1) Finish this joke, a stand up comedian writes a YA novel….
because job security is for more responsible human beings. Seriously, could I have picked two less reliable careers: comedy and writing? Somewhere, my masters degree is crying.
2) I do two arts as well, I write and play music but people tell me I should quit playing rock music and just do stand up cause I write moderately funny things. Tell me the joys of stand up and why I should quit the only way that pretty much guarantees me getting laid?
Don’t quit being a musician, bro. Comedians all want to be musicians. Dave Chappelle used to talk about this, and he was right.
3) I am working on a YA novel myself and instead of Gatsby inspiration I’m using Shakespeare as a backdrop. I usually write really weird shit (seriously Google me, it’s weird) but this YA book is something my mom could read, so give me some YA writing advice?
Don’t try to sound like a teenager. Just write in your voice. Then run it past some teen readers to see what they think.
4) Top 5 lesbian love stories that are not your book? Bonus points for either “But I’m A Cheerleader” or “Blue Is The Warmest Color”.
Wow, let’s see…Hazel and Foxglove in Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman.” Willow and Tara on “Buffy.” Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok. The teen gals in a ’90s indie movie I loved but can’t recall the name of now. Me and my first crush. Granted, she was my nursery school teacher and we never dated or anything because I was really focused on learning to read at the time, but still. She was awesome. It was more of a platonic love story.
5) I didn’t know till I did research that you wrote a piece I really loved on Jezebel “I Am So Not Sorry About My Vagina….” It was a great essay, how are you doing on your apology addiction and women in general since you’ve done that essay?
I still apologize too much. It’s a disease! And ladies definitely apologize too much. We also constantly try to make ourselves smaller and less visible so as not to possibly offend or bother anyone in the slightest.
I got a great piece of advice from Diablo Cody when we were discussing a project we’re working on together, the TV version of my memoir, “Agorafabulous!: Dispatches From My Bedroom.” She asked what role I would want to play behind the scenes, and I awkwardly said, “Um, I don’t know, I’d like to be a writer on the show, but would it make people uncomfortable having me in the room because the book is about me?” She looked at me and said, “If you were a man, would you ask me that question?” I got the message. And then I ended up adapting the pilot myself, hooray! Now it’s at USA and we’ll see what happens. Anyway, the point is this: we don’t win anything by making ourselves small and meek and sweet.
6) Out of all the artists I meet in NYC, I love comedians the most, because they are the lowest on the dick or lame scale (expect when on stage then you guys and gals are total dicks but that is part of your act.) Why are comedians usually the most down to earth and fun artists?
Wow, I’ve met some comedians who are total dicks! Not to mention I personally can be a real bag of crazy. I’m glad your experience with our tribe of freaks has been largely good. I guess we expose our vulnerabilities on a regular basis and this keeps us equally humble and self-obsessed. Also, comics don’t have a ton of money usually and we love to drink, so it behooves us to be friendly to our fellow man. And many of us just love the sound of laughter, so we try to elicit that as often as possible.
7) Was The Great Gatsby your favorite novel in high school?
It was not. My favorite novel was “The Chosen” by Chaim Potok. A later favorite was “Weetzie Bat” by Francesca Lia Block. I really dug Gatsby, though, and it stuck with me through the years.
8) I usually ask a writer what writers they were inspired by but not this time. What comedians inspired you?
George Carlin, Chris Rock, Sandra Bernhard, Margaret Cho, and John Leguizamo were all folks who inspired me to become a comic.
9) You have done two books, non-fiction, & fiction. Now I want you to keep it real, tell people how much harder is to craft fiction. Or are you worried if you say fiction is harder, that non-fiction writers go write mean blog posts about you?
It depends on the individual writer. For me, fiction is much harder than nonfiction. I’m used to doing nonfiction on stage – or creative nonfiction, as it were. You stretch the truth but not so much that you lose the truth in the process.
10) Last question, what are you working on now?
Let’s see…I’ve got the second draft of BELIEVERS, my next YA novel, which comes out in summer 2015. It’s about an evangelical all-girls show choir from Texas that crashes on a deserted island and goes feral. It’s inspired by Lord of the Flies. I’ve also got to hand in an outline for my fourth book, which comes out in 2016. It’s called LET’S GROW UP TOGETHER and it’s for any adults of any age who feel as if they’ve somehow missed a step in the maturation process. And I’m developing my first book, AGORAFABULOUS, as a TV pilot with USA. And I’m housebreaking my puppy.
You can see Sara read from her new book here in NYC this Wed. 4/16/ at Books of Wonder between 5 and 7 and reach her at the links below.