May 25, 2006
videos
Chapter 3, 03-14-2004
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Me reading from Be More Chill at the East Side Oral event which I hosted 3/14/04. Thanks to David Guida for the video!
"A Beer Commits Suicide", 12-14-2003
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Me reading my short short story "A Beer Commits Suicide" live at East Side Oral in Manhattan 12/14/03. Flash photography causes video to glitch slightly around 3:50. Thanks to Marcus for taking video and to all who came!

[P A R E N T A L A D V I S O R Y]
Burlap Sack #1, 12-09-2003
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Me reading from Be More Chill while wearing a burlap sack.
Burlap Sack #2, 12-09-2003
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Me reading from Be More Chill while wearing a burlap sack.
Burlap Sack #3, 12-09-2003
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Me reading from Be More Chill while wearing a burlap sack.
Stand-Up Comedy, 03-14-2003
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Me trying stand-up comedy. I haven't tried it since.
[P A R E N T A L A D V I S O R Y]
Dancing, 06-06-2002
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Me dancing. Naturally this is short.
Study With the Best, 05-03-2002
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A spot on Teen Angst? Naaah... (from the show "Study With The Best" on NYC cable).
Study With the Best #2, 05-03-2002
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A spot on Teen Angst? Naaah... (from the show "Study With The Best" on NYC cable).
9/10/01, 09-10-2001
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What were you doing on 9/10/2001? Well, I was hanging out with Fabrice of Milli Vanilli. (Remember from "Behind the Music," Rob and Fab? This was Fab.) This somewhat bizarre video was put together by my friend Marcus and features some of my friends and I engaged in New York nightlife in the last night before 9/11.
Ned Vizzini | Official Site | Extras
Photos | FAQ | Giveaways | Boards
FAQ









1. Who are you?
Please see the bio on the front page.

2. I read that. Can you give me any more info?
I was born 04/04/1981. I grew up in Brooklyn (and a little bit in Manhattan, until I was six) with both parents, a brother, a sister, two cats named Snuffy and Molly, two lizards named Xerxes and Slinky, and a Nintendo. My hobbies (besides writing and reading) are listening to rock music, running my website, and getting into trouble. I have a degree in computer science that I got because I never thought writing would make me any money. I started writing when I was fifteen (1996) for New York Press, a local alternative paper. I wrote stories for them about my high school experiences--I went to Stuyvesant High school in Manhattan--that they printed every month or so. I did NOT have a regular column; I was what you call a freelancer. In 1998 I wrote something for the New York Times Magazine. The essay I wrote got the attention of Free Spirit Publishing in Minnessota and they put out the first edition of my first book Teen Angst? Naaah..., which was a collection of some of the stories I wrote for New York Press (with some added in), in August 2000. After two years, Random Housebought the "mass-market rights" to Teen Angst and put out the second edition--the one with the cover with a guy with a box on his head. (This is not me.) I went Hunter College in Manhattan from 2000 to 2003 and graduated with computer science bachelor's. My second book Be More Chill, which I wrote at college, was published June 2004 by Hyperion/Miramax Books. Since 2000, I have spoken at schools about writing/humor/life and read extensively from Teen Angst and Be More Chill. In the fall of 2004, suffering from a lot of stress, I spent a few days in the psych hospital and ended up writing a book loosely based on this experience called It's Kind of a Funny Story. That book is coming out in spring 2006.

3. How can I reach you by mail?
Ned Vizzini
PO Box 459
NY, NY 10276

4. Who is Jeremy Heere?
Jeremy Heere is the main character Be More Chill. I used to have a number of websites dedicated to conceit that Jeremy was a real person and that the squip in Be More Chill was a real device. But not anymore. Jeremy is a fictional character. He and I are different. I invented him.

5. What is the squip?
The squip is a pill that makes you cool--it's something that I invented for Be More Chill. To promote the book and expand on it, I and my former business partner built a universe of websites that presented a world where the squip was real. Squips aren't real, but you can see the result of our "Squip? Google It" campaign here. The squip could be real, though; I know this from my studies in computer science. The technology is coming.

6. At the end of Be More Chill, do Christine and Jeremy hook up?
The open ending of the book is tough for many people. They want to know what happens. I left it open-ended for a reason, to keep you thinking, and not just because I was too lazy to write an ending. But in my mind, yes, they hook up. I hope they do. That's what's supposed to be implied.

