Posts Tagged ‘Ned Vizzini’

Today we shine the spotlight on author Ned Vizzini. I met Ned and his family at the Children’s Book Festival in San Diego earlier this year. I am so grateful he could take some time from his busy schedule to visit with us today.


Ned Vizzini is the award-winning author of It’s Kind of a Funny Story (also a major motion picture), Be More ChillTeen Angst? Naaah…, and The Other Normals. He has written for the New York Times, Salon, and the L Magazine. In television, he has written for Season 2 of MTV’s Teen Wolf and currently writes for ABC’s Last Resort. He is the co-author, with Chris Columbus, of the forthcoming fantasy-adventure series House of Secrets. He lives in Los Angeles with his family. His work has been translated into seven languages.

Author Spotlight:

WOTS: What was your road to publication?

NV: I started writing when I was a teenager. There was a local alternative newspaper called New York Pressthat I picked up religiously every Wednesday on my way to school. I loved the essays inside — by writers like Amy Sohn, Jim Knipfel, and Jonathan Ames. I wrote my own essay like that and sent it to the paper. It came back in the mail: not enough postage. So I put more stamps on and re-sent. That was how I started freelancing for that paper at the age of 15. Books, television, and film work followed in the ensuing 16 years.

WOTS: Can you tell me a bit about your writing process? Do you plot or not?

NV: My writing process is not regimented and it’s different for every project. I didn’t outline any of my YA novels but I have been outlining my new middle-grade adventure series,House of Secrets(which I’m writing with Chris Columbus). And of course I outline my TV and film projects. Novel writing is the only place where I let myself be free, and a lot of roads end in failure.

WOTS: Are you working on any new projects that you can tell us about?

NV: Yes, my new book The Other Normalsis out now!  Please buy it and please come get it signed at my reading at Mysterious Galaxy Books on Saturday, October 20th!

WOTS: Describe your studio or usual work space for us.

NV: One of the advantages of living in Los Angeles is that I have a home office. It’s like a 3rd bedroom that turns into a guest room. I write there in front of a window that faces an ugly fence.

*Note* This is not actually Ned’s ugly fence, this is just my interpretation of his description.

WOTS: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

NV: I would like to be a brilliant computer programmer, but I’m not that brilliant at it.

WOTS: What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?

NV: I would love to tell you the big thing about me that people don’t know, but then people would know it.

WOTS: Your book It’s Kind of a Funny Story was adapted as a movie, can you tell us how that came to be?

NV: It’s Kind of a Funny Story got turned into a movie because the directors, Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden, liked the book and wanted to make a movie out of it. It may sound simple but that’s the reason. The book got passed around Hollywood and Ryan & Anna reacted to it very positively. They had made Half Nelson and they really understood the book so I trusted them to do a good job with the movie. After the book was optioned, there was about a three-year gap before production began. I talk about the process in more detail in my IKOAFS set reports.

WOTS: What was the inspiration for your newest book The Other Normals?

NV: The Other Normals is about a teenaged geek who falls into a real fantasy world. It was inspired by my tales of woe at summer camp, by my love of Dungeons & Dragons, and by my desire to write about the journey that geeks have to make to stop being victims.

WOTS: We here at Writing on the Sidewalk tend to procrastinate with our writing. Where do you fit in—Procrastinator or Proactive?

NV: I’m a procrastinator for sure. I’m not as bad as some but I’m not as good as I’d like to be. I wait until the last day to write things — or the last three days if they’re hard. My mother says everyone’s like that and it’s the only way humans know how to work. All I know is, there’s a certain kind of writing that you only get when you have eight hours to do it.

WOTS: Thanks Ned for visiting with us today.

If you’d like to learn more about Ned or his books, please be sure to check out the following links:

book: http://nedvizzini.com/writing/#ton
website: http://nedvizzini.com
twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/ned_vizzini
facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ned.vizzini

Happy Reading,

Suzanne Santillan

Writing on the Sidewalk

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Yikes! The book festival is only three days away.

I mentioned in a previous post that I am on the planning committee for the Children’s Book Festival in La Mesa here in San Diego. Time is closing in on us and the festival is only three days away.

Are we ready?

Only time will tell. We’ve ordered stages, arranged for tables chairs, a DocuCam for the illustrators, and yes… PortaPotties. We’ve contacted vendors, authors and illustrators for booths, delivered hundreds of thousands of bookmarks, and made countless telephone calls. Time is closing in on us and the festival is only three days away.

What’s left to do? 

There are a million and two last minute details that need to be completed before Sunday. Double check the space for the green room, print programs, pick up the t-shirts, contact the authors with last minute schedule changes and plan the author meet and greet dinner. Time is closing in on us and the festival is only three days away.

What’s happening at the event?

Along with the author/vendor booths, we will have face painting, hands on illustration demonstrations from Samantha Cerney, Terry Naughton, Billy Martinez, Steve Gray, Rich Arons, and Mark Ludy. The Bilingual Village features; crafts, bilingual story tellers and authors Mara Price, James Luna, and Rene Colato.  Our Storyteller stage will feature professional storytellers, a dance troop, local dignitaries sharing their favorite children’s book and authors Kathryn Cloward, Henry, Josh and Harrison Herz, Donald Samson, Kevin Gerard and Eleanore Garner.  The Main Stage will feature; Ned Vizzini, Lin Oliver and Theo Baker, Tom Kirkbride, DJ MacHale, PJ Haarsma, James Burks, Kelly Bennett, a drama group doing Doctor Seuss songs and me. Add a little PGA Neighborhood Golf, and Reading to Rover and you have what we hope is a full day of fun and entertainment. Time is closing in on us and the festival is only three days away.

So I’m off…

It’s time for some last minute emails, shopping, Facebook and Twitter posts.

Time is closing in on us and the festival is only three days away.

Suzanne Santillan

Writing on the Sidewalk

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