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Tag: Interview (91-100 of 144)

Sloane Crosley on her new Kindle Single and how bad experiences make for funny stories

Book publicist turned best-selling author Sloane Crosley doesn’t have a new book coming out any time soon, but for those of us who are eager for more of her hilarious, perceptive observations, it’s lucky she’s gotten into the digital publishing game. Up the Down Volcano, Crosley’s first full-length essay since the publication of her second collection How Did You Get This Number, is available exclusively on Amazon as a Kindle Single. This hilarious yet harrowing account of summiting the Ecuadorian stratovolcano Cotopaxi — Crosley-style — reads more like an epic than her previous works, yet it retains her signature brand of intelligent humor, which stems from keen observation and honest self-assessment. EW caught up with this busy writer to talk about her new Single, the ways digital publishing can resemble the music industry, Arrested Development, and a lot more.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I laughed out loud while reading “Up the Down Volcano,” but I was also very conscious of the fact that your experience couldn’t have been funny when you were going through it. Are many of the experiences you write about only funny in retrospect?
SLOANE CROSLEY: Yes. Those generally make for better stories. I think that if you can see the humor while it’s happening – this is cliché – you’re tempted to not live in the moment, or it’s already fermenting into a story in your mind as it’s happening. You start mentally taking notes; that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t come out as funny or a worthwhile story on the other side, but for me personally, it’s more rewarding if there’s something [deeper] going on. Part of me thinks that it’s a defense mechanism that takes the pressure off of just trying to be funny, but most of me thinks that’s where people need humor the most, both as readers and as writers. READ FULL STORY

Joseph Gordon-Levitt on 'The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories'

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Inception star Joseph Gordon-Levitt isn’t just a consummate actor-artist himself — he’s inspiring a worldwide community of artists to create together through his online production company hitRECord. The latest spin-off of his collaborative multimedia project is the ingeniously illustrated Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 1 (It Books), a print collection of works from the website. The title describes the book pretty accurately: Some of the stories inside are witty, some of them are meaningful, but all are very, very brief.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: For people who haven’t come into contact with hitRECord yet, explain what it is in your own words.
JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT: It’s an open, collaborative production company. As much as I love acting, I also like telling stories, making little short films, music, art, writing, etc. Normally when an actor starts a production company, it’s sort of an insular, Hollywood thing, but I wanted to collaborate with all of these artists all over the world who are making beautiful art and don’t necessarily have the connections to work in Hollywood. That’s why we use the Internet and we put these projects that we do online, and anybody can contribute to them. I’m there directing, participating, curating, and editing, and we make things together. “Tiny Stories” is our most popular collaboration that we’ve ever had. It’s really easy to contribute to it. As it says on the back on the book, we had 8,000 contributions that came into this collaboration. From that we edited it down into this tiny book. READ FULL STORY

'Legend' author Marie Lu on her buzzy new YA novel

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Legend, available now, is 27-year-old video game art director Marie Lu’s first novel, and it’s already attracting major buzz. CBS Films has already snatched up the film rights, and Twilight producers Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen are attached. Legend takes place in a dark future in which North America has split into two warring nations: the wealthy Republic (or the West Coast) and the poor Colonies (everyone else). Two teenagers on opposing sides of the conflict are caught in a high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse, though a series of shocking events eventually bring them together. Lu took the time to talk to EW about writing her gripping debut—and about being an Asian-American author.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was your road to publication like?
MARIE LU: It was a long journey. I started writing seriously when I was a teenager, around 14 years old. I remember the exact moment when I [wanted to be a writer] because I saw an article in the Houston Chronicle about a young writer named Amelia Atwater-Rhodes who got a book deal when she was 15 years old. That was when I realized that I can actually pursue something like this, and I started writing seriously. I wrote four manuscripts before Legend over the course of 10 or 12 years, and none of those ever made it. I had one agent in college I parted ways with. My fourth manuscript didn’t sell, but it got me my current agent Kristin Nelson. When we were pitching that one, I started writing Legend, just to sort of distract myself from the whole submission process. My agent and I went through two or three heavy revisions on Legend before we finally submitted it. It was just really surprising and amazing to see Legend to sell after the other ones didn’t, so it was a long journey. [Laughs] READ FULL STORY

Jesmyn Ward on winning the National Book Award -- plus, she takes the EW Book Quiz!

Jesmyn-Ward

On Wednesday night, Jesmyn Ward joined the likes of William Faulkner and Jonathan Franzen when she won the National Book Award for fiction. Her novel, Salvage the Bones, is a searing portrait of a poor African American family living in coastal Mississippi during Hurricane Katrina. Ward took a moment to talk to EW about her big win and share some of her favorite books that inspire her as a writer.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Did any part of you think you would win?
JESMYN WARD: Not at all. I did not. [Laughs] You know, I’d written an acceptance speech just in case, because I figured I had a 20 percent chance of winning, but I did not expect to win. Actually, as they were announcing the winners in each category on Wednesday night, I just kept telling myself to breathe. I was mentally preparing myself to smile and clap and be happy for whoever won, and I just knew that was not going to be me. When they read my name aloud, I don’t think it registered until my publicist grabbed me by the shoulders, said my name very loudly, and shook me. That’s when it hit me that I’d actually won. READ FULL STORY

'The Future of Us': Authors Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler talk time travel, 90's pop culture

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Last week, we debuted the trailer for Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler’s upcoming time travel novel The Future of Us (out Nov. 21), which centers on an ingenious premise that combines 90’s nostalgia with Facebook. This superstar YA duo took a moment to chat with EW about their highly anticipated book.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did you two come to join forces?
MACKLER: I was on a panel of teen novelists at the New York Public Library and someone in the audience asked what my dream project would be. In that second it hit me. “I want to write a collaborative novel,” I said. I was a big fan of Jay’s first novel, Thirteen Reasons Why, so I sent him an email and wrote, “Are you up for a semi-crazy idea?”
ASHER: I offered a quote for Carolyn’s last novel, Tangled, but other than that we didn’t personally know each other. Carolyn had been one of my favorite authors for years, so when she accepted my friend request on Facebook a few years ago, that was huge! I had no idea she’d want to co-author a book with me one day.

