Stephanie is author of two books, Straight Up and Dirty and Moose. The Greek Gods are surely smiling down on her because Stephanie Klein has led a life that you would totally read about in our favorite books and she’s very open about her less than confident childhood, where she battled with her weight in Moose.
I walked into the bookstore a few minutes late for my interview (damn that L.A. traffic) and I walked around until I found Stephanie, happily chatting away with a group of people. She looked adorable in her summer dress and before I could blink, we were led into a really small room where the interview was conducted.
Now on with the interview:
About Stephanie and Her Writing:
Book Binge: What did you want to be when you were younger?
Stephanie Klein: A writer. Or Annie. I have memories of myself standing on my front lawn singing, The sun will come out tomorrow…I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was in 4th grade. In English, we got those papers that was half blank and half lined, where you had to draw a picture and then write a story. I used to love those.
BB: How long did it take you to write your first book?
SK: A little over a year.
BB: What was going through your mind when you got the call that you were going to be a published author?
SK: I cried. I remember the first person I called was my Dad. I told him and I cried and I just couldn’t believe that I was being rewarded for something that I love to do.
BB: What did you do to celebrate the day you held your first published book in your hand?
SK: Well, there were different stages of celebration. When I first got my contract, I celebrated by having drinks with my friends. Then the book came out and I did some more celebrating with my friends, a lot of my celebration included lots of adult drinks.
BB: What were you doing 5 years ago?
SK: I wasn’t blogging yet. I was working full time as a VP for an Advertising Company and I was single and picking up dog crap.
BB: What are you reading now?
SK: I’m reading all of the old Judy Bloom books.
BB: Who’s your favorite author?
SK: It depends on my moods but I love David Sedaris, John Irving and Catherine Mansfield.
BB: What’s your favorite thing about being a writer?
SK: Being able to connect with readers. There’s nothing better than knowing that your words have helped others realize the good in themselves, to know that you have made a difference in other’s lives is really the best part of being a writer.
SK: Well, right now I’m writing a Young Adult book. It’s about a bunch of girls who are 9 going on 17 and are forced into the Girl Scouts and the hilarity that ensues.
BB: This is going to sound really pervy by I’ve got to ask…2nd grade? In your book, you mentioned that a girl in your second grade class, Maria was rubbing her vagina up against the edge of her desk and your teacher told her to stop but she wouldn’t. You said you knew what she was reaching for. Did you really play show your vajayjay with girls and you really knew what Maria was working toward that young an age?
SK: Oh yeah. I remember that the girl in my class who was caught was named Maria. I remember that it was Mrs. Kategan who scolded Maria and I knew exactly what Maria was doing. I knew that she was rubbing herself to an orgasm, I was always more sexual than other kids.
BB: Do you keep in touch with any of your friends from Yanisin? If so, who?
SK: I changed the name of the fat camps because there was a total of about 4-5 different camps and Yanisin means Ashamed in Navajo which is basically what everyone is when they show up at Fat Camp…ashamed. I do keep in touch with about 20 or so of my friends from camp, that’s one of the good things about fat camp is that you meet really great friends there.
BB: How if your relationship with your parents now? What did they have to say about your book Moose?
SK: They’re okay with it. My father knows now that it probably wasn’t right for him to crack up laughing when I came home from school crying because the boys were calling me Moose and he’s apologized for everything and I’m not the type of person to hold grudges so we’re all okay now.
BB: How is life treating you, post fat camp and all that? What are you up to now?
SK: Well I’m married with twins now, living in Austin, Texas and I’m pretty happy. My first book, Straight Up and Dirty was picked up by NBC and I’m just really busy, happy but busy.
BB: Why did you write Moose?
SK: Because people tend to forget their adolescence and they live by that “Someday Syndrome” where everything is, ‘Someday when I’m thin’ or ‘Someday when I’m more accomplished’ and when that someday never comes they’re unhappy with themselves. Moose is about learning to love yourself and be happy with who you are.
BB: Quick…why should people read Moose?
SK: It’s different with everyone. Teens should read this because they’ll feel less alone. They’ll learn that they shouldn’t conform to anyone’s rules. They should live in the moment because your childhood doesn’t make you who you are, you do. And Adults should read it because it’ll give them a look into their pasts. It’ll help everyone learn for themselves that they’re not so bad just the way they are.
- Pepsi or Coke? Diet Coke.
- What’s your biggest weakness? Emotional neediness, I want to be wanted.
- Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla.
- Favorite Movie? Little Women.
- Favorite T.V. Show? It’s a toss up between Grey’s Anatomy and Lost.
- Favorite color? Green.
- Mexico or Hawaii? Hawaii.
- Beach or Mountains? Beach.
- Fly or Drive? Fly.
- Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers? I have no idea but I’ll drink to whoever wins.
A special thanks goes out to the folks over at Harper Collins for making this interview happen. It was a learning experience for me and I enjoyed this little venture into journalism and Stephanie Klein was a worthy first live in person author interviewee. I’d like to thank her for taking the time to meet with me and for letting me pick her brain on her life, writing and her books. She’s in the middle of a book tour right now so she’ll try to make it online to hang with us today but we can’t promise that she’ll be around.
The Book Bingers would like to wish Stephanie Klein good luck in her writing career and the different ventures she will go through in life. It was a pleasure getting to know her and I was fortunate enough to have Daphne along at the book reading/signing. She’s such a cutie! =)
Congrats to Mandy, who won a free copy of Moose which I held off in sending to her because Stephanie Klein was nice enough to sign it personally for Mandy so we hope you enjoy your book, Mandy!
Sorry the pictures are all fuzzy but on my phone, they’re crystal clear but when I open them up on my computer, they look like that…sigh* Sorry guys, but hey you still get pictures!*