1. Do not give up piano lessons to play basketball. That is the second dumbest idea you will ever have. (The first dumbest will involve dropping acid and going to see Aliens, which is a Category Five mistake.)
Check out previous interviews in the One Thing Leads to Another series here.
I was going to tell you about the time I was reading Libba Bray’s Rebel Angels in a hotel in Belgravia, London, and how we were spending the next day at the Imperial War Museum (housed in the central portion of what was formerly Bethlem Royal Hospital, or “Bedlam”) and how it was all atmospheric and creepy and whatnot (which it totally was) and I was going to tell you about how I dog-eared and sticky-noted The Sweet Far Thing until there were no sticky notes left to stick because I thought (think) it was brilliant and wanted to see if I could connect all the luminous dots and figure out how she’d made it all work. And I was going to tell you how I spent the night before the ACTs at a New Order concert, which, now that I think about it will make a lot more sense once you read on.
But instead I am going to just point you directly to the interview below because it is EPIC. I mean, this is not run of the mill epic, it is Libba Bray level EPIC, which means playlists, life lessons, the influence of PBS, aspirations to royalty, Holden Caufield, Gilda Radner, existential crises, blood, make-up, exceptional teachers, music, boys, theater, George Saunders, thoughtful advice, pathological honesty, and–in what is certainly the most epic author-to-author question ever featured in this series–Chris Pratt. Just go, now. (You might want something to drink, and a snack, fair warning.)
Thank you, Libba, for this jaw-dropping and utterly exceptional interview, and for your willingness to come face to face with the monster time and time again.
Always Something There to Remind Me
Please describe your teenage self.
Actually, I feel like that sentence could be the description.
I was a girl of extremes, which I don’t think is terribly uncommon for the teen years: Goofy. Hopeful. Sardonic. Weird. Insecure. Certain I was a freak who would never have a boyfriend. Sometimes melancholy and lonely. An introvert who fronted like an extrovert. Well-intentioned if a bit “high-spirited,” as my high school principal described me that time I got sent home from the Latin trip. A class clown type who was terrified that someone might see how truly vulnerable I was while also wishing someone would see how truly vulnerable I was, preferably a wisecracking, music-playing boy who also read Salinger. I was in love with theater, music, literature, art, fashion, and film. I wanted grand adventures. I wanted to make the world a better, fairer place. I wanted my life to have meaning. And I desperately wanted out of Denton, Texas. Continue reading One Thing Leads to Another: An Interview with Libba Bray