Don’t think that if we’re all good girls, if we’re properly meek, if we don’t provoke our men, we’ll be safe. Good girls get hurt all the time.
We are not the problem.
I refuse to quietly accept that there is one set of rules for how men live and another set of rules for how women live. And still, at night in a dark parking lot, I will walk to my car with my keys splayed between my fingers like blades. Ain’t that some shit?
I know some authors like to write in coffee shops, others listen to music, and some prefer to write when it's quiet. What was your writing process with CALIFORNIA?
I started California while at an artists’ residency in Wyoming called Ucross. I had an enormous writing studio there, and I didn’t have anything to do but create art. Seriously: deer pranced by my window, birds called out, and my lunches and dinners were prepared for me. I wrote the first 40 pages of the book there, and mostly did so in complete silence. This is different from my usual process; at home I listen to music on my headphones as I write. Much of California was written to the creepy electronic music of Fever Ray; the songs scared and moved me, and allowed me to enter Frida and Cal’s world.
After I left Ucross, I wrote the book either from my desk in my living room, or from my neighbor’s kitchen table—by then I’d had my baby and was using their apartment as a kind of office whenever I had a sitter. Sometimes I would work at a nearby cafe called Paper or Plastik; in fact, there’s a line in the book about a barista checking her lipstick in the reflection of the espresso machine, which happened right in front of me as I was writing!
I always write on my laptop but I do a lot of free writing and problem solving in my journal as well. I love to read the work aloud, too, to get the prose rhythm right. My best writing happens between 9:30 am to noon. I turn off the Internet and go…
THE BOOKTERNET! I’m biased on several professional and personal fronts when I say this, but if y’all have not watched Rachel’s talk from TEDxGowanus, then pfft. I don’t know. I JUST DON’T KNOW. I just love the Internet so much.
I am biased on several professional and personal fronts when I say this, but Tahlia is an internet superstar and a delight!
“The opportunity to connect with readers is a valuable part of the process. It’s not an afterthought; it’s not gravy. It’s what we’re all here for. I’m not asking you to design posters and put them up in the subway—I’m asking you to connect with individual people who you genuinely think will be interested in your work. And no matter how introverted you are, writers care about talking about their work and their ideas and connecting with the audience. It’s really an essential part of what we’re here to do.”—
You know, sometimes I just want to pack it all in and move back to the Midwest, where I could live cheaply, eat cheaply, focus on things like writing where living would be easier, and then I remember that I can go to an amazing author signing here (tonight was Emma Straub and Edan Lepucki), with a friend I met on the Internet (via CoverSpy, another recent passion project of mine!) and has quickly turned into one of my favorite people, and meet an author who recognized me because we have been talking on Twitter about her book.
Also, Emma Straub recognized me from her reading at Word Jersey City last week or whenever, and listened as I babbled at her about how I’d read her book since then and all the things I loved about it.
Like, sometimes I get tired of NYC, and yet, sometimes, I remember exactly why I love it so much. My life is literally just being around books and being involved with the Bookternet and the people who make books so much fun, and, just, I really could not ask for more.
The Colbert Nation puts Edan Lepucki’s novel “California” on the New York Times best-seller list.
YOU. GUYS. Here is Edan Lepucki being all poised and charming on the freaking Colbert Report right after he announces California has hit #3 on the freaking NYT Best-Seller’s List! #3!
So, um, you know, if you want to be really ahead of the curve on this one and read some early Lepucki, you know what to do. Pick up a copy of If You’re Not yet Like Me and you can be all “Oh, Edan Lepucki? Yeah, I’ve read her oeuvre.”