I don’t need to tell anyone how inventive Neil Gaiman is, but I’m going to anyway. I’m amazed at the consistency with which he is able to layer the familiar with the unfamiliar, to keep readers grounded in emotional reality while creating unknown elements and mythologies that feel completely original. He’s not a traditional world-building fantasy author; he is a writer who can take the world we know, insert fresh ideas into it, and make them seem like memories we can’t quite remember.
“I want to look like you. I want to be so thoroughly anchored into some sort of pop culture aesthetic that nothing can knock me over or wash me away or make me hate everyone. I want to sleep again.”—Vanessa Veselka, Zazen (via deirdrecoyle)
Small things set the tone of the past. When I was fifteen or thereabouts, I went to see Billy Idol. First wave punk has been my go-to musical place since I was old enough to have a go-to musical place…
Hey guys. I wrote something. It’s on the internet.
I couldn’t pick one. I do love magical realism, though.
List down five books you think everyone should read.
Actually, I don’t think there are specific books everyone should read, because people read so differently. Since all readers interpret books through their own lives, no two people really read the same book, even if they’re reading the same words (which is awesome).
Have you ever read classics? What are your favorites?
I love The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, A Room with a View by E.M. Forster, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, and Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë.
I have a dedicated reading corner in my apartment, which is basically an apocalypse of pillows.
2. What book has given you the worst book hangover?
Probably Interview with the Vampire by Ann Rice. I read it in 24-ish hours when I was a teenager. It’s a very fast read, but still about 400 pages.
3. Your top five favorite books or series?
Currently, and not in order: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle, Tithe by Holly Black, The Torn Skirt by Rebecca Godfrey, and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.
4. Do you prefer eBook or actual book?
Actual book—they smell nice and have pleasing textures. But I like eBooks for traveling.
“Those wasted moments of void—between the end of your last thought and the beginning of the next—yes, in those midnight moments; when the most horrific things can get inside your head and play havoc with your imagination…it’s when you think that you’re not thinking that all the evil in the world can get inside your skull. And then the malefic things begin to grow there…”—David Pinner, Fanghorn
If you had to pick between these two books, which would you pick? 1) The Great Gatsby 2) The Perks of being a Wallflower
Hmm…they’re so different, and I love both books. I’d have to say Gatsby (and I’m interpreting this as a desert island situation where I can only have one of the two books to read for the rest of my life). With Gatsby, though, I could feel like I was permanently living in the 1920’s and wearing fabulous hats forever (that’s literary reasoning, right? Right).
“In debates, the word quixotic is nearly always meant as an insult—which puzzles me, since I can hardly think of a greater compliment.”—Simon Leys, “The Imitation of Our Lord Don Quixote” (via invisiblestories)
“I did get lost. And when I hid myself in that room, which was hardly bigger than 100 square feet, I found myself surrounded by a series of dusty books. Although the books were old and deep in hibernation, the people who came to read them were very much alive. So in my small library in a distant Anatolian town I learned an awful lot about what young Turkish men enjoyed reading under the gun. I watched them as they read for relief. I watched them as they read for pleasure. I watched them as they read for keeping sane.”—“My Little Library in Anatolia,” Kaya Genc
Real writers are fine, but what about (screen)writers writing writers? Let’s get meta for a second. These are my personal favorites.
1. Daria Morgendorffer (Daria)
Daria: Her writing is bad. Don’t people know the difference between good and bad?
Jane: She’s cute, there are different standards for cute people.
Daria: You mean no standards.
2. Margot Tenenbaum (The Royal Tenenbaums)
Wes Andersen creates eccentrics pretty well, and Margot Tenenbaum is the quintessential eccentric writer heroine. She’s author of the plays Erotic Transference, Static Electricity, and Nakedness Tonight.
3. Nick Miller (New Girl)
Nick Miller makes me feel good about my writing life. During season one of New Girl, he was a bartender indefinitely working on his zombie novel. In season two, he decides to be “more like Hemingway,” writes the thing, and ends up with genius lines like “Zombie zoo, zombie zoo, who let all dem zombies out that damn zombie zoo?”
4. Flora Poste (Cold Comfort Farm)
Flora Poste of Cold Comfort Farm (a novel by Stella Gibbons, and played by Kate Beckinsale in the movie) wants to “write a novel as good as Persuasion.” This scene where she meets another writer, Mr. Mybug, has some pretty excellent dialogue:
Mybug: Do you believe that women have souls?
Flora: I’m afraid I’m not very interested.
Mybug: Do you know what D.H. Lawrence said?
Flora: I do, actually, yes.
5. Richard Benson (Paris When It Sizzles)
Richard Benson is kind of an asshole screenwriter, but his smarminess is occasionally charming (at least given the distance of fiction). He also helps prove that if you want to seduce Audrey Hepburn, you should probably start writing (see also: Breakfast at Tiffany’s).
“I love reading another reader’s list of favorites. Even when I find I do not share their tastes or predilections, I am provoked to compare, contrast, and contradict. It is a most healthy exercise, and one altogether fruitful.”—T. S. Eliot (via booksandhotchocolate)
“Being rich is not about how much money you have or how many homes you own; it’s the freedom to buy any book you want without looking at the price and wondering if you can afford it.”—John Waters (via amandaonwriting)
“I can’t furbish. I am like the tiger (in poesy), if I miss the first spring, I go growling back to my jungle. There is no second; I can’t correct; I can’t, and I won’t. Nobody ever succeeds in it, great or small. Tasso remade the whole of his Jerusalem; but who ever reads that version? all the world goes to the first. Pope added to ‘The Rape of the Lock,’ but did not reduce it. You must take my things as they happen to be. If they are not likely to suit, reduce their estimate accordingly. I would rather give them away than hack and hew them. I don’t say that you are not right: I merely repeat that I cannot better them. I must ‘either make a spoon, or spoil a horn;’ and there’s an end.”—Lord Byron on revision, in a letter to John Murray (via deirdrecoyle)