIR and your other work, Senor Payne. Apparently YIR is the best kept secret on Earth - limited to me, my friends, some guy at Lion's Gate, and the entire Czech Republic. I was curious to know the *why* of the answer in your Q&A regarding a YIR audiobook. I know that it's a bit of an undertaking - but having worked in studios (both home and big budget), I can say that it wouldn't be that hard to do. And with the release of so many audiobooks in MP3 or other digital formats (like Audible), it would seem to be a perfect fit for a book like YIR. Honestly, I think the best thing would be to hire a guy with a decent mike and a decent recorder/computer and sit down for a few thousand hours and read it yourself. I can't really imagine anybody else doing justice to the book... but you could also hire somebody with a decent voice and pay him/her to do the job just as easily. I guess that I see YIR as a wonderful DIY story about a guy who wrote what he wanted to, how he wanted to and I really think that an audio version of the story would help bridge that gap between you and the non-readers that would fall in love with Nick like I have. Seriously, you could release it from your own site or go through some company like Audible.com or a different audio publisher... and it's gotta be far, far cheaper and easier than printing your own work and hauling it around to bookstores. You could break it up into sections, to see how it does - do a serial unabridged version and even have pay subscriptions. There's a million of us commuters on Earth, armed with iPods and we are bored, dammit. Bored! We want Nick to entertain our ears. No, we NEED Nick. Please? Make it happen. Or explain to me that it's a silly rights thing and your hands are tied. (Blaine, Memphis)
A. Thanks for the suggestions. I will check into them. But would you rather have me wheezing into a microphone or working on getting Book V out the door?
Q. 30 dollars says Nick never makes it to France. I love you, but I notice some interesting patterns in your writing :) (Kitty, Millington)
A. Not a wise wager since the subtitle of Young and Revolting will be The Continental Journals of Nick Twisp.
Q. I'm pretty sure you've been to Uriah since you live so close, but did you actually base ANY of the locations of places (like the doughnut shop he would always go to and where he first lived with his dad) in the book on actual places in Uriah? Since I live here I really want to know so every time I go to those places I can be like "Oh yeah, Nick Twisp (Or should I say Carlotta or Rick) is a badass." (Kendall, Uriah)
A. Alas, the Uriah scenes were not based on any specific locations in your incomparable town. Personally, I like to believe that the spirit of Nick pervades the entire area.
Q. Is there any Youth in Revolt merchandise? I would love a Youth in Revolt poster for my room or an I'm Single Lets Mingle t-shirt. Also I think this book should be required reading for all teenagers and young adults. It only needs to be recommended for adults. (Steffan, Miami)
A. Where were you all those years when I was trying to Get Rich Quick flogging a great variety of Twispian merchandise? Sorry, all the cargo has been unloaded. Perhaps more will become available should the long-delayed movie make it to the screen.
Q. I actually did notice allusion to Nabokov's Lolita in Youth in Revolt, having, coincidentally, just finished reading it too. But I also drew a comparison to A Confederacy of Dunces - Is it possible that Nick and Ignatius are distant cousins? Nick is the funniest character to appear in years! More, more, more!
(Sheeni-wannabee, East Brunswick, NJ)
A. You might say that Ignatius Riley is Nick's spiritual uncle. Look for more Nick in 2005.
Q. I keep reading about the next Twispian book being released in 2005...any specific date yet? (stalker's rage, newton, ma)
A. No date yet, but probably not before Nick's birthday.
Q. Are you planning to have a book signing in the Los Angeles area when the new book comes out. I would love to have all of the nick twisp books (including the new one) signed. Plus it would probably give my sisters an excuse to buy their own copies and stop taking mine all the time. P.S. I am thinking that there must be a pilgrimage to Uriah California of all the twispian fans. We must upstage those dam Ulysses fans. We are so much better than them. (Max, So Cal)
A. A reading in the L.A. area is not beyond the realm of possibility. It couldn't be any worse than the reading I once gave in Oakland that had a total attendance of zero. Do visit Uriah if you can. The folks there can use the $$$.
Q. How can I pre-order a copy of Nick V? Will it be like Rocky V? (Phil, Los Angeles)
A. It will not be much like Rocky V, though I could work in a reference to Sylvester Stallone if you like. Already, there is one reference to a similar actor, Ethel Merman. No, you cannot pre-order a copy. We are not Amazon.com.
Q. Are you going to write any other books dealing with the characters from the two nick twisp books? (Shelby, Kent)
A. No plans at the moment beyond Book V, which is to appear in 2005 or 2006. I'm hoping that satisfies everyone's Nick Twisp needs. [2014 addendum: Cheeky Swimsuits of 1957 features characters from Youth in Revolt and is set in Ukiah.]
Q. First of all, I love your book - Youth in Revolt - so much and I just realized there was a sequel. My question is... What about the Nick Twisp story did you feel was so imperative to tell? I heard that you self-published YIR - did you know that so many people would love it? Or did you just love the story so much yourself? It's a huge gamble/investment to self-publish and I would love to hear your thoughts on the book while you were writing it. Thanks so much. (Nick, MA)
A. I write comic novels for remarkably uncomplicated reasons: To amuse my fellow Earthlings. And to avoid tedious office jobs. I self-published Youth in Revolt because I couldn't find anyone else willing to publish it, and it seemed no worse than the output of other obscure published authors.
Q. Have you had much interest in YIR in the academic community? I am a grad student and am going to use your book in my master's portfolio. (Greg, Dallas)
A. Not much interest from academics, though I heard that YiR was employed in English classes at several junior colleges in Southern California. Probably more popular with today's students than Silas Marner. Personally, I always liked George Elliot.
Q. I read at a website called IMDB that the plot outline for the movie says that the parents are "teetering on the edge of divorce." I don’t want them to teeter I want them divorced just like the book. I hope that the movie is somewhat true to the book. You are the best, please keep your books coming. (Steven M., Auburn, Washington)
A. You're right. Teetering would be a mistake. Hollywood likes to have lots of fingers in the pie, so you never know what to expect. The good news is Book V is finished. Now, to find a publisher.
Q. Much like yourself, I live in Akron and desperately want to move to the Bay area. Were you living in the Bay when you were writing your books? For Ohio tends to hinder you thoughts about anywhere nice... (Toni, Akron, Ohio)
A. I think it would be a mistake if everyone in Akron moved to the San Francisco bay area. The freeways are already pretty crowded, and Ohio drivers are just too polite to fit in well. Akron is not that bad. You probably just feel that way because it was 14 degrees and snowing there today. I wrote my books in California, but that's merely because I happen to be here.
Q. Trent is my favorite character. Am I gay? (Brian, Sonoma, CA)
A. No, but you're suspicious as hell.
Q. nick twisp is a two-dimensional character with incredible depth. I wanted to know if you sat down and developed the plot line first; or rather, thought of nick and wrote a story around him. I have been trying to accomplish the former, but all I come up with is unorganized trash. as a young sprout of only 16, I look to you for advice. (Christy, Carlotta's sitting room sofa)
A. I think I answered this before, but here goes again. No, I don't work out my plots in advance. This works for me, but many authors write from plot outlines. Some even write the last chapter first. My theory is if the author doesn't know what going to happen next, the reader isn't likely to either. One drawback to this approach is you may require five volumes to conclude the story.
Q. Have you always been mentally unstable (I mean this in the most flattering of ways)? (daisy, california)
A. Yeah, I was always the round nut in the square world. Not institutionalized yet though.
Q. I can see you get a lot of questions and I have e-mailed you a while back, so if you don't have time to respond it's fine. I can also see you get a bunch of repeated questions. I just wanted to tell you that Youth in Revolt was just approved for my High school English literature class. I don't know how many others have accomplished this at their school, but I thought it was an achievement nonetheless seeing as how your book is fairly uncensored (and hilarious). I go to a pretty open minded school, so I am sure the teacher will appreciate it. Thanks for your all of your novels, (Adam, Providence, RI)
A. I appreciate your school being so open-minded. Thanks to the fine folks at Bookstore on the Square, Providence has long been a hotbed of Nick Twisp interest.
