Answering unasked questions.Posted: June 16, 2009
There might be a few of these that you might have with regard to a book like Kings of Madison Avenue. In an act of supreme generosity (or is it hubris?), I have taken the liberty of asking and answering a few in one fell swoop.
I will have this Q&A take the form of me interviewing myself. It keeps things light and airy, plus I love the sound of my own voice.
JM: What lead you to write this book?
JM: Good question. Really, top notch.
JM: Why thank you. I spent a lot of time working on that lead question … direct but chatty, nothing too heavy right out of the gate.
JM: Well, bravo. And nice shirt, by the way.
JM: The stripes, right? So slimming!
JM: I wrote the book first and foremost as a fan of Mad Men. It’s a series that is written and directed quite elegantly, but is also chock full of historical and cultural references that demand further investigation. I grew tired of spending so much time looking in disparate places for the information I wanted, so I tried to find one book that might contain it all. When I couldn’t find it, I wrote it.
JM: You know, I don’t used the word ‘brave’ often …
JM: But when the shoe fits …
JM: Why an “unofficial” companion guide?
JM: It’s sexier when you don’t have permission, don’t you think?
JM: Guilty as charged! No, in truth it’s a matter of speed and efficacy. The hoops one has to jump through to write an official version of this book would delay publication by years, even if it was actually approved. Also, there would be a great many more masters to serve with such a beast.
But here’s the other thing: with an official book, you could look forward to an episode guide that is a recitation of plot and nothing else. When writing a book like mine that kind of thing is off limits, so what you get is more in-depth analysis of each episode. It’s more work to be certain, but it leads to a greater reading experience.
JM: An overused word, but apt.
JM: Why Mad Men?
JM: I think I covered that quite well in the first question. I said that it is “written and directed quite elegantly” and I think that about covers it. Were you paying attention?
JM: All right, take it easy. I’m just trying to get a sense of you, the author.
JM: No personal questions.
JM: I’m just curious how you–
JM: No questions with the word “you” in them.
JM: How would … one … go about writing a book like … one … has?
JM: It’s a calling. Such a book is an opportunity to utilize a personal history steeped in navigating the pop culture landscape and pair it with a lifelong yen for learning. As I believe most fans of the show are cut from a similar cloth, this book is a natural fit for a yawning void.
JM: Rapid fire portion of the interview. One word questions, one word answers. Ready?
JM: Hit me.
JM: Two words, disqualified. No points.
JM: Wait … points?
JM: Lightning round ends.
JM: How’d I do?
JM: (tallying score) I’ll post it on the wall after final period.
JM: Any last words to people you think might like your book?
JM: I’ll go you one better. Not only is it a great read with terrific sidebar sojourns into the cultural and historial context of the show, it also makes a great gift for anyone you know who’s a fan. So go out and buy two!
JM: You’re a shameless whore.
JM: What happened to us? This started off so well …
JM: You’re like a steeping cup of green tea, McLean: you start well enough but always finish off bitter.
JM: Ouch. Accurate … but ouch.
JM: Until we meet again.