Where did this great idea come from? READ FULL STORY

Mindy Kaling: An in-depth interview about her book, childhood, shoes, and homemade sashimi

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When I spoke to Mindy Kaling last month about Is Everyone Hanging Out without Me?, her book of funny insights (available today!), it really felt like chatting with a good friend. Reading the book itself actually feels the same way. Kaling talks about her life up until now — an awkward childhood, penniless years in New York, her enviable job on The Office — all in her smart, honest, naturally humorous tone. While way more intelligent and lovely than her Office character Kelly Kapoor, Kaling was similarly talkative with me — check out how long this interview is! We delved into some of the specifics of her book, so I’ll throw up a SPOILER ALERT in case you want to come back after you finish Is Everyone Hanging Out without Me?.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You’re incredibly popular among my group of friends. I just want to tell you that you really resonate with 20-somethings. But who do you think is your audience? READ FULL STORY

'Gossip Girl, Psycho Killer': Cecily von Ziegesar on the gory reimagining of her original novel

Von-Ziegesar-Gossip-Girl

When editors approached author Cecily von Ziegesar to write a genre mash-up of her popular first Gossip Girl book, she immediately came up with some ground rules: “No zombies, no vampires.” Instead, she kept the characters human, but took the original text of Gossip Girl and added some murderous elements. Just as in the original novel, Serena comes back to the Upper East Side after spending time away at boarding school — only in this reboot, she has murder on the mind. The Serena we know would exact vengeance on her enemies by sleeping with their boyfriends or getting them in trouble at school. Psycho killer Serena just kills them in the bloodiest possible fashion. While there’s more in this week’s issue of EW, see below for von Ziegesar’s thoughts on Gossip Girl‘s strange new twist. Spoilers ahead! READ FULL STORY

Justin Torres Q&A: Author of 'We the Animals' speaks to Shelf Life

At a slim 128 pages, We the Animals by 31-year-old first-time novelist Justin Torres makes an unforgettable impression. It’s a story about a difficult childhood and adolescence, but it’s not without flashes of joy. The narrator, who goes unnamed, is the youngest of three boys. He tells of growing up with a fragile white mother and an unpredictable Puerto Rican father. Writing in visceral yet elegant prose, Torres proves to be an author to watch – – he depicts the violence and messiness of young boyhood with incredible authenticity and takes the novel to unexpected, startling places. Having recently been published in The New Yorker, Torres took a moment before embarking on a national book tour to talk to me about We the Animals and what’s coming next. [Spoiler alert]

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So I know your novel is partially autobiographical, which is something a lot of fiction writers seem to look down upon because it’s seen as being less imaginative, perhaps — what’s uniquely creative about fictionalizing real life? READ FULL STORY

'Super 8's Joel Courtney stars in trailer for 'Ashtown Burials I: The Dragon's Tooth' -- EXCLUSIVE

Rob Sentz

Joel Courtney, the promising young star of Super 8, is featured in a brand new, action-filled trailer, but this clip isn’t for the next big Hollywood blockbuster. It’s for a book.

N.D. Wilson, author of the popular young-adult 100 Cupboards trilogy, asked his hometown friend for a little help to launch his next book, the first in a projected five-part series titled Ashtown Burial #1: The Dragon’s Tooth (out Aug. 23). Both Wilson and Courtney hail from Moscow, Idaho (Courtney currently goes to school with the author’s kids), which provided the inspiration for The Dragon’s Tooth’s blue-collar Americana setting. When it came time to make a promotional trailer — which Wilson himself wrote, produced and directed — Courtney was an ideal and convenient choice to star. In the exclusive video preview, Courtney plays Cyrus, a wayward and rebellious boy who joins a fantastical group of explorers in adventures far beyond the run-down motel he and his sister, Antigone, call home.

Check out a cinematic first look at Ashtown Burials #1: The Dragon’s Tooth and a Q&A with N.D. Wilson below.
READ FULL STORY

Comic Book Heroes: A conversation between Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison

Sometime in the late 1980s, the British invaded and changed comic books forever. Superman may stand for the American way — at least most of the time — but it took Scotsman Grant Morrison to write one of the best modern interpretations of the Man of Steel with All-Star Superman. Morrison’s latest work, Supergods, is an analysis of what superheroes, caped crusaders, and masked men can tell us about ourselves and our culture. It’s a fascinating discussion, and one that continued when he got together with fellow comic book icon and Sandman maestro Neil Gaiman to discuss their medium, their lives, and each other’s work in a wide-ranging conversation that EW was lucky enough to listen in on.

NEIL GAIMAN: First off, congratulations! You’ve got a book out.

GRANT MORRISON: Oh, thank you. It’s great after 30 years of actually taking it seriously to finally write it down. READ FULL STORY

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