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Ned Vizzini

This week's celebrity interview: Ned Vizzini, author of Be More Chill (Miramax) in bookstores nationwide
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DS: You've already tasted success with the launch of your first book,
now this is your second work coming out... Do you have any advice for
aspiring writers out there? How open are literary agents to teenage
and "young" writers these days?

NV: Agents will always tell you that they're not looking for young writers, they're looking for talented writers. But it is helpful to be young. You have a shtick you can sell that way. The important thing to remember, though, is that you can be a writer anytime--when you're 30, 40, 50. You don't have to do it young. My advice for young writers is to start with short pieces. True stories about your life work well. Try that first. Don't try to write a book when you're 13. It's proabably not going to turn out well (wild guess). Also, you have to be proactive and submit your work everywhere! Get The Writer's Bible 2005 and get going!

DS: How did you come up with the idea for your latest book and its
main plot point, the "squip"? Did you ever wish you had one with you?

NV: The squip was partly inspired by a piece of music--an indie band that I am into had a song about a big loser who got special shoes that played the radio, and that made him feel instantly cool. So I started thinking, what if there really were a product that made you cool? That got me thinking about teen consumerism in a serious way, and Be More Chill was born. And yes, in high school I would have tried out a squip. I was a pretty big dork. I would've tried almost anything.

DS: It seems like you're doing a pretty aggressive grassroots
marketing campaign with the publisher of your latest book, Be More
Chill. You're giving away t-shirts and stickers to get people to
Google the word "squip." Can you explain what that's all about?

NV: We started a pretty innovative campaign to promote Be More Chill. It involves an array of websites that treat the squip as if it were a real product--a sort of meta-satire. You can check out www.getsquip.com, www.celebritysquip.com, and www.squipworld.com for starters. The coolest thing about it is that readers are participating in "the squipiverse", showing us what the world will be like when this technology is really available.

DS: The squip's voice sounds like Keanu Reeves... Do you
have any plans for turning this into a movie eventually, and if so,
think Keanu would be down with playing the squip role?

NV: Yes, we are working on a movie, and yes, the screenwriter knows Keanu and we'll be making a play for him as the role of the squip!

DS: Wow, can't wait to see it! Conan O'Brien or Craig Kilborn?

NV: Josh Homme. He's the guitar player and chief genius behind Queens of the Stone Age, which I'm currently listening to. He looks just like Craig Kilborn; in fact, a la Michael and LaToya, they have never been photographed together and might be the same person. He's a lot more talented than any talk show host.

DS: In a fight, who would win: a pteradactyl (fully mature) or Ann Coulter?

NV: This is entirely dependent on the sex of the pteradactyl. If it's a female, it wins; if it's a male, it probably gets distracted by Coulter's hotness and lets down its guard long enough to be shot. But if it's a female it's extra jealous and kicks ass. Of course, if it's a lesbian pteradactyl it might be in trouble.

DS: Interesting analysis of a deeply complex issue. That about wraps things up. Thanks for stopping by StupidBull,
Ned, and best of luck with Be More Chill!

The corporate mumbo-jumbo:
Be More Chill is available at bookstores nationwide and it really does kick ass. Young writers can post their work and get commentary from peers and Ned himself on his site: NedVizzini.com. Oh, and Google "squip"! That's all until next week.



Funny t-shirts, including "Speaker City" from Old School (not an ad, just really cool)

Movie reviews for all the latest DVDs and films still in theatres! (an advertisement, but cool)

What I think of Bill Clinton's latest book:

(Submitted by Sy on 7/13/04)

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The Chinchilla Freak (new photo!)

Rumsfeld on HOTorNOT (also very cool)

Michael Moore eating (gross, but popular)

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