October 27, 2005

GCC: 3 Questions with Megan Crane (PLUS! Return of the Truly Humongous Lizard)

Looking at the cover of Everyone Else's Girl the REALquestion I wanted to ask Megan Crane was "Don't you just get poisonously HAPPY every time you see that AUTHOR OF tag under your name, indicating that this your SECOND book?"


I wonder if it makes her feel really for truly like a grown up, or an actual novelist, now that she has TWO books out? Because, see, I get poisonously happy looking at the BETWEEN, GEORGIA cover...that "author of gods in Alabama" tag line makes me feel SO... legitimate. But I didn't ask, mostly because I suspect Megan Crane of being cooler than me. Heck, after my last four blog entries, I kinda suspect Madeleine Alrbright of being cooler than me. HEY, say what you like about Ms. Albright's illustrious career, YOU KNOW she can't carry off really slick rock star sunglasses. You and me both, Madeleine, but at least YOU don't sleep with a Ken Doll with a hand carved laser gun duct taped to one hand and wearing nothing but kilt made out of a "HELLO! my name is..." sticker with "Joss Whedon" and some little hearts and sparkles drawn on by hand in purple marker. NOT THAT I SLEEP WITH ONE OF THOSE OR ANYTHING. I swear that doll is SCOTT's.

Oops, sorry honey. I meant to say, "action figure."

ANYWAY, I sat virtually down with the very cool Ms Crane and plied her with three less offensive questions about her second book. Everyone Else's Girl is the story of Meredith Mckay, who proves that, while you CAN go home again, it may suck once you get there. Library Journal really liked it -- they said, "In her second novel (after English as a Second Language), Crane shows a growing depth. Her characters are human and flawed, and Meredith sees some unflattering aspects of herself. This makes the novel work-there is warmth without being smarmy and hope but no perfect solutions. And the humor we enjoyed in Crane's debut bubbles up here, too."

JJ: I find the title intriguing -- how did you come up with it?

MC: The title comes from the Tori Amos song, "Girl," from her album Little Earthquakes which is, in my opinion, one of the greatest albums of all time. "She's been everybody else's girl," Tori sings: "maybe one day she'll be her own." This pretty much sums up Meredith's journey!

JJ: Heh. See, a COOL person would have gotten the reference. Let's change the subject! Your cover is really, really striking, and I am assuming the image is somehow thematically important (jumping through other people's hoops...?) and not literal, which makes it my favorite kind of cover. Can you talk a little bit about how the cover relates to the book?

MC: The cover seems to be all about the theme of the book-- jumping through hoops, trying to be perfect, aiming to please. I think women are particularly likely to contort themselves into some image of what they think women are supposed to be. Meredith certainly does, and I love that the cover suggests all these things in such a whimsical way!

JJ: I know you are an an "organic writer," (someone who writes their way into a book instead of working from an outline) Can you talk a little bit about your process and what you thought the book would be versus what it became?

MC: This book went all over the place. There were extra siblings at one point. Adultery. Violence. I wrote about two hundred pages in first person, then decided it should be in third person, so I went back in and changed everything. I wrote about three more scenes and decided that no, it belonged in first person, so I had to change it all back. I thought it would be much, much darker than it turned out to be. This was one time the organic process was more hindrance than help-- the current version is thanks entirely to my brilliant editor!


Meanwhile, in other NOT TO BE MISSED NEWS, the truly HUMONGOUS LIZARD reappeared, and I mean the WHOLE thing, not just PIECES. He was peeping out (cheerful and un-cat-vivisected) from behind my orange chair, having been living all wily in the den for DAYS now. I snatched up my handy tranq gun that I keep on hand to control rowdy children and darted him, Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom Style. After a long crashing chase through the underbrush, the sedative worked and he went down. I scooped him up in a tupperware.


LOOK, here he is by my ten pound barbell, so you can get an idea of how TRULY HUMONGOUS he was. (Scott outlined him because he is hard to see through the lid.)

