First, last week's winner of Aimee Friedman's The Year My Sister Got Lucky is... Jester Feign! She had an awesome shoe story (as did everyone!) but you know she won by random number generator. Send me your address, JF!I just read E. Lockhart's The Boyfriend List last year. I know, I was late to discover her. But once I did, I couldn't get enough. And though I haven't yet read her latest book, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks, I am super psyched to do so because a) I've heard her read from it, hilariously, and b) A total of four people I totally trust taste-wise have told me that I will love it. So really, when E. agreed to do a quick interview with me, I wanted to ask her: 1. How is it that you're so witty? and 2. How can I be as awesome as you? But I felt like that would be weird, so I asked her normal things instead. Without further babble, here she is: 1. Do you ever get writer's block? If so, what helps you unblock? I don't get writers block, really, because when I have it I just switch projects. I make myself work, but I work on what seems manageable. So that means, if I can't write what I am supposed to be writing, I make notes for another project, or work on copyedits, or something of that nature. But I do get stuck, usually about 3/4 of the way through a novel, and think: I can't write the crisis scene! I have no plot! What I planned to do is never going to work! And then I complain a lot. Going for walks sometimes helps. Sometimes I tell my plot to a friend or colleague, in hopes of sorting out what the ending should be. 2. Your characters tend to be sharp wits with quick minds. Are those the kind of people you know and love in real life? Nah, I prefer dullards who are slow on the uptake. :) Actually, although I do like smart and funny people (who doesn't?) I get annoyed when there's a table full of people all pressing their wits to the forefront of a conversation. I am much wittier on paper than I ever am in person. I fine-tune the dialog in my books over and over, so the things my characters say on the spur of the moment are things it has taken me months to dream up. I have never liked angling to be the cleverest in the room, and I find I don't really enjoy people who make me feel as if they are somehow wittier and sharper than I am. Of course, nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent, but I find that avoiding people who TRY to make me feel inferior is one key to happiness. 3. In honor of Frankie, what is the best prank you've ever pulled (or been involved in, or seen pulled off)? One of my inspirations for The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks was remembering the hijinks I got up to in college, sneaking into buildings, climbing onto roofs, having parties on the golf course. But I myself am not a prankster -- I think I was more of an explorer. So I had to do a lot of work to make up the ornate pranks Frankie invents. I read a number of books about pranks and researched the greatest college pranks of all time. One of those college pranks was the theft of the Sacred Cod of Massachusetts (yes, there is really a sacred cod!) by Harvard students in the 1930s. It was a brilliantly orchestrated and witty prank, so I pilfered a bunch of its details and reworked them for the book. Others I made up with inspiration from what I'd read. But for quite a while there were big blank spaces in the book that said: DESCRIPTION OF PRANK HERE. Because I was not writing from memory! See, I told you E. was completely badass. Now, to win a signed copy of The Boy Book (which E. is writing a continuation of right now, probably as you're reading this!), just tell me about a prank you've pulled (or seen pulled, or dreamed of pulling). Phew! Ok, so comment below to win, and I look forward to loving your prank stories!