May 25, 2006
videos
"Squip? Google It" Reel, 01-20-2006
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Here it is -- for anyone who is just Googling "squip" and who missed out on the whole campaign last year. This is a reel of all the wonderful things we did with squip -- the websites, T-shirts, promos and general hilarity. Enjoy and thanks so much for all your help with the project.
"esc tht" -- The Inimitable Tyler's Finger Skateboarding Video, 12-25-2005
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This video was made by Tyler Corbett, aka the Inimitable Tyler, a reader who has been in touch with me for... at least a year now. I'll let Tyler introduce it himself in his inimatble prose:

"alright ned i know its been a long time but i finnaly got a camra thats mine with editing soft wear so in less then an hour we throught these piece of work together its called esc tht video... its the first for a serious of snowboarding skateboaridng and anything else we think is cool this is all from dylan hes one guy whos a bit over wieght and cant skate or snow board that well and were like lets make this dylans so the first one is what hes best at and its pretty crazy its a tech deck video but the tricks are sick"
Final Barbes Show, 05-12-2005
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This is the introduction I gave for the final Reading Series at Barbes, which I curated from May 2004 to May 2005. The reading series has been picked up by Robyn Schneider and Jessica Liese.
Ned on YA Visions, 04-09-2005
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An interview from Piscataway, NJ with some very enthusiastic and professional students.
Ned on YA Visions pt. 2, 04-09-2005
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Continued interview from NJ TV.
Ned on YA Visions pt. 3, 04-09-2005
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More from NJ TV.
Ned on YA Visions pt. 4, 04-09-2005
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More from NJ TV. This interview is fun; that's why I put up so much of it.
Ned on YA Visions pt. 5, 04-09-2005
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More from the show.
Ned on YA Visions pt. 6, 04-09-2005
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This is part 6, but the video is labeled part 7. By the way, each of these are about two minutes long.
Ned on YA Visions pt. 7, 04-09-2005
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"Kill your darlings."
Ned on YA Visions pt. 8, 04-09-2005
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Questions about being a male.
Ned on YA Visions pt. 9, 04-09-2005
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Me on girls: "They all had different clothes and hair and they were flying around."
Ned on YA Visions pt. 10, 04-09-2005
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Demonstrating the scream from the hardcover of Be More Chill.
"Admiring Feelings of a Graceful Lady", 02-04-2005
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Performing one of my favorite advertising jingles for an audience in Cambride, MA at the Dire Literary Series.(Thanks to Mai for taking the video! Should stream. For broadband or adventurous dial-up only.)
Ned on the Today Show w/Judy Blume, Al Roker, 11-18-2004
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My history of failure in television took a brief reprieve on the Today Show, where I sat next to Judy Blume as she introduced Be More Chill to the show's book club. (It was, not to be a shmuck or anything, the first young adult book to achieve this honor.) I played it straight; later on, I wished that I had mentioned that Eminem dies in the book--it would have went over huge. Thanks to Adam, Lisa, Denise, and everybody at Hyperion and Miramax who helped get me there! Behind-the-scenes pics here.
Ned Vizzini | Official Site | Extras
Photos | FAQ | Giveaways | Music | 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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MUSIC
The unarchived life is not worth living. Here is a complete collection of the music that I've made in my life.
Wormwhole (age 13) - "Pants In The Mail"
...In Teen Angst? Naaah..., I started a band called Wormwhole. People have emailed me asking for the Wormwhole demo, since in the book I said that first five people who contacted me about it would be allowed to buy it. Sadly, for years, Wormwhole was lost forever. We never really had a demo; we just had one tape that we recorded in my friend Ike's bedroom.

But then, one day, I was trying to make a mix tape on my stereo. I popped in an old tape to see if it was something I could tape over, and there was all this weird religious chanting music. Then, out of the blue, literally sent by divine intervention, was the Wormwhole tape! I don't know how it got into the middle of the tape, but my friend Marcus did a tape-to-mp3 and now, for free and forever, Wormwhole's two songs here. Above you're got "Pants In The Mail." "Lumber" is below.
Wormwhole (age 13) - "Lumber"
Ned Vizzini Solo (age 14) - "I Hate The Internet"
Me with an acoustic guitar. Kind of a stupid song, but sometimes I still agree with its sentiments.
Ned Vizzini Solo (age 14) - "Pop Song"
This one is just terrible. Cringe-inducing.
Ned Vizzini Solo (age 14) - "Rain Van"
The title is an anagram of "Nirvana." This song features a wind chime solo and is loosely based on Nirvana's "Misery Loves Company" (one of their unreleased 4-track songs).
Ned Vizzini Solo (age 14) - "Dollar To Live On"
Written about a time when I was really, really happy. This is all bass guitar and singing.
Ned Vizzini Solo (age 14) - "Notice Me"
Bass solo. I reworked this later with Buswood (see below).
Buswood (age 15-16) - "Cagador"
If you only listen to one song on here, make it this one! "Cagador" is a minute-plus improvisational punk jam on A. You can hear me yelling instructions to the group and at the end, Owen from Teen Angst says "This is for the people from Ecuador." "Cagador" is "shitter" in Spanish.
Buswood (age 15-16) - "The Office Song"
I wrote this when I was working at my parents' office. It summarized my nascent desire to have a structured, corporate life instead of an unstructured writing life. This is something that I still struggle with. My friend Jesse with whom I later formed The Just Because loves this one.
You can see I had kind of an unhealthy obsession with Saint Kurt. This song is a lot of yelling but it comes together nicely in the middle. Very embarassing title and lyrics.
Buswood (age 15-16) - "My Heart Is Yearning" [NOFX]
Mangled NOFX cover. Owen from Teen Angst is singing.
Buswood (age 15-16) - "Spice Girls Song"
Oh man. This is probably the worst one up here (if I didn't say that already). This is loosely based on the Spice Girls' second single "Wannabe". Choice lyrics: "But now / I've got some stanky woosey woosey / I need more than a friend." I'm playing bass; Owen co-vocalizes.
Buswood (age 15-16) - "Notice Me"
At the end of this song, its new title is declared: "I Pissed In A Coconut." Which I did, once. It was a cut-off coconut that had housed a fruity alcoholic drink.
The New Mexikans (age 18-20) - "Broken Eye"
After high school, I played bass in a heavy psychedelic rock band called The New Mexikans for three years. These were some of the best times of my life, although, of course, I didn't realize it at the time. Driving around to shows in Long Branch and Roselle Park, NJ, fishing stoned kids out of the back of the van, recording demos through the night in Funkadelic Studios... It was great. The band continues on as The Day The Earth Stood Still with resident guitar god Gabriel Marin still at the helm. The other players on this song and the one below are Brian Anwar (vocals) and Lou Miller (drums).
The New Mexikans (age 18-20) - "Kidicarus"
Pronounced "Kid Icarus." Based on the 8-bit Nintendo game (uhm, woot?). I always thought that the crunching together of the two words made this one impossible to understand--people kept thinking it was "KidiCARUS" or "Kikikrous" or something ridiculous. But it's a cool song. Nice solo in here. These New Mexikans songs are like, decently produced. They're not home demos like the stuff above.
Autobots [Rap / Hip-Hop] (age 21) - "It's Difficult"
Yes, I've tried rapping. I actually don't think I was that bad at it. The chorus to this one is "It's difficult / it's difficult living in a box." And I contend that it is. Production by Jory aka Dr. Mindbender.
Autobots [Rap / Hip-Hop] (age 21) - "Autobots"
My first rap. On this one I talk about having sex with aliens.
Autobots [Rap / Hip-Hop] (age 21) - "The People That Aren\'t a Whore"
This has a reference to John Garcia, singer of Kyuss, the underground stoner metal band that evolved into Queens of the Stone Age and became one of my favorite bands in the early 00ze.
The Just Because (age 22) - "I Love Two Girls"
The Just Because were a punk rock band that I formed with my friend Jesse as we were finishing up college. I quit because I couldn't handle all the lugging equipment around -- and because I was freaking out about all sorts of other stuff in life. (See It's Kind of a Funny Story.) But if I were to start any band up again, this would be the one--I wish (like Jesse does) that we had better recordings than this.
The Just Because (age 22) - "Guess I'm In Love"
This one is really simple: "I guess I'm in love / Don't you know I know it's true ... Cuz I would shoot myself in the head / Shoot myself in the head / Shoot myself in the head / If I didn't have you." An alternate title would be, um, "Shoot Myself in the Head." ::sighs::
The Just Because (age 22) - "Syntax Ass"
A silly little song about grammar.
The Just Because (age 22) - "The Office Song"
A redone "Office Song" (the earlier version is above).
The Just Because (age 22) - "Consumer Warfare"
"Whoa-oh-ohhhh / You don't have to pay money for things that suck." That's it! That's pretty much the whole song. "Whoa-oh-ohhhh / You don't have to pay money for things that suck." I'm proud of this one.
The Just Because (age 22) - "Rent"
"My rent's getting higher / My pay's going down." Jesse wrote this and it's really sad and laid-back (funny that the two would go together).
The Just Because (age 22) - "She's Super Cute"
This was the first time we played this one! At the end, you can hear me saying "That's a good... early version of that song."
The N Music Pitches (age 23) - "It's Good"
I pitched this as a theme song for The N, the older counterpart to The Noggin TV station. The words are: "It's good."
The N Music Pitches (age 23) - [Pitch 2]
No title on this theme song pitch.
The N Music Pitches (age 23) - "Sunnyland"
Ah... Sunnyland. Where everything is groovy all the time. I live there sometimes, you know. Very rarely.
© Ned Vizzini 2000-2006
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