Then we tagged his ear, and released him into his natural habitat: Aka my azalea bush:


Posted by joshilyn at October 27, 2005 10:15 AM

Oh! It looks like an anole! Would it freak you out if I mentioned that we had these living in the house when we lived in Tennessee? Mom caught them and brought them in on purpose to keep bugs off her plants. One was fairly tame (we named him Beethoven) and loved to sleep on the green part of the stained-glass lamp hanging over the kitchen table. This worked fine until, one night, he wanted off during dinner, jumped, and landed on an unsuspecting dinner guest's nose.

But I'm guessing that wouldn't fly at your house... ;->

Posted by: Laura at October 27, 2005 10:31 AM

I'm disillusioned to read that Mr. Husband outlined the lizard for that first pic. I saw it and thought he was Radioactive SuperLizard and was all glowy and shiny!

He's kind of cute, for a lizard.

Posted by: DebR at October 27, 2005 10:34 AM

Well, I got the Tori Amos reference, but I sincerely doubt that makes me cool. I enjoyed the Joss Whedon posts in a way that precludes coolness.

Posted by: Aimee at October 27, 2005 10:43 AM

Awwww he is cute and adorable and SO GREEN. Which almost makes up for the fact that now you have to wonder exactly how much lizard poop is in your house, I'm sure.

Posted by: Mir at October 27, 2005 11:01 AM

I have this mental image of Joss - bedecked in stylish pithe helmet, khaki bush shorts, pseudo cute shoes, and - armed with a very large weapon stalking said Komodo through vast regions of living area to subdue and tag the dastardly beast.

Lizard aka kissing cousin of the sneaky, devious, fast running snake. And now they glow in their superlizard radioactiveness. Argh, now I have to worry about dirty lizard weapons. The urban legend grows.

And people wonder why I am obsessively terrified of said demons.

Posted by: Cele at October 27, 2005 11:59 AM

PS: love the CSI scaling technique.

Posted by: Cele at October 27, 2005 12:01 PM

While the others mentioned the lizard, I thought I would mention M. Albright...did you see her on Gilmore Girls this week? I thought it was awesome, and so Rory to dream about her.

Ok, I am curious about the lizard...why do you think it's large?

Posted by: Vicky at October 27, 2005 12:14 PM

That is one big ol' lizard. I would've released him in the next town over!

Posted by: Chickie at October 27, 2005 1:16 PM

THAT was the humongous lizard?? That bitty thing?? You had me convinced you had a GILA MONSTER in the house! :D

Posted by: lizardek at October 27, 2005 2:21 PM

And that is another reason why I love living in Michigan (besides the whole crappy economy and stuff)...NO LIZARDS! Well, there may be lizards, but I have never heard anyone from around here complain about having lizards in their house. A teensy spider, yes, but lizards, thank goodness, no!

Posted by: Jessie at October 27, 2005 3:33 PM

How did THAT hide in your den for a week? I've seen your den and it's not that big. Your house is becoming Wild Kingdom, Tulip! And Waffles SO should have found him. Falling down on the job, kitty! :)

Posted by: Amy-GO at October 27, 2005 5:20 PM

You should see the non-native lizards here in FL that EAT the anoles.

Glad to see you captured and released ;)

Posted by: Angel at October 27, 2005 6:10 PM

*whew* For a second there, I thought that was a dead-body-police-outline. We had a whole slew of those lizards in our woodpile when I was a kid. Their tails fall off when you try to catch them.:-)
Organic? Is that what it's called? Wow. Being one of those non-outliner types myself, I though I was considered a "rogue". Organic sounds so much warmer and friendlier. *grins*

Posted by: David at October 28, 2005 8:45 AM

He does look like an Anole. They make great pets. And if he survived for ten days in your den, I'll bet he was finding some interesting little buggies to eat.

As always, nice I/V Joshilyn. My to-read pile is growing by the day. Sigh. Too many books, too little time.

Posted by: Edgy Mama at October 29, 2005 9:02 PM