Q. Hey, I am not sure if you are aware of this....probably not. But on myspace.com people have made actual profiles for characters of the nick twisp novels. They are really pretty funny. (katie, Millington NJ)
A. I like the profile of Trent best. He seems to be attracting lots of female interest, as usual. What a guy.
Q. what’s going to happen to Nick and Sheeni after they got married and moved to France? does Nick cause some havoc and mayhem on an international scale and will Sheeni ever get over the much despised twit Trent and tell Nick that she loves him? oh yeah, in the first boOk, when Nick and Sheeni are coming back from the dinner with his mother and the late Jerry, you wrote something like when they got to the trailer Sheeni's 5,000 yr old mother looked out the window or something and that some "...dark, terrible secret..." hovered over the trailer. what the hell was the secret? (yOung Tizzle, pasadena, ca)
A. Sorry, I can't tell you--it's a secret. Yes, there's more international mayhem in Book V, coming soon to a bookstore near you.
Q. Were you watching me grow up? Please respond as I am frightened and would like very much to be put at ease. (Luis, Los Angeles)
A. I knew you were going to ask me that, Luis. I've been waiting so long.
Q. I was wondering if perhaps you have heard or listened to the band AFI. The reason I ask is because the guitarist is the one that recommended Youth in Revolt to me. They are actually from Uriah and now live in the Bay Area. I was just curious because he said that he really enjoyed it and strongly suggests it to fans. (Toni, Ohio)
A. Unless AFI was recording with Frank back in the fifties, it's doubtful I've heard any of their music. Still, I'm grateful they're spreading the word about Nick and putting Uriah on the musical map.
Q. I got my copy of Revolting Youth in the mail yesterday and to my horror saw the cover art. What happened to the Youth in Revolt cover art? I saw the little bit of it on the back, but I am still pissed the whole book doesn't look like it. This is probably a stupid question to you and you are probably not the one to blame, but I just think that the artwork from Youth in Revolt was really awesome. By the way I have read the first 28 pages of the book here at work today and they are freakin hilarious. I can't wait to get done with it. Well, I am at work so I should probably be doing some. (Cole, memphis)
A. Being the world's most reluctant cartoonist, I only managed to contribute a small bit of art to the Revolting Youth cover. Perhaps I can get it in gear to do a bit more for Book V.
Q. I just read Youth in Revolt and Revolting Youth for the first time at a suggestion from a friend of mine (who also asked you a question on this site). But I'm wondering... can you adopt my friend Cam? He's a bit insane but I hear he's potty trained... and legal in over two states. (Justine, Tacoma)
A. Darn, I wish you'd asked me sooner. We just adopted two puppies (brothers who are half Boston Terrier and half Chihuahua), and are a bit overwhelmed at the moment. We were hoping for small dogs, but they are rapidly approaching 20 lbs. each. Next time we go for the semi-sane human.
Q. What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Did writing come naturally to you or is it a talent that can only be earned through extensive training and classes at prestigious schools such as Harvard? Where do you get your inspiration for your characters? (Lauren, Danville, CA)
A. My advice is to spare yourself a lot of grief and open up a hardware store. I learned very little about writing at college. I was always a reader and got the bug early. My characters just show up unexpectedly, ready to go to work. Fortunately for aspiring writers, book publishers are on the way out. In five or ten years every writer will have print-on-demand titles at Amazon.com that can be ordered with one click. Did you notice that Amazon just bought Booksurge.com, a print-on-demand book printer?
Q. Me, again, I was just wondering (I got my email back) if Sheeni is going to use the pictures she took of Nick with a gun to get him back in France and if Sheeni is going to break up with him (or vice-versa) and also if Nick's (or should I say Rick S. Hunter) love for Frank Sinatra has anything to do with you. (Jack, Downey, California)
A. Your first two questions will be answered in Book V, should that book ever find a publisher (note: it is on the fast track to be being published in the Czech Republic by Jota, you American readers should be so lucky). In answer to your last question, my regard for Frank is hardly a secret.
Q. I just saw on this site that YIR was turned into a play! I’m stating here and now that YIR should come to akron since it is your home town afterall! I work at borders and I recommend YIR to every single person I come across! (tara, akron, Ohio)
A. Nick owes you a big wet kiss, tara. Usually my books are seldom seen in chain bookstores. Perhaps now I have a small following in my home town (besides my relatives there).
Q. I first discovered a battered paperback copy of Youth in Revolt on the bottom shelf of the teen non-fiction section of the public library (Nonfiction? Wtf!) I read the first page and was instantly hooked. At first I thought that I had made a uniquely remarkable discovery, but upon bringing it to school to read I found that an extraordinarily high percentage of my friends had already read it. In any rate, you and Chris Moore are tied for my favorite author (strange that you recommend each other, it's like you met in my subconscious and hit it off...) I am currently decorating a pair of jeans with funny quotes, but couldn't decide on what Twisp quote to put up. Could you name a favorite? It should be funny even when taken out of context, and PG rated (I want to be able to wear these pants at school) (Laura, Athens Ohio)
A. I recommend "Atavistic sociopath." It's short, controversial, and usually attracts some notice.
Q. so....I was wondering....could you make me a character in one of your books? (Dale, Tacoma)
A. Sorry, if I put you in, I'd have to write in Roy and Trigger too.
Q. What?? No US publisher yet??? Would it help if your fans organized and wrote desperate notes to potential publishers? Or maybe just send dog poo to those fools that dare to reject it? Just say the word. (liz-e, santa cruz, ca)
A. Best idea I've heard in a while. Start stockpiling now. Dink and Bigge will be contributing too--as soon as they recover from this morning's minor neutering surgery (easy for me to say).
Q. I am currently writing my college ap essays (thank god for the common app) anyway, one of the questions is which fictional character most inspires you, and I just wanted to let you know that I am choosing Nick Twisp, because he has three things that got him though his bad luck. Perseverance, Passion, and Creative problem solving. I really don't know how this is going to go over... Perhaps I will start it off like "When Nick was caught giving Lefty a blowjob...." Just wanted to let you know you inspired me. (Katy, Millington)
A. Nick says thanks for the vote of confidence, but if you wind up majoring in welding at the j.c., don't blame him.
Q. I've been a long time fan since YIR came out. I know quite a few people that would like to get a hold of a copy. any suggestions? (David, Baton Rouge)
A. I assume you mean a copy of the new book, Young and Revolting. It appears that publishers are waiting for a green light on the movie before committing to this book. All I can do is advise patience at this point, assuming you don't wish to learn Czech. 2005 marks the 10th year that Hollywood has been dithering about with Nick. Are we getting annoyed yet?
Q. I just finished rererererereading Youth in Revolt and Revolting Youth. Anyways, I have two questions. The first is: Is Peyronie's disease (Lefty's condition) real? My second question is: How did you get such a great vocabulary? [Also,] I wanted to know if you're concluding the story in the fifth book: Young and Revolting? (Rene, San Francisco, CA)
A. Yes, Peyronie's disease is a real medical condition, twisted though that may seem. Like many novice writers (and the occasional Pulitzer winner), Nick likes to show off his big words. The fifth book will conclude the Nick Twisp saga.
Q. Right now I am working as an assistant grounds keeper at a horse track to support my sub par writing. My question for you is what is the worst job you have ever had to pay the bills? (philli, Philadelphia)
A. That's a tough question to answer. I've had many stinkers (dozens!). There was my stint as a busboy\dishwasher in a grungy cafeteria for 80 cents an hour. Why does the lowest paying job always entail the greatest confrontation with grease? There was that miserable graphic artist job working for the spoiled owner's son who treated everyone like he was General Eisenhower and we were the lowliest draftees. Or how about the graveyard-shift proofreading job for a typesetting company that did military contract work? Can you spot typos in arcane helicopter specs at 2 in the morning? I couldn't. Btw, your job sounds somewhat similar to one that Nick must endure in Book V.
