Q:Were are analyzing An Abundance of Katherines in my Dutch class and one of the questions that we got was: "According to some critics, there is a Freudian evolution in the story: from the quest for a male, phallic symbol in the beginning to finding a female, vaginal place. Explain." Is my teacher being a creeper or is this an actual thing?
No, that is an actual thing; I mean, Colin goes to Gutshot in the first place because he want to see a gigantic phallus, and then the novel climaxes when Colin finds himself in a dark, moist cave.
That’s not particularly subtle (although I wouldn’t call it Freudian, necessarily.)
Regardless, whether I intended that or not, it’s a totally legitimate reading of the novel. The interesting question (to me, anyway) is not whether the author did something on purpose, but whether the something allows you to have a richer and more interesting experience with the book (and ultimately, if a story really works, with the world).
p.s. Very cool to hear that Katherines is being read in schools in the Netherlands! The translation must be excellent, because it is much more popular there than it is here.
Here are some John Green book collages that I made! I hope y’all like them! I’m super excited to announce that…
ALL THE DESIGNS ARE FOR SALE AT DFTBA RECORDS!!! AAAAH!
BONUS! The lovely people at DFTBA Records are giving a $10 discount when you buy all five together! So, buy 4, get 1 freeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Let me know which one is your favourite!
P.S See if you can spot all the items from Margo’s List in the Paper Towns design! There are; 3 catfish, 6 mountain dews, tissues, veet, a dozen tulips, a bottle of water, a can of blue spray paint and some vaseline hidden in the poster!
And another huge thank you to John, Hank, Alan and everyone at DFTBA Records for making this all happen. I can’t stop squealing!
I love these so much. Get ‘em here.
John Green cakes from the Manchester TFiOS Tour!
Obviously people are aware that Hank tweeted TFiOS but there were another four!
Made by me (which took like hundreds of hours so please don’t repost without credit please!)
things I would probably murder for: a vegan Looking for Alaska cake for my 21st birthday
Call me old-fashioned, but there seems something ethically problematic about killing someone to acquire a vegan cake.
(However, please bear in mind that I will be begging you to donate to the Project for Awesome beginning in about 48 hours, so…yeah. Don’t spend money on this that you would otherwise donate to the p4a. But if you’re looking for an attractive, book-ish, autographed gift in the $50 range for someone in your life, THEN I AM HERE TO HELP.)
This box set collection of my books with signed copies of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars is coming BACK to Amazon in a limited quantity and is available for preorder now. For this, I am thankful.
SOME QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS:
Q. How is this possible?
A. I am signing a lot ofbooks to make it happen. Many people who wanted box sets didn’t get them because Amazon ran out so fast, and this made me sad, particularly since the holidays are coming up. So this is happening due to 1. much pleading on tumblr and 2. my
addiction to love of signing things.
Q. Why is it so expensive?
A. I have no control over whether, or when, Amazon discounts the stuff they sell. I am hopeful that they will discount it at some point in the future, but I can’t guarantee it, and they have not discounted it yet.
Q. Will it ship in time for the holidays?
A. Probably not by Hanukkah, but hopefully by Christmas. While I’m optimistic about delivery by Christmas, I definitely can’t guarantee it. It depends partly on how long it takes me to sign these books, which I am going to go back to signing as soon as I finish this tumblr post.
Q. Is there anywhere else I can find these box sets?
A. Yes, many bookstores have rare UNSIGNED box sets, and many Books-a-Million stores have box sets containing signed TFiOS (but not Alaska). You can also find signed copies of Looking for Alaska at many independent bookstores across the country.
Q. What if I don’t live in the US?
A. These signed box sets are only available through Amazon USA, so you’d have to pay the extra shipping, and they’re unlikely to arrive before Christmas. On the upside, you probably have free healthcare, so that’s something.
On the Acquisition of Autographs
Q. blamemisha (and many others) asks: Are those boxsets with autographed versions of tfios and looking for alaska completely sold out? … Buying your boxset from others on amazon for over $100 is a bit much!
