Jenny Lawson -- the mouthy, witty, funny woman known as the Bloggess -- has moved from blog to book, and that's good news for her millions of fans.
In her blog (www.thebloggess.com, of course), she writes about motherhood, anxiety, popular culture, her cats and anything else that comes to mind -- all with great humor and a liberal use of the F-word.
Her memoir, "Let's Pretend This Never Happened," was published in April and debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times' bestseller list. ("I assure you, no one is more surprised about this than me," she wrote.) It, too, is funny and profane, all about taxidermy and bread-sack shoes and, yes, a bathtub full of raccoons.
She'll be in town Friday to read and sign books at Barnes & Noble in Edina. Here, she talks with us about creepy dolls, her love for Neil Gaiman (Neil might not know about this), and the wonderful drunken residents of Texas.
Q The subtitle of your book is "A mostly true memoir." What does that mean?
A All memoirs are mostly true, but I wanted to give my family an out in case they got harangued for anything in the book. I let all my family read it first, though, just to make sure they agreed with everything in it. I was surprised to find that they added even more that I'd almost forgotten!
Q Describe your writing room.
A Bizarre and eclectic. It's like a little room of strange designed to make me feel comfortable. It's filled with books, dead animals wearing clothes, creepy dolls and rusty things I find in thrift shops. There's a giant George Washington head in the corner staring at me as I write this.
Q What is your writing strategy -- do you have rituals that you maintain?
A I listen to a lot of pink noise [like white noise, but based on octaves rather than frequencies] as I write. It helps me concentrate and block out the outside world.
Q How do you get past writers' block (or the distraction of the Internet)?
A I go at least once a year to a hotel to just get away and write with no interruptions. It's really helpful to be in one that has the Internet but with a really slow connection so that I get too frustrated to surf and waste time.
Q Do you have a favorite book from childhood?
A I loved A.A. Milne as a child. He was smart and witty and didn't talk down to kids. I also loved "The Book of Beasts" (by British writer E. Nesbit).
Q What books do you reread?
A All of Neil Gaiman's books. Ditto for Ray Bradbury and Dorothy Parker.
Q What's on your desk?
A Three Diet Coke cans (empty), a package of twine, my daughter's stuffed ostrich, tons of pens and about 30 Post-it notes reminding me to do things that are over deadline.
Q Where are you right now? Describe what you see.
A I'm in my office. I can see deer outside the house. I can see thousands of books. I can see a list of things I should have done yesterday.
Q What are you reading right now?
A Julia Child's "My Life in France."
Q What's been the best place so far to do a reading?
A Texas. Most of the people are slightly drunk, so they're easy to please.
Q Which authors have inspired you?
A Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury, J.K. Rowling, Dorothy Parker, David Sedaris, Caitlin Moran.
Q My mother would look at your book and say, "The language! Oh, the language!" What would your mother say?
A "You use the f-word as a verb, noun, adjective and exclamation. I had no idea that profanity could be so versatile."
Laurie Hertzel • 612-673-7302