7. Where can I get Be More Chill (in the UK, etc.)?
Be More Chill is a real book with major disribution and as such is available in Barnes & Noble, Borders and independent bookstores all over the place. If a bookstore that you go to does not have the book, that probably means they sold out and you should go to the information desk and ask for it--that would really help me out. The books section of this site has a comprehensive list of foreign editions that should be available. If you can't find the book in your country, try the Amazon.com for your country. If you still can't find the book, please email me and tell me about it.

8. Is there going to be a Be More Chill sequel?
I don't plan on one, sorry!

9. Is there going to be a Be More Chill movie?
It's in development. Check the books page--info on the movie is on the left.

10. How long did it take to write Be More Chill?
9 months and 9 days, a normal human gestation period. I finished Nov. 6, 2002.

11. Where did you get the idea for Be More Chill?
Teen consumerism, MTV, quantum computers, and death. Also a song called "AM/FM Shoes" by a band called Drunk Horse -- it's about a guy with shoes that make him feel cool. I wanted to take that idea to the limit.

12. How much of Be More Chill is based on your real life?
65%. The infected nipple-ring incident, in particular, really happened to me, with the first girl I ever kissed. Yep.

13. Can you sign my copy of Be More Chill?
Yes! Email me indicating that this is what you want and fill in your address info and we will take it from there.

14. What happened to _[name here]_ in Teen Angst? Naaah...
Judith: I have not talked to her in 2150 days. We had a really bad breakup.
Dad: He still works hard, but doesn't come home as late as he used to. He smiles a lot and I like to see that. He's also developed into a fine singer and sings in a choir. He still drives like a maniac, as if he were Hamlet and all the other cars had plots against him.
Mom: Mom is very active in her local church and is doing her best to ensure that I never leave her ZIP code. She thought
Be More Chill had too much masturbation in it. She has taken care of me in some really bad times.
Daniel: My brother escaped death on Sept. 11th and is now in a college in a Southern state. I went and visited him and was shocked to find him actually working, reading
Paradise Lost. He is majoring in applied math. Smart kid.
Nora: She's getting ready to go to college. I don't know how I ended up related to such a competent, together young lady.
Owen (Russian friend): went to college, got in trouble with the FBI for hacking, managed to destroy the evidence (a hard drive) before they could catch him, escaped to Florida where he lived in a house full of Brazilian models and filmed them for an adult website. Last seen in New York drinking coffee.
Poppy (dominoes player): Gone. No one will talk about him in the old neighborhood. The whole East Village has, in fact, been taken over by NYU students who would only play dominos for the ironic value. There is hardly any room in New York for characters like Poppy anymore.
James (shy friend): went to college, worked in liquor store, built various things in his house. Now he is a professional woodworker with a cool girl in my neighborhood.
Ike (Mayan friend): went to college, lived in various apartments, got a job in night construction, which was perfect for his strength and vampirism, and then went to Japan and came back with a wife!
Carlo (overbearing paint employer): not seen. I have a feeling--I don't know why--that he's dead.

15. Can I have a Wormwhole demo?
No need to ask. Both Wormwhole songs are available right here for download: Pants in the Mail, Lumber.

16. Is Teen Angst? Naaah... your first book?
Yes it is. You might be confused because there are two versions: the one printed in August 2000 by Free Spirit Publishing (yellow cover) and the one printed in August 2002 by Random House Dell/Laurel-Leaf (black cover, guy with a box on his head).

17. What is the difference between the two editions?
There aren't any significant differences. I removed a few dates from the Random House version to try and help it age better.

18. Can I see Attack of the Killer Turtle?
Unlike Wormwhole, sadly, Killer Turtle is gone forever.

19. Can I get Uncle Tumba?
I do have a few issues left but due to lack of interest, I'm not pushing them right now. If there's more interest in the future, maybe I'll put them on ebay or something.

20. Did you ever meet the girl who kicked your backpack down the stairs? Did she read the book?
Nope. I bet she never read the book. I bet she never even heard of it. I bet she has no idea...

21. Did you do the pictures in Teen Angst?
No! The cartoon illustrations for Teen Angst were done by a very talented gentleman named Christopher Schons. He now does Big Rig Comics.

