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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Jenny Lawson at Barnes & Noble

Jenny Lawson at Barnes & Noble
Jenny Lawson is known to many people as the Bloggess, the name of her wildly funny, popular, and at times inappropriate, blog. Now she will be will be known as author with the release of her book, Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir), from Amy Einhorn Books.

She kicked off her book tour at Barnes & Noble's 86th St. store on the Upper East Side to an standing room only audience, usually reserved for Broadway stars when they are promoting their CD recordings of their shows.

Lawson appeared a tad nervous, blurting out "holy s@*t" when she took the podium. She said she had a dream that only two people showed up, and she was one of them. Fans of Lawson know that she has Chronic Anxiety Disorder, which makes her book tour appearances even more impressive, explaining that if she felt it necessary to crawl under the table, she knows her fans "would be OK with that." And they would; they love her!

She began by reading what she describes as "the most embarrassing thing I could read", a hilarious chapter from her book titled "The Psychopath on the Other Side of the Bathroom Door" which described a do-it-yourself colon cleanse that goes terribly awry, and had the entire crowd roaring with laughter.

Lawson originally started this book ten years ago, as a way to tell her stories to her daughter. She got into blogging to find her voice, which she describes as essential to anyone considering writing (or blogging).

She also said that "finding your audience" as a blogger is key. She found her audience by commenting on blogs that she found funny, and soon other commenters followed her blog, and now she is a powerhouse in blogging. She says that the funniest part of her blog is the comments section.

Someone asked about the editing process for her book, and she was honest, saying that it was difficult. She described her editor as saying "this is lovely, let's cut this baby's limbs off here, it will look better without arms", which she declared was tough, but in fact necessary.

A question was asked about whether Lawson was able to contact William Shatner; she spoke to "his people" and said that "he was TOTALLY wrong, and I was TOTALLY right."

As the Q&A section of the talk ended, Lawson shared some advice that author Neil Gaiman gave to her that really helped; he said "pretend you're good at it". She didn't need to pretend; she had that room in the palm of her hand.

I read a few chapters of the book while I was waiting, and it is profanely hilarious. If you don't mind cursing, and you like to laugh, pick up Let's Pretend This Never Happened.

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