Since I announced my intention to try to get people to give me money so I can write a book called Mostly Lies, people have been clamoring to know more about it. I explained a lot of it in a post last week, but I’ve gotten more questions, so I am going to answer some of them here.
Q: What are you talking about?
Q: What is it like to be a bat?
A: I don’t know because I am not now, nor have I ever been, a bat. This is not a question about the book.
Q: Will it be funny?
A: No one can say for sure. But I will say that I will try to make some parts of it funny. But it won’t all be funny. And you may not think the things I try to make funny are funny at all.
Q: Is any of it going to be sad?
Only as sad as I am — which is to say, very.
Q: Why is it called Mostly Lies?
A: The short answer is, because I always thought Mostly Lies: A Memoir would be a funny name for a book. The long answer is, because I’m afraid of commitment? I want to tell true stories, but I don’t want the facts to get in the way of what I want to say. I don’t want to have to worry about whether I really ate 12 pickles or just seven. The point is, I ate a lot of pickles while watching a man die in Albuquerque. But it wasn’t really a man — it was a dream — and it wasn’t really Albuquerque — it was a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. But that’s the point, don’t you see? Sooner or later all dreams die, just like men. And sooner or later all ice cream gets eaten, just like Albuquerque. I just want to lie about it, OK? Do you see what I’m trying to say?
Q: Will it all be lies?
A: No. In fact, it may not even be mostly lies. But there will definitely be some lies, and I’ll never tell you which parts are which. That will be the fun of it.1
Q: Is it just gonna be like a bunch of blog posts collected together?
A: I hope not. The goal is to create something cohesive, that builds upon itself and takes advantage of the book-length format. I’ve made connections between posts and followed themes here on the blog, but a blog is nonlinear by nature. It’s designed for you to jump in at any point. With Mostly Lies, I’m hoping to create something with more structure — if not a story arc, strictly speaking, then something of a logical arc. My ambitions may be overreaching, but that’s the goal at this point.
Q: I still don’t get it. What’s the book going to be about?
A: I can’t really say, because I really don’t know yet. I know about certain parts — I have rough drafts of certain parts — but I haven’t yet found the logical arc I want to build on. I’m hoping that comes together with time. All I know at this point is that it’s going to be an autobiographical narrative about stuff from my life — and so much of my life takes place in my head that a lot of the book is going to take place there too.
Q: What other books would you compare it to?
A: If you forced me to compare it to something, I would say, “Hey! Quit forcing me, dude!” and then I would point to Mr. Funny Pants by Michael Showalter. Although that’s really a post hoc comparison. It’s a pre-book, post hoc, ergo prompter hoc fallacy, but there it is. Showalter’s book is similar in its miscellaneous scope, but I don’t think he made up most of it. (I actually had the idea before Showalter to write a book about the writing of that same book. I had never told anyone about it, so I’m not gonna say he stole it from me, but he probably did.) I liked Showalter’s book, but didn’t think it was as good or as funny as it could have been. There are a few chapters in the middle where he gets more heartfelt, and it starts to really seem like it’s going somewhere, but it ultimately falls apart.
While I’m talking about funny books I like: I like This Is a Book (no relation) by Demetri Martin. It is much funnier than Showalter’s, but much less memoir-y. Those are the only two funny books I’ve read.
Q: Will there be an audiobook version?
A: If there is enough demand, no. I doubt there’s even going to be an visualbook version of it.
Q: Is there anything else you can tell me?
A: Yes. I listed some possible chapters on the Kickstarter page (and those all really are possible chapters), but here are some even more possible chapters:
- The Golden Rule
- MySpace Girlfriend
- Amoebas Got It Right
- Saying Something
- Then and Now
- Keeping in Touch
I hope that provides some more insight in this whole stupid idea of mine. Why not contribute? If it doesn’t get completely funded, you won’t have to pay anything, so you have nothing to lose except your money!
- Disclaimer: That may not, in fact, be the fun of it. [↩]