22. What ever happened to that band Shrivel in Teen Angst?
The real name of the band Shrivel was Out Of Whack, and the main singer/guitar player/guy was Chris Maher. That band broke up but Maher is still making music. He has his own label now! recommended if you like records

23. Is there going to be a Teen Angst? Naaah... TV show / movie / whatever?
No. Here's the long, sad story (read #6).

24. How can I start writing? Professionally?
The key is, don't write a book. Especially if you're young, you're not going to have the discipline to follow through on a complete work of fiction, which has to be on your mind all the time for months. Also don't write poetry or short stories, unless you've got one really good short story--there's not much of a market for that. Cut your teeth writing for newspapers and magazines. The key here is this:

At the front of every newspaper and magazine in America (sometimes on page 2 or 3) is something called a masthead. The masthead lists the names and occupations of all the writers/artists/editors who work for the paper. At the bottom of the masthead is an address called the slush mail address. You will probably see it in tiny letters down there and really have to struggle to read it. This is the address that unknown writers can send their work to!

You know what? It's not like trying to be a model or a rock star. You don't have to sleep with anybody.

Newspapers/magazines need to run copy every month/week/day so they eventually read the slush mail because hey, if there's talent in there, they want to use it for copy. Think of all the little articles in
Time and Teen People and Tattoo. Someone has to write that crap.

Whatever you enjoy reading, you should send your writing to. If you like cars, send to
Road and Track. If you've got a crazy story about homeless people or music, look for a local alternative paper in your city (like New York Press, it'll come out every week and have listings for all the concerts/parties going on); you will, at least, get a response and get an idea how good your stuff is.

25. Do you have any writing advice? How can I be a better writer? etc.
It's not my advice, it's William Faulkner's (variously attributed to many other writers): kill your darlings. It means go into your writing and get rid of all the inside jokes / cutesy parts that are only interesting to you. What you'll be left with is writing that has the ability to effect other people. It's the toughest thing in the world to do, but that's what makes it good advice.

26. Who were your influences?
As a kid I got into reading through two primary people: George Orwell and Michael Crichton. For a long time and in many different places I have insisted that Crichton's Jurassic Park is the world' greatest book; now I'm starting to reconsider. Lately I have been reading a lot of contemporary literature like Cryptonomicon, Everything is Illuminated and Fortress of Solitude. Those three are all fantastic and between them, Orwell, Crichton, Stephen King, the Narnia books and anything by Jim Knipfel, Jonathan Ames, and Jerry Stahl you should have a fine working background in tight prose and bizarre humor.

27. Isn't it hard to write about your family and friends? Did your friends read the book? What did they think? etc.
It is very hard. Even though people's egos like to be fed by a print appearance, they don't take kindly to being comic relief for 1000s of readers. Many of my friends and family members did read Teen Angst; not all did, those who did were happy but not as happy as you might think. Some people have identified their own anecdotes in Be More Chill as well; they seem to be more okay with appearing in a work of fiction. This is a primary reason why I plan to work in the fiction realm from here on in.

28. What are you working on now?
I have finished my third book, It's Kind of a Funny Story. It's coming out in spring 2006. Right now I am working on short stories, screenplays, and a new novel.

29. Are you on AIM? MSN Messenger? Yahoo Messenger? etc.
I occasionally use AIM as "NedVizzini". Yes, my screen name is NedVizzini, straight up (I couldn't think of anything cool), if you see me don't ask me if I'm really me, or make fun of me for faking being me--no one would fake being me.
GIVEAWAYS
I have some stuff lying around my house from my first few books and I want to get rid of it. In the past, we had contests, but this time it's no contest--it's first come first served. Click on the item you want and you will be taken to the contact form, where you can give me special instructions on how you want it signed, sealed and delivered. I'll send it off and we're all good. It's my way of saying thanks for supporting my writing. There's some interesting stuff here so dive in. Limit one per.
It's Kind of a Funny Story Discussion Guide
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Written by author Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, this is the OFFICIAL guide to It's Kind of a Funny Story, with the kinds of reading questions and language arts projects that make being an English student so much fun. There's an interview with me in there too. I'll sign it and send it to you.
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Guns N' Roses Use Your Illusion I - Resequenced by Ned
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In 1999, when I was working at an internet startup, I took it upon myself to resequnce Guns N' Roses' gorgeous but flawed Use Your Illusion double-album, the album with the WORST track order on earth. I thought long and hard about how I would put the songs together and whittled UYI down to a set of 24 songs split evenly between two discs perfectly illustrating the twin focii of the band (Axl's balladry and Izzy's rock chops). What's more, due to transfer from computer to computer, certain songs have unique tics--for example, "Coma" skips and repeats the part where Axl gets angry phone calls from all his ex-girlfriends twice before continuing. I'll sign 'em. One of a kind. I'm getting rid of these because it's all on the computer now.
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Guns N' Roses Use Your Illusion II - Resequenced by Ned
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[see description for I]
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© Ned Vizzini 2000-2006
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