Lisa Bouchard tweeted that she wanted volunteers to participate in a thing. If it had been a sing-along or a self-help seminar I would have scoffed snortingly at the very thought of it. It wasn’t one of those things. This was to be a sort of chain interview in which I would get to talk about my writing. So . . . that couldn’t be a bad thing. I like talking about my writing. I said I was in.
Lisa, thank you for the invitation.
The Next Big Thing
What is your working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Originally this was a screenplay about the nature of memory. It didn’t sell as a script and it sat on a shelf in my office for more than a decade. As a novel, it works far better. I wanted to do two things right from the beginning: tell a really sweet, really funny story and express as much as I could about my knowledge of the craft and art of comedy without writing a how-to book to get there.
What genre does your book fall under?
This is pure comedic fiction set in the world of standup comedy.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I would want Carl Reiner to play the grandfather and Josh Malina to play the comic. I think Malina has that odd sort of look that can easily go from young to old with very little makeup to take him in either direction.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A structure of nested flashbacks tells several stories of a standup comic in his relationships and career as the present whizzes by in a disjointed frenzy, given structure and cohesion only when it is informed by the past.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I am represented by the lovely Lynn Robnett and the marginally less lovely Eric Gardner at Panacea Entertainment
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Three and a half weeks
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The Sirens of Titan and Slaughterhouse Five use the same sort of time-play that I do . . . sort of.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The sadness of not getting the screenplay turned into a movie hung with me for years and through many other projects. Several early readers of the script said they thought it would work better as a novel and, after letting it sit for a long time, I suddenly found an in to how I would make that adjustment. Once I started imagining the grandfather as Carl Reiner it all came fluidly and easily. Apparently my muse is an old, bald Jewish man.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
How about some advance praise to do that?
“Standup comedy is an art...writing a fascinating, entertaining and thoughtful book about it is a miracle. Dylan has done just that with LAUGHS LAST. Read it!”
-- Budd Friedman
Founder of the Improv comedy clubs
"Unlike other stand-up comics whose books consist entirely of their stage schtick in printed form, Dylan Brody actually tells a story in Laughs Last, cleverly intertwining personal and performance, capturing in that process the hopes and fears of a professional comedian."
Pollitical satirist, co-founder of the Yippies, and author of WHO’S TO SAY WHAT’S OBSCENE: Politics, Culture and Comedy in America Today
" It reads like a love letter to stand-up comedy."
-- Jackie Kashian
Comedian and actress, host of The Dork Forest podcast
“Laughs Last is a very original work. Not only is it an entertaining book, it has a wonderful punchline!”
-- Carl Reiner
And Now, for those I have tagged: