You rarely appear in public. To what do we owe the
pleasure of your appearance here today?
A| An opportunity to stroll around the Javits Center is a temptation not even the hardiest hermit can withstand.
What will you be doing at BookCon?
A| Sidling up to the independent presses, where the future of art and literature is always lurking. The revolution begins with Wave Books [an independent poetry
press in Seattle], et al.
This Daniel Handler fellow is still your spokesman.
Conspiracy theorists think that you and he might be
the same. What do you say to them?
A| “Hello, conspiracy theorists. I was wondering—egad! Look behind you!”
What would one of your delightful fans be surprised
to know about you?
A| That I occasionally enjoy radish greens on salted toast? That I once challenged Pam Munoz Ryan to a
duel? Who can say what surprises someone, particularly
What books did you read as a child?
A| Let us light a candle here in a remote corner of Book- Con for the recently departed author Zilpha Keatley
Snyder [author of the Newbery Award–winning The Egypt
Game, The Headless Cupid, and The Witches of Worm], a childhood obsession and lifelong inspiration.
How do you feel about the Netflix series based on A
Series of Unfortunate Events?
A| Only a company that regards “binge” as a positive term would regard orphan tragedies as “entertainment.”
How involved are you?
A| I once loved a woman, now deceased, who haunts me to this day. I believe social media would label this
“perhaps too involved.”
How do the Beaudelaire orphans feel about having
to relive their traumas?
A| I have not heard from them. I assume they are some- place weeping with Piper Kerman, author of Orange Is
the New Black.
What inspired you to write The Bad Mood and The
A| As a frequent traveler, I was interested in the journeys of emotions and objects.