Q. Does it bother you as much as it bothers me that you can't get your book published without a movie deal first? I hate Hollywood. They are just going to ruin the book if made into a movie anyway. Not saying I wouldn't be first in line to see it, but how can they really make YiR into a good movie? It would have to be very long and rated R, which I'm sure no studio would be willing to do - they'd definitely want a PG-13 so they could make more money. And what of Frisco Pigeon Mambo: The Movie? Everything in business is so sordid. (stalkersrage, Boston, MA)
A. All true. And yes, it bothers me. But so far the script for YiR the movie is still R-rated, I'm told.
Q. I have 2 questions. is there any chance of you coming back to northeast Ohio? and what are my chances of getting an autograph? By the way I loved all 4 yir's and so did my friend who i lent it to. Thanx (James, Willowick, OH)
A. I rarely venture back to Ohio, though I'm semi-committed to go there for Christmas 2005. Just a visit. I could never live in the state that put W. over the top in '04. What were you people thinking? You can find the odd book signed by me at places like abebooks.com. A frivolous expense, but probably no worse than investing in Enron.
Q. Greetings! In your novel Nick and Apurva had a conversation pertaining to the meanings of their names. I was wondering if you put into consideration the meaning of Nick's name as well as other character's names when choosing them. As you may know Nick means "Victory of the people", a rather appropriate name in some aspects. And Sheridan means untamed and bright, a definite perfect meaning for Sheeni. Although beyond Sheeni and Nick the characters didn't have significant meanings to their names. Well, thank you for your time. (Blade, Sebastopol, CA)
A. I did not consider the meaning of the names when selecting them, but thanks for the info.
Q. Greetings again from Ohio! I was wondering I am a big Nirvana fan and Nirvana is probably a band Nick wouldn't like but I was wondering if you ever liked Nirvana or Kurt Cobain? And have you ever been to my town of Willowick at all during your life? (James, Willowick OH)
A. Kurt Cobain? Didn't he sing with the Harry James band for a time? Sorry, Nirvana is not my speed. I recall Willowick as a burb of Cleveland, and yes I think I was there once.
Q. When the third edition of the Journals of Nick Twisp comes out will you be making any personal appearances? If so, when and where? Thank you! (Cheyane, San Francisco)
A. It is likely I'll be showing up somewhere, but too early to say where or when. I usually put in at least one appearance at Cody's in Berkeley when a new book emerges from the oven.
Q. I had a dream last night in which I was reading Young and Revolting. In it, Nick was living in a BART station in downtown Berkeley and was buying half-breed kittens from a truck driver. It was part of some strange plan to get his money back from Lance Wescott. He was consulting the "N.C.I." (National Cat Index) to decide which kittens to buy. In short, I need to read your new book as soon as possible before my subconscious explodes. (liz-e, santa cruz)
A. Uh-oh, I'd say you were in trouble.
Q. Have you been to where I live? If you have....I would just like to deeply apologize. I feel so lost in this HOLLY HELL HOLE! I feel that if I reread any of your books more than I already have they will lose the power to temporarily let me leave this place I hate. Can you help? (South Carolina)
A. No, I haven't been to your state (and you don't make it sound very enticing). Perhaps the humidity has got you down. I suggest a change of scene. How about an excursion to the seaside?
