I interviewed Jenny Lawson (AKA The Bloggess) for DAME Magazine. It went well. We spoke for half an hour on the phone while she paced her house and dusted her stuffed mice. (It’s a Bloggess thing.) We talked about her website’s origin, advice for turning a blog into a book, evil Reddit users and how her husband copes with having his conversations posted in public. Lawson is naturally funny, humble and nice. I hope we get the chance to speak again. She has stories. Oh, she has stories.
Naturally, I couldn’t fit the entire interview into the DAME article, so after it was posted I asked the publisher if I could post the rest of the interview on my site.
The original Q-and-A is here.
And now the bonus tracks…
JD: What are you doing today?
JL: I’m doing a couple of calls (to promote my new book), but for the most part I am catching up on Portlandia because I haven’t watched any of the second season. That’s my busy day.
JD: My wife and I watched the whole show in two weeks. Now we put a bird on everything.
JL: Did you read the Put a Bird on it story I put on my blog? I get this bag and I put a picture of a dodo on it and I wrote something like “Put a Bird on it Before It Goes Extinct.” I put it in my Zazzle store as a joke and maybe I sold one. I got this cease and desist letter (from the show) that said, ‘You can’t say “Put a bird on it. That’s our thing.” So I said “What the fuck? What? I’m making a parody of your show, which is a parody of a city. No.” So I made these jokey, “Put a bird on it!…Except you can’t do it because of copyright infringement blah-blah-blah.” Fred Armisen from Portlandia saw it and said, “Carrie (Brownstein) and I think these are hilarious. Keep doing them. This is ridiculous. We’re going to talk to our attorneys. Just do it.” What was awesome was they ended up ordering one of the bags. I have a picture of both of them holding it. Put a Bird On It, officially approved by Carrie and Fred.
JD: I’m glad that, at the end of that story, you were able to put a bird on it.
JL: I was totally able to put a bird on it. They invited me to the season premiere and I actually got to go and see all of the people. It was funny, too, because Lorne Michaels was there and he owns Broadway Video. I was so tempted to go up to him and and be like, “I put a bird on it.”
JD: The blog has led to your crossing paths with celebrities.
JL: I invited William Shatner to come to my house to save my marriage as a joke on Twitter. I had this long, bizarre conversation about what kind of prostitutes he would like me to order. He blocked me, so I started this campaign to unblock me and MSNBC and Gawker covered this one-sided feud with William Shatner.
JD: What are the perks of being a popular blogger?
JL: Getting to be (author) Neil Gaiman’s friend. And I get to go to lots of really bizarre things like I got to land on the USS Nimitz on a plane and spend the night there and sleep in the brig. I’ve done ghost-hunting expeditions. I judged a beauty contest.
JD: Is there an expectation you will write about those things?
JL: I always make sure before I go I tell them I probably won’t. If it’s not funny, it’s not going to be worth reading about. I don’t want people to be like, “Oh, great, here’s another ad for whatever.” The beauty contest was never written about. A lot of them were never written about.
JD: Do you interact with other mom bloggers?
JL: I met a lot of my best friends through blogging. They’re not all mom bloggers. I have a lot of guy friends as well.
JD: Your book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened took 10 years to write. Why so long?
JL: When I started I was working full-time. Then I had Hailey, and there was a year when I did not write at all. There were all these little breaks between. I would get to it when I had a chance to. I’d write for a month and then then not. There were only two years where the writing was a focused priority. I’m glad it’s actually finished. It’s a relief.
UPDATE: Jenny’s book is No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller’s list.
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