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Monday, May 6, 2013

Lauren Graham at Random House Open House

Actress Lauren Graham, known mainly from TV's Gilmore Girls and Parenthood (one of my favorites). has written a book, Someday, Someday, Maybe, and she was at Random House's Open House last week discussing it with her editor Jennifer Smith.

They began with Graham joking about "blowing through every deadline", which Smith did not find as humorous as Graham. Graham later said that now she knows the process better, she would be better with deadlines on her second book, though she said "I think I already missed one- oh, was it two?", when Smith quietly said that it was in fact two. Everyone laughed, Smith less than the rest of us.

Someday, Someday, Maybe is a novel about a young actress trying to make it in NYC. Graham didn't want to write a memoir, fearing that "it might degenerate into a 'tips for teens' from the Gilmore Girls' mom." She and Smith talked about how some people might not believe that Graham actually wrote the book, and Graham was shocked that people put their names on books they didn't write, asking "wait, is that even a category?" Sadly, Smith said it is.

She had the core characters in mind, wrote it and sent it to her agent, who sent it out to publishers before Graham realized it; "I didn't even spell-check it yet." Now she had the aforementioned deadlines to meet.

Graham spoke about how working on Parenthood, with its large ensemble cast, allowed her to spend much of her downtime working on the novel. It was difficult trying to balance the humor with character and story. She said "the voice I use on a talk show is not sustainable for 350 pages."

Now that Graham is on her 40s, she wanted "to do something new I hadn't done before. It's empowering." In talking about her writing process, she spoke about trying to write 1000 words a day, something she called "a reasonable, but challenging amount." She encouraged the audience to write, saying that "there's nothing stopping you from putting words to paper."

When asked about writers she liked, Graham mentioned Carrie Fisher, saying "she is a super underrated writer", and that she has read Postcards from the Edge many times. She also read Bridget Jones' Diary "a million times". She likes Sophie Kinsella, Carol Rifka's Tell The Wolves I'm Home, and of course, her editor Jennifer Smith's YA This Is What Happy Looks Like. 

Her second book takes place in Los Angeles, with the same characters.  She said that the second book is funnier because people in Los Angeles are funnier. (I don't she meant that as a compliment though.) Graham said that the final draft was due on January 3rd, which was tough because she had a huge family holiday celebration in Montana, which prompted a wry reply from Smith: "Actually, it was due in July." That drew huge laughs from the crowd.

Graham later signed copies of her book for the crowd, and it is one book I'm looking forward to reading. She was very kind and gracious to everyone, taking time to speak and listen to each person who had a book signed.
Me and Lauren Graham

Books In The City posted a terrific review of Someday, Someday, Maybe, and she has a giveaway of the book if you head over to her website here.


  1. My editor self wouldn't be laughing too hard at the missed deadlines either. But I would have loved to have had a chance to meet Graham and get a signed book.

  2. I would probably be behind on deadline if I were a writer too -- it must be hard having those timelines hanging over you.

    Thanks so much for including my post/giveaway.