Q. Hey C.D., you awesome writer you. I'm simply in love with YiR, it's my favorite book. Anyway, what I want to know is, if Nick is so smart why can't he see that Sheeni doesn't love him? She barely tolerates him. Will he ever learn that she's a two-timing goldigging skank? Thanks! (Kalamazoo, MI)
A. As the song says, love is a many splendored thing, but clarity of vision is generally not one of them.
Q. I have many questions and opinions but I can only think of a few, so, here they are. (1) Why is it that Sheeni's brother, Paul, seems to know every little fact about Nick's life? (2) Will Lefty be in "Young and Revolting?", (3) What gave you an idea to put a character so horrid such as Dwayne in your book? (4) What's wrong with Dwayne's mother? Oh, yeah, and I still can't picture Fuzzy DeFalco, how is he hairy? Is he like, Wolfman hairy, or just, way too hairy for a teen of his age? (Jack, San Francisco, CA)
A. 1. Answered previously. 2. Only in passing. 3. Dwayne's not that bad. 4. Not a thing. The woman is hot. 5. You'll recall that Heather screamed when Fuzzy removed his shirt. The guy is quite hirsute, as Nick would say.
Q. I'd like to get a YiR related tattoo, but I can't think of anything - because it is a book, the images in my mind would be my own and I want it to be something that would be "recognizable" to any Twispian fan. Do you have any real suggestions for me? I've thought of getting one of the pictures from the AIVIA pressing that (I assume) you drew. But I'm still not sure. What do you think? (Decatur, Alabama)
A. I hope your literary tastes don't change after you get that tattoo. How about Nick + Sheeni inside of a heart? You might want to incorporate a dagger in the design as well. (Anyone getting a Twispian tattoo should be sure to email us a photo.)
Q. Ok, do you like John-Paul Belmondo yourself (not like Sheeni, just as an actor)? (Jack, Downey, CA)
A. Sure. The guy is the Humphrey Bogart of France.
Q. No question really. I want to say I'm flattered that you think well enough of my music to mention it to one of your fans... Wait! I do have a question. I DO! I DO! I DO! Which album are you listening to? ..Thanks...Your fellow Ohian, David Wilson (Los Angeles)
A. I like all of David's albums, especially "The Romance of Paris" (a favorite of Sheeni as well) and "Dreams of Hollywood Nights." The latter is a tribute to another great Ohioan Henry Mancini.
Q. are you willing to serve the 5 detentions I received for reading YIR during a math class? thanx (~~airn~~, the vanity ridden city of los angeles)
A. Only five detentions? I should have thought such a transgression would merit a severe hiding. I cannot tell you how many times I use algebra (not to mention that popular pastime trigonometry) in the course of my daily life. You are well chastised for your frivolity.
Q. I just finished Youth in Revolt, and thought it was brilliantly funny. However, I have one question that I thought the book left open-ended, in a rather annoying sort of way: How did three clones of Albert end up on the doorsteps of his mother, Sheeni, and his own? This was never answered, and yet too freakish to just consider "random." Hope to hear from you, thanks! (Cyrus, San Francisco)
A. This question has been answered before. To repeat, I know of no laws (federal or state) that require all novels to be 100 percent realistic. The difficulty in this case may lie not with the book, but with the reader. Consult your dictionary definition of "parody."
Q. I am originally from Akron and I must tell you, you have a tremendous following in your hometown. Could you please give us a little insight into your Akron days. Where did you grow up? What school? Funny stories, etc...? (St. Pete Lawyer, St. Petersburg, FL)
A. My alleged popularity in Akron is news to me. I didn't realize I had that many relatives left in that area. I lived on North Hill and went to Jennings Jr. High and North High. We used to ride our bikes to Waterworks Park in Cuyahoga Falls to go swimming. In winter, we'd go ice skating in Gorge Park and sledding on the hill below Jackson School. I remember all those hot, muggy summers in the pre-air conditioning days. Must have been murder on those tire builders in the rubber factories. I used to build floats for the Soap Box Derby parade and picnic at Duncanside Park. I also liked the Italian social clubs on North Hill, where the ladies would bake pizzas on Sundays and sell them for ten cents a slice. They were also nice about loaning out their bocce balls and court to the local kids--even if we weren't Italian. Akron had a solid industrial tax base then, and had good schools and libraries (where I used to hang out). I'd like to take the trolley bus downtown one more time and wander through Polsky's basement, catch a double bill at the Palace or Strand, then have a cocktail in the Rubber Room of the Portage Hotel.
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