i hope you had all kinds of spectacular adventures these past two days. i hope you ate popsicles by the bay and hugged dolphins in your backyard. i hope you swung from bamboo branches and jumped into your neighbors' swimming pools. i hope you spent your Saturday gallivanting through the woods and your Sunday stomping through the city. i really only want the very best for you. but! if you did none of those things, i hope you at least ate a lot of oreos. 


if you had a frabjous weekend, i'm here to make it better. if you had a less-than-frabjous weekend, i'm here to make your Monday spectacular. because today we have an amazing interview with none other than Mr. Eric Pimp-My-Novel Himself! the sales guru of the publishing industry!

if you aren't following his blog, you are missing a limb that i highly recommend you replace. his posts are a daily dose of wit and information, and his [free!] knowledge is available for your consumption at breakfast lunch and dinner. you don't want to miss it.

Mr. Eric Blank (ha! i see what you did right there, sir!) is not only bursting with Genius re: writing, selling, blogging, editing, and publishing in general, but he also happens to be hilarious. and after this interview, you will understand why he is kind of like my hero.



(my comments are in red.)

ahem ahem!

1. are you related in any way to Snoop Dogg or the MTV creators of "Pimp My Ride"? if yes, please elaborate. if no, that's okay. maybe you can tell us more about why you started blogging. 

Sadly, no. Though I must admit I am a big fan of Uncle Snoop.

I started blogging sort of by accident. Nathan Bransford had a call for guest posts a little over a year ago, and I submitted a post titled "Book Sales Demystified." It ended up generating almost 200 comments and several requests for a book sales blog, so I started Pimp My Novel.

After awhile, I realized that almost no other industry professional was really focusing on the sales side of things (which made sense, since most of those who blog are agents or editors). Writers and authors seemed alternately overjoyed and dismayed at the information I was relaying (overjoyed at anything that could help them sell their books; dismayed by the fact that they hadn't had that information sooner, or that the industry news du jour was discouraging), but with an overwhelmingly gracious and positive response from readers, I decided to keep it up.


2. use seven words to describe what you do on a daily basis.

Blog, snark, eat, coordinate, gambol, despair, repeat.

(gambol is now my new favorite word, JUST FYI.)

3. you go to sleep at night and think:

B. i wonder how many times i can use the word Pimp in a sentence.
C. i wonder how many times i can pick a fight with Nathan Bransford.
D. i'm so tired i want to punch these bright lights in the face.

Alternately "C" and "D." I also wonder (not without a certain amount of dread) when/whether I'm going to have to sell a memoir by Lindsay Lohan or Justin Bieber (his current "memoir" project notwithstanding).

(i dont know whether to laugh or cry.)

4. one book you've read recently that blew your mind.

(Relatively) recently: House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, though that book's been out for ten years now. If we're talking poetry (one of my more innocuous vices), it's a tie between Dean Young's Elegy on Toy Piano and Harryette Mullen's Sleeping with the Dictionary. Favorite book ever: Cat's Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut.

5. if you were challenged to a dance-off, you would:

A. pull out your iPod and demand to choose the music.
B. kick someone and run.
C. filibuster the idea to death by talking about publishing.
D. ______________________

Invoke Hammertime, then "C." I'm a terrible dancer and excellent bullshitter. (Next stop: congress!)


6. mac or PC? why or why not?

Mac, because it's what I grew up and am most comfortable with. My dad was a Mac fan for as long as I can remember, and he passed that on to me. I think I learned to type on an old LC or LC II (simultaneously far-removed and not that different from the Macbook I have now).

(this is why we're destined to be best friends.)

7. if you could predict any one thing about e-books, what would it be?

They're coming faster than most people think. I've been estimating they'll comprise 50% of the market by 2015, but it's probably going to be sooner than that. I'd guess the second half of 2012 or early 2013 now.


8. when you were in elementary school, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I think I wanted to be one of those stunt guys that gets set on fire. Fire and explosions were big back in elementary school.

9. how do you take your coffee?

Black, like my money-grubbing, sales-oriented, shrivelled excuse for a heart.

(heeheee. you and The Rejectionist are twins. no wonder you're her VFF (very first fiance).)

10. you know it's time to do laundry when __________________.

I have more quarters than fresh pairs of underpants.

(this image is all i see.)

11. why the need to remain anonymous? is it because of the MTV people you may or may not be related to?

