Chat with Kinky Friedman

Friday Night September 24th, 1999 at 9 P.M. EDT

Kinky Friedman Hello

Scott Looks like Kinky Friedman has joined us. Welcome, Kinky.

Kinky Friedman Thanks Glad

ing yeah!

Scott So where are you at geographically right now?

Kinky Friedman It’s been a financial pleasure.

Kinky Friedman Atlanta Georgia, I think.

Kinky Friedman Last stop on the book tour.

Scott So do you do tours separately for your CDs?

Kinky Friedman When possible, yes, I have a schizo audience half read the books half are into the music

Kinky Friedman half dont give a damn.

Scott So do you consider yourself more of a writer, or a recording
artist? How do you balance the two?

Kinky Friedman I’ve been touring since Christ was a cowboy in other words–three weeks

Kinky Friedman Definitely more of a pointy headed intellectual novelist.

Kinky Friedman But I still sing in the shower and in europe.

Scott Do you ever write on the road?

ing kinky, whats the apartment no. in vandam st ?

Kinky Friedman impossible to write on the road, wish I could.

Ryan If anyone has a question for Kinky, feel free to ask it now. If-
more people join, I’ll start a list of people to avoid confusion.

Kinky Friedman It’s hard enough to find time to eat on the road.

Kinky Friedman The real number is 99.

Scott So how did you make the shift from recording artist to writer.
What inspired that move?

nudnick kinky, you can always find road kill.

Kinky Friedman You have to fail at one thing before you succeed at another.

Kinky Friedman nudnick–thanks for the tip, it would be cost effective too.

Scott So you’re a character in Spanking Watson, and in other books. Is
it weird having a fictional identity you named after yourself?

ing kinky, how long did it take to belt out this last novel?

Kinky Friedman Spanking Watson was fast, just sort of threw the plot out the
window and went from there.

Scott Do you ever take events from your life and work them into the fiction?

Kinky Friedman I am going to Europe to do 55 shows starting October 7 with Little Jewford, from the Texas Jewboys.

Kinky Friedman I expect to come back bigger than Robert Frost.

Scott At least more alive 🙂

Kinky Friedman – absolutely, of course my life is a work of fiction, but I have effectively erased the line between fiction and non fiction in my book.

ing dont suppose your including Australia in your tour?

Kinky Friedman Almost everything is true.

Scott So your real pals become characters in your work?

Kinky Friedman ing – sure would love to go, probably will get there in January.

Kinky Friedman I miss my goddaughter and my kookaburras.

Kinky Friedman–Yes–it keeps me company when I am writing alone on the ranch.

Ryan how do they feel about that… or do they know about it?

Kinky Friedman Most of them are enjoying the ride.

Kinky Friedman You would have to ask them.

Kinky Friedman No lawsuits yet.

Kinky Friedman kinkyfriedman.com is where you can find the itinerary for the upcoming European tour.

Scott I love the fact that you came out with a self-tribute album. Does your music help sell your books and vice versa?

Kinky Friedman The Wildman from Borneo Tour.

Kinky Friedman I would have to defer that question to a marketing genius like
Garth Brooks.

Kinky Friedman Thank God he hasn’t written a book yet.

Scott So what other novelists do you admire?

ing kinky, tell us what eat drink and be kinky is, i’ve just discovered this title and want to know is it a recipe book?

Kinky Friedman Most of them are dead: Robert Louis Stevenson, F Scott Fitzgerald, Charles Bukowski.

Jeannie What is the worst advice you were given when first
beginning to write?

Kinky Friedman I also like Robert B Parker.

Scott Noticed Camus made a couple appearances in SW.

Kinky Friedman Outline everything first was the worst advice, that is always a mistake.

Jeannie I agree; find that outlining is very constricting–limiting, that is.

Scott So you pretty much work without knowing where the stories headed? Without a net, sort of. . .

Jeannie reminds me of outlining in English class in high school; hated it.

Kinky Friedman – yes along with another great frenchman LePetomane.

Jeannie So, what is the BEST advice you’ve gotten?

Kinky Friedman Outlining results in formulaic New York times bestseller crap.

Jeannie lol

Kinky Friedman Write the book to a silent witness, like a cat or a dead person or a long lost lover.

Jeannie Kinky, as you may have assumed I am a writer. I prefer to bascically go to the computer and just start writing.

Scott What’s your favorite book that you’ve written?

Kinky Friedman Write the book LIKE A LETTER to the cat, lover or dead person.

yazzle anyone here written any good EPILGOUES lately?!?!?!

Kinky Friedman–always the next one.

Scott other than that one?

Jeannie So, you ingnore the ‘censor on your shoulder’?

Kinky Friedman The Mile High Club is the next one and it is the best one, and
it is finished. It actually has a plot–but dont hold that against it.

Kinky Friedman Jeannie–I have an angel on my shoulder.

Jeannie Good way to look at it, Kinky. 🙂

Scott So you know Bob Dylan–what’s he like in person?

Jeannie I do my best, when writing, NOT to think of what someone may think when they read what I’ve written

Kinky Friedman – he gave me a cuban cigar in Dallas last week, thought that was very nice.

yazzle Jeannie–are you published?

Scott Do you still play with him?

Kinky Friedman He’s a very funny, gentle, ruthless, thin kