My new novel (out TODAY!) is called I Have Some Questions For You. So I figured you might have some questions for me, and I went ahead and answered them.
Q: Wait, you wrote a book?
A: Where have you been?
Q: Well, congrats, then! A second book! That’s huge!
A: This is my fifth book.
Q: What? No it’s not! It’s your second.
A: It is definitely my fifth book.
Q: What’s it about?
A: It’s the literary feminist boarding school murder mystery you didn’t know you needed.
A: It’s about a film professor who returns to the boarding school she graduated from in 1995; while she’s there, she realizes that the wrong man might be in prison for the murder of her junior year roommate.
Q: Hold up. I went to high school with you. Is it about me??
A: If I tell you that it is, will you buy a copy? Then yes, it’s totally about you.
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A: No. But there’s an underwear thief in the book, and there really was an underwear thief at my high school.
Q: Is it based on your actual high school, though?
A: Absolutely not. But check this out: The Penguin marketing department asked me to draw a map of the fictional campus, and then they had an actual artist make it beautiful!
Q: Why are there “fireflies” on the map?
A: Just read the dang book.
Q: How long did this book take you?
A: Four or five years, depending how you count.
Q: I thought it took like six months to write a book!
A: You were lied to.
Q: Are you touring?
A: Why YES!
Q: Do I need a ticket for these?
A: For some of them, yes. So you might want to click through early and buy 14 tickets for your whole book club. (Please?) When the ticket price is high, it’s usually because there’s a hardcover book included.
Q: Do I need to have read the book first to come to an event?
A: Of course not. This isn’t English class.
Q: Is it just going to be you reading aloud in a monotone for half an hour?
A: Five minutes of reading at most. I’m almost always in conversation with another author. Hijinks will ensue.
Q: So what were you actually like in high school?
A: I was a huge nerd and also a cheerleader and also kind of grungy. Puzzle that one out.
Q: I need a photo of this.
A: I’m on the road, but once I’m home this weekend I’ll do a paid-subscriber issue with some actual yearbook photos. They are embarrassing, so brace yourself.
Q: Are the reviews good?
A: Oh, THANK YOU FOR ASKING, here is the absolute dream review of a lifetime in The New Yorker.
Q: Do you like the audiobook?
A: I’ve only listened to a few minutes, but I LOVE it. We were lucky enough to get audiobook royalty geniuses Julia Whelan (99% of the book) and JD Jackson, and they’re both brilliant. You can get it on Audible, and/or I really love Libro.fm, which lets you send the money to your favorite indie bookstore.
Q: Do you get to pick the cover?
A: I got to have a lot of say, and I love how it turned out. There were a zillion tweaks, and everyone was incredibly patient about it.
Q: It’s really your fifth book? I’m pretty sure it’s your second book.
A: I swear to God. Look:
Q: Why aren’t those in chronological order?
A: I am not in charge of Google.
Q: Any favorite interviews so far?
A: OMG yes, I got to do a “By the Book” for the New York Times Book Review, which was a thing on my actual literal bucket list. If you’re in more of a listening mood, here I am on NPR’s Weekend Edition.
Q: So where can I buy this book?
A: Just about everywhere. The UK version is out (in the UK and Australia, etc.) later this week, and translations are in the works. The Penguin website links to all the places you can buy the US version.
Q: Hey, what would it look like if we stacked up 660 copies of your book and you had to sign them all?
A: It would look something like this:
Speaking of which, The Strand has a few (660) signed copies! So do Exile in Bookville, Lake Forest Bookstore, McNally Jackson, and P&T Knitwear. A while back I also signed a whole bunch of looseleaf pages that got bound into books that went out to indie stores all over, so your local bookstore might well have signed copies too.
Q: What do you sign with?
A: Virgin blood.
Q: Should I order it now or wait a few months?
A: I’d be grateful for either. But if you think you’ll ever buy it, I’d be really grateful if you bought it this week, in any format. Early sales matter a lot, and this is my best chance to get on bestseller lists, which means it’s YOUR best chance to be friends (or e-friends, or whatever we are) with a bestselling author. And I’ll love you forever.
As you’re setting up new tour dates…. Any chance there’s room for a stop at Word Haven in Sheboygan, WI? This less than a year old indie bookstore is really great, and the owner, Kelly Holstein is busting her ass to build an inclusive, welcoming space. She not only carries books the local school library was compelled to ban, she spoke at the sb meeting in support of the librarians. My only interest in this venture is selfishly wanting it to stay open. Word Haven is my Libro.fm bookstore, and I just bought your new book there. Can’t wait to listen.
Q: Did I order a book?
A: Yes, it is arriving today.
Q: Is there really no reading in L.A.?
A: Read the fine print. "Other dates to be scheduled." If L.A. is skipped, I wonder whether she would let me forge her signature. Of course, it is an excuse to go down to Coronado for the weekend, which maybe is legally less fraught. So yeah, I will make the trip. I need a vacation, anyway.
Q: Did I know about Rebecca's other books?
A: Yes! I loved "The Borrowers" and am debating on whether to read "The Hundred-Year House" or "Music for Wartime" first after "I Have Questions for You."
Q. You're not going to sneak in a plug for your own book, are you?
A: No, that would be obnoxious. This is Rebecca's day. Don't make it about you.