Partly, yes. Mostly it's because I want to be able to continue to blog without anyone looking over my shoulder. Were I to de-anonymize, I would either (best case scenario) be somewhat subject to editorial control via my employer, or (worst case scenario) be forced to choose between the blog and my job. And as much as I love PMN and all my loyal auteurs, blogging doesn't put bread on the table. Or whiskey in my flask.

12. if you had to choose between writing a book, reading a book, or editing a book, which would it be?

Writing a book. As much as I love reading, it doesn't really provide an outlet for my boundless narcissism. As for editing, I think I like the idea of it more than the actual activity.

(i'm basically choking on my laughter. i have nothing to contribute. i can't compete.)

13. two things you think every writer should know.

(1) More than talent, you need discipline.

(2) As is the case with life, nobody in this industry owes you anything. Writing is work; if you work hard, you'll reap the rewards of this business sooner rather than later.


14. have you ever broken any bones? if yes, where? if no, why not?

Yes. I broke the little finger on my right hand while playing football.

15. Anne of Green Gables asks: "Which would you rather be: Divinely beautiful, dazzlingly clever, or angelically good?"

Angelically good, since I'm already the first two. (Is there such a thing as "divine handsomeness"?)

(if your name is Gilbert Blythe, i think Anne of Green Gables wants to marry you.)

16. what's another word for "synonym"?



17. what's your favorite time of the day? why?

8:00 PM. I'm usually home, I've usually eaten, and I've got at least two hours of free time before bed. (Bedtime is early for us publishing folk.)

18. the first thing you do in the morning is:

A. wonder what day it is.
B. scream. just to get it out early.
C. get to work Pimping Novels.
D. _______________________.

"D" ("All of the above").


19. your favorite fictional hero?

The Batman. Hands down.

(TAKE NOTE, BESTIES! it's not "Batman". it's THE Batman.)

20. what color are your socks?

Lime green (argyle).

(this makes you my hero forever.)

21. tell us something you'd never say on the internet.

"That's it, folks. I'm out of opinions."

extra: parting words? encouragement for our writer-friends? anything you care to add?

Don't give up just because someone tells you to; don't give up because you can't sell your very first novel; don't give up your writing time if you can at all help it (remember: discipline); don't give up because you're 17 and unpublished; don't give up because you think you're too smart for the drooling masses that comprise the book-reading public; don't give up because you can't sell your eleventh novel; don't give up because you're 65 and unpublished; don't use semicolons (to quote Kurt Vonnegut, they are "transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college." (No offense intended to any transvestite hermaphrodite readers.)



heheee isn't he spectacular, my friends?

QUICKLY, NOW! join his loyal following! i promise you won't regret it :D


Which would you rather be: Divinely beautiful, dazzlingly clever, or angelically good?

here is a HEART especially for you: <3


Tracy said...

Ha! Yes, I adore him now! So funny. I think everyone would say clever is the best, I know I would!

Angela M. said...

Thanks, Eric, for the encouragement! I love your blog. It's one of the first industry blogs I followed.

Thank you for sharing him, Tahereh. I know it was tough to not keep him to yourself :)

Graystone said...

Funny interview! I think Mr. Eric and I are almost soul mates! Thanks for the interview, both of you!

Oh, and I'd like to be dazzingly clever--just because it has two of my favorite words in the world. (I mean, come on. Who doesn't love the word 'dazzingly?' Look at how many Zs there are in it!)

Happy Monday!

maine character said...

As much as I love reading, it doesn't really provide an outlet for my boundless narcissism.

Something tells me Eric's last name is Wilde.

Epic interview, and frabjous all the way.

Piedmont Writer said...

Fantastic interview!!! Thanks so much for having one of my all-time industry faves.

Dorothy Dreyer said...

Excellent interview, loved it! And I especially like his genius parting words. Brava! :)

Christi Goddard said...

I just wanted to say I love that he loves Kurt Vonnegut.

Matthew Rush said...

Oh TH how wonderful you are! I knew about Eric but of course I didn't know him THIS well. Thanks for giving us this glimpse.

Suzi McGowen said...

Great interview!

Dazzlingly clever, but I imagine your results will be skewed because you're asking writers :)

Bethany Elizabeth said...

Eek - fantastic interview!! I have a new dream in life: become famous enough to maybe have a chance of being interview on this blog. Although, I've noticed many interviewees are anonymous... hmm....
And I'd have to say dazzlingly clever, because I want to journey to become 'good,' and if I were divinely beautiful, I would never get there. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

I've been following PMN for a long time now - it's awesome!!

But green argyle?? Really?? :)

storyqueen said...

Great interview!

(And way funny, too.)

I think I'd want to be dazzlingly clever...just because dazzlingly is such a cool word.

Laura Marcella said...

LOL, loved the Anne Shirley reference! A couple months ago I wrote a blog post asking about this same question!

I'd rather be dazzlingly clever. I'm already angelically good and I wouldn't want to be divinely beautiful because then that's all people would see, ugh. So, yup, I'd definitely choose dazzlingly clever!

You're already dazzlingly clever, Tahereh, so which would you choose???

Sumayyah said...

this frabjous post totally makes up for lack of postage friday and my being bereft of any lurking spot. amazing and deliciously funny interview!

Lisa Gail Green said...

Yeah MACs!!! I mean.. great interview!! Very cool. And FYI, those stunt guys that get set on fire? Yeah, I know some of them and you were much better off in the publishing industry. :D

Caitlin R. O'Connell said...

Lime green argyle socks ftw!

Great interview, guys!

I hope YOU had a frabjous weekend, Tahereh!b

Sarah Enni said...

AWESOME interview. And I would choose to be dazzingly clever, because that sort of earns you love and respect. Right?

Stina Lindenblatt said...

You have like the Best interviews EVER, Tahereh. :D

ROFL to #10.

MBW aka Olleymae said...


Great interview! PMN always makes me laugh, and the insights are tres unique and valuable.

Thanks to both of you :)

SM Schmidt said...

Argyle is code for the person wearing them is AWESOME! But PMN is epic. Thank you Tahereh for this awesome surprise!

Can one be Divinely clever instead? Dazzlingly should always be followed by witty imho.

Candyland said...

He's awesome! And you're even more awesome with your interview skillllzz. When I'm famous (never), I hope you'll give me one of these uber cool views of inter<--see what I just did?
Ps. The word verification is "POCAT." As in, "My po cat gots him some allergies."

Marsha Sigman said...

I love him.
He may be my soulmate.
I also try to use the word 'pimp' as often as I can...which is hard in the accounting world. Or it used to be.

Simon C. Larter said...

PRIMARILY BECAUSE I HAVE AN ATTITUDE PROBLEM I will now proceed to sprinkle this comment with semicolons; there's no way this will be a surprise to anyone who even vaguely knows me; it's not even as though I'm using them correctly here; but whatever; I went to college and all I got was this damned semicolon.

And another thing, what's with the publishing industry and its woeful lack of appreciation for scotch? Everyone except Janet Reid seems to prefer whisky with an additional and entirely unnecessary "e." This means The Query Shark is my only friend in the world; I'd hug her, but she's got pointy bits.

AND FINALLY, nice interview, m'dear. (FYI, the "m'dear" was for Tahereh, Eric. I wouldn't presume to take liberties with your esteemed personage. Oh, what the hell am I talking about? Of course I would. Babycakes.)

Julie Musil said...

"Angelically good, since I'm already the first two."

Best answer EVER! Awesome interview with Mr. Pimp.

Lenny said...

cool interview miss tahereh and mr eric. i love reading interviews. the best part for me is the green argile socks. ha ha. mr eric you said dont give up if youre 17. does that mean cause im 10 and gonna be 11 pretty soon i should just give up til i get to be 17? :)
...hugs from lenny

Kari said...

I'm just going to pretend I'm all three ; )
Brilliant interview.

Carolyn V. said...

I totally, totally, totally agree with #13!!!! No truer words could be said. =)

R. B. LeMoyne said...

I'd like to upgrade my clever to dazzlingly clever, thank you.

Excellent interview! So funny AND informative, it's like the PB&J of publishing interviews.

Jan Markley said...

Love the answers to #13. I'm a big fan of Bat Man and Bat Fink (my wings are like a shield of steel, your bullets can not hurt me)!

Tahereh said...

hehe thanks everyone!

and a huge thanks to MR. PIMP MY NOVEL, ERIC BLANK! you are an absolute delight, sir.


Eric said...

As are you, Madame Mafi! Thanks to you & all who commented!



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