I also really dislike the idea of you buying a $250 box set from someone just because it has my signature when you could buy the exact same thing without my signature for $47.22. One of the central motivations for signing my name so many times in the past 16 months has been my desire to kill the market for my autograph by flooding it with supply, so I am annoyed when I see someone try to make a $200 profit off two small scratches I made on a page using a Sharpie.
Here are some options:
1. Wait until we meet somewhere down the line at a book signing, and I will sign your books then.
2. Try to find a signed box set at a bookstore during the holiday season.
3. Buy one of these signed posters for $15, desecrate the beautiful poster by cutting out my signature, then glue said signature into your book. This will run you about $63, which is still $17 less than the retail price of the box set.
4. Decide that autographs are kind of overrated anyway, particularly when the guy in question has A. frankly a really underwhelming signature, and B. signed like 200,000 things, meaning that unsigned box sets are actually rarer and therefore cooler and more valuable than signed ones.
I have updated the Q&A blogs about my books…
DO NOT click these links if you haven’t read the book in question, as there are massive spoilers.
I do stand by the massively unerotic blow job.
In a related story, I’ve answered many new questions over at the Q&A blogs for people who’ve read my books. DO NOT click these links if you haven’t read the books in question, as there are massive spoilers, but here they are:
Looking for Alaska: onlyifyoufinishedalaska.tumblr.com
An Abundance of Katherines: onlyifyoufinishedkatherines.tumblr.com
Paper Towns: onlyifyoufinishedpapertowns.tumblr.com
Will Grayson, Will Grayson: onlyifyoufinishedwgwg.tumblr.com
The Fault in Our Stars: onlyifyoufinishedtfios.tumblr.com
If you’re interested in submitting a question, please do so, but take a moment to read through all the previously answered questions, because your Q may have already been A’d. Thanks!
It’s a box set containing all four of my solo novels in hardcover, and both Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars are signed. The case for the box set, which is really amazing, was designed by nerdfighter extraordinaire Karen Kavett. It also includes a hardcover edition of the new cover for An Abundance of Katherines designed by the awesome Sarah Turbin. The box set is really beautiful (I’ve just seen one), and I’m psyched about it.
I’ve received lots of questions about whether this is real, etc., so yes, it is real, and yes, it is available for preorder.
SOMEWHAT RELATED: While signing for the box set, I signed a lot more copies of Looking for Alaska (I really enjoy signing my name), and starting in Octoberish, you’ll be able to find them in independent bookstores (and only independent bookstores!) around the United States.
On the weirdest week ever
Greetings, Tumblr—let’s take a journey
In early 2008 when I was thirteen, I started watching the Vlogbrothers (as a result of watching the fiveawesomegirls, actually). When Paper Towns came out in the fall, I got to see John and Hank start off their tour in a Manhattan Barnes & Noble. The crowd was really small. It’s incredible to see how that’s changed. I went to the recent TFiOS tour this last January, and there were hundreds of people in the audience. But I’ll get to my experience at that tour in a moment.
Firstly, it is absolutely ridiculous how much John’s work has influenced my perception of literature and the act of writing. I remember buying Looking for Alaska at Borders (RIP) after I had found his videos, and I had no idea how it would change how I viewed books. Personally, reading critically and thoughtfully was something that I really had to grow into to be able to do.
I know that most young people usually don’t know what career they would choose as adults or what to study, but I would always have this habit of aggressively hemming and hawing when it came to even thinking about it. That’s not too weird for someone my age, but in the middle of high school especially, when the time had truly come to start thinking about what I wanted for university, I would lie to myself. I have this recent, vivid memory of giving myself a hard look and finally admitting that I wanted to pursue the very unrealistic career choice of becoming a writer. If I hadn’t ever seen John’s videos and books, I don’t think I would have ever been honest with myself, and I don’t think I ever would have even imagined it to be possible. And most importantly, without both John and Hank, I don’t think I would be as happy with myself as I am right now.
