Adam Selzer has a bunch of books out - mostly funny YA novels and smart alecky Chicago history/ghostlore stuff.. Here are some pictures from around Chicago and some things he thinks are neat.
"I am hungry," said the boy.
"Take my butt," said the Giving Pig.
You don’t understand;
My brother and his wife are both dentists. They just found out the sex of their baby is a girl.
I’m trying to convince them to name the baby Hermione.
My brother said if I get 100,000 notes he’ll make it her middle name.
Help me have the coolest niece EVER
If this doesn’t happen I will be thoroughly displeased.
I tend not to believe this stuff is true but I’ll cast my lot anyway.
Dad: Why the hell did you put a comma there?
Dad: Do you even know what a participial phrase is?
Dad: Omg. He’s like my favorite character of all time.
Dad: Who should I dress up as for the movie premier?
Dad: Hey are you awak? I know it’s late, but you read Animal Farm, right? Yeah. I need you to read this report. I can’t tell if I am just super tired or if this is actual bullshit.
Dad: Alesha wouldn’t be able to spell ‘definitely’ right if wrote it down for her. She would fucking erase it and then write ‘defiantly’, because she doesn’t care. I hate her.
Dad: I need you to bake brownies. I lost a bet.
Dad: Omg. You cannot ship me with Gilcher. You know I don’t like tattoos and he’s like twenty-five. And for Christ’s sake, he teaches math.
Dad: Omg. Gilcher said the funniest thing today.
Dad: Mrs. Ashworth and I have decided to start a band. It’ll be called Great Expectations.
Dad: It’s like you didn’t read the fucking book.
Dad: Okay. So this week you’re reading this book I stole from Mrs. Ashworth’s. It’s like sixty pages long, but you’ll love it.
Dad: *puts books on my bed for me to read everyday and demands that I read them*
Dad: My son doesn’t like reading. I have not only failed him, but society. You aren’t my son. Leave.
Dad: Okay. So you’re getting books for Christmas. All of you. I get discounts on them since I’m a teacher, and since I’m a teacher, it’s all I can afford, so…
Dad: Fucking standardized testing can go fuck itself in the ass.
Dad: I have to teach for the required testing instead of what they really need to know.
Dad: Fuck the government.
Dad: Fuck the school board.
Dad: Close the door.
Dad: Charles Dickens was so fucking pretentious, and I hate him, but he also caused change, but he’s such a Dick. Ha. DICKens.
Dad: I love puns.
Dad: People who say sarcasm is the lowest form of humor are assholes.
Dad: Please shut up.
Dad: Catching Fire was the worst book but the best movie and that feels weird.
Dad: I wouldn’t get so mad when you call me at school if you didn’t change your ringtones to inappropriate rap music.
Dad: I fucking hate Alesha. She asked what countries were apart of Austria-Hungary today and I almost told her to get out.
Dad: You cannot visit my school in a dress that short. There are boys there.
Dad: Barbra Parks is fucking Queen.
Dad: I need you to make me a good, relaxing playlist for silent reading. I’m too lazy.
Dad: If I have to watch two of my students grind on each other at one more dance, I will kill them both.
Dad: They act like I care what they think.
Dad: I hate homework.
Dad: I have decided to become a politician.
Dad: What’s the one book with the guys and the one kills the other and the chick without a name who dies and the short angry man? Mouseman? Oh my fucking gosh. Of Mice and Men. I have failed.
Damn right on Barbara Park. Writing really funny stuff for early middle grade is REALLY REALLY hard. You can’t expect kids to read along at a normal speaking rate, so all the rhythm and pauses that make comedy possible are basically out the window (or wonky, at best), and limiting yourself to jokes the readers will get makes it even harder. She made it look SO EASY. Every now and then I just re-read the first pages of SKINNYBONES and then sit there in awe.
Love Dickens though, even if he WAS kind of an asshole (which he certainly could be when he felt like it). Sometimes I feel like one of my missions in life is to tell the world that Martin Chuzzlewit is underrated.
So I’ve got 7 weeks to write this new book.
The hardest part is going to be not making it too much like Extraordinary, my 2011 book. It’s also a sort of “here’s my side of the story” thing, like that one was. But maybe it doesn’t matter if there’s some overlap, since no one read Extraordinary when it came out, and it’ll be four years old by the time this one is out. Right? It’s gonna be a whole hell of a lot darker, anyway. And with less unicorn poop.
Can I go a whole book without poop jokes? I doubt it. None really come to mind when I think of this project, but they suggest themselves as projects go on. Play Me Backwards , the next one due, is full of them. Full of them. It doesn’t approach the level of poo humor in Extraordinary, which builds to a big scene where they’re shouting lines from Henry V while wheeling a Wells Fargo wagon full of unicorn poop through the streets of Des Moines, but damn it, I can’t hinge ALL of my plots on turds. Can I?
I can’t even get through a ghost tour without a poop joke here or there. If the word “duty” comes up, I WILL snicker and say “hehe. Doody.”
And when we go by that tool shed that used to be a World’s Fair bathroom on HH Holmes tours, I WILL say that it may be a place where HH Holmes actually did some of his dirty business (ie: pooping).
#2 jokes are simply easy to use in books. They’re deeply personal, but everyone can relate to them.
Welp, I’m supposed to be using tumblr to build a bigger following in the YA world, so…you teens are very special and I like you just the way you are. I’m pro-woman and anti-bully, unlike all those other jerks. I love libraries.