So in July, I made this thing for The Fault in Our Stars way before it even came out. John reblogged it, and it made my summer. I’ve always been really, really impressed with how John connects with his readers with the internet, and I was ecstatic. In November, I did the same thing for Katherines, and I sent it into the contest that Penguin was having. Truthfully, I pretty much forgot about it. I thought it would be cool to submit something, but I had no expectations. I loved so many of the other covers that were floating around on Tumblr, and art/graphic design are just hobbies of mine.
I went to the TFiOS tour in January and brought some books, as well as the original sketch that I had done for the TFiOS cover that I had made to give to John. I did eventually give my sketch to John, and he recognized it. But then, right after he was finished signing my books, he asked me if I had submitted a similar one for the contest that Penguin was having. It took me a second to understand what he was saying because, like I said, I had forgotten about the contest. I told him I did, and he said he really liked it. I moved on and waited for my friends to get their things signed. Soon, one of my friends ran up to me and told me that I needed to go back into the signing room because I had won the cover contest for Katherines. I actually didn’t believe her at first, because I hadn’t even mentioned to anybody that I had sent anything in.
Yeah, that feeling pretty much vanished the second I found myself being led away from the line of people waiting to get their things signed by John Green so JOHN GREEN could quickly tell me that he had liked what I had submitted enough to pick it out and put it on the book he wrote.
Now, it’s June. Going to the Book Expo was incredible. I met John and finally got to meet the people that I had been emailing back and forth for a few months about the cover, as well as many other wonderful people from Penguin. Everybody was so kind to me, and I really couldn’t have asked for anything better. Seeing the book for the first time was so strange but so, so awesome. Honestly though, I think it’s going to really hit me like a bullet when I walk into a bookstore and see it casually lying on a shelf as I go to make an unrelated purchase.
A lot of people have asked me how it was to meet John, and it’s so weird to explain! It was incredible, but it was also the most bizarre thing that I have ever done in my entire life. My parents came with me, and at one point I found myself watching my dad talk to John about the food in Amsterdam while I got to glance over at the giant poster of something that I had drawn alone, in my room, forever ago. That feeling didn’t stop—it did not stop when John started to tell me about the Chicago area after I told him about where I was going to college, it did not stop when John asked me about my prom (“I’m excited for my prom tonight, but, uh, you know, not as much as I’m excited for this.”), and it sure as shit did not stop when John casually introduced me to David Levithan (“Um. I’ve read your books”). And, yeah, it really was the same day as prom. In some capacity, I’ve always had to imagine what my day leading up to prom would be like, but it turned out to be nothing like I had ever imagined. It was better.
Anyway, thanks for liking the cover if you do. I feel really honored, but I also feel so thankful that I could ever do something like this, because I owe a lot to the Vlogbrothers and the books that John has written. I’m just a kid who really likes to read and write and occasionally run an okay blog, and I got to do this incredible thing that I never ever would have even thought to dream of when I first decided to click on a funny-looking YouTube link when I was thirteen. My prom was great, I’m graduating high school in a week, and I’m really happy.
The designer of the new cover of An Abundance of Katherines recounts her week.
John Green is my hero.
I wonder if I can use “John Green is my hero. -Wil Wheaton” as a blurb on the back of The Fault in Our Stars. I LIKE YOU BACK, WIL WHEATON.
(Side story: I met Wil Wheaton was at the LA Times Festival of Books in 2010. When I told my friend Cecil Castellucci that Wil Wheaton, one of the coolest and funniest people on the Internet, was in the same room as me, she insisted upon introducing us. I was nervous and awkward, as I always am when meeting people I admire, and after 45 seconds skulked back toward the cheese table. Hopefully, Mr. Wheaton does not recall this.)
p.s. I continue to partially disavow this quote. i.e., I think there are a variety of compelling reasons to be alive. More on this forthcoming in The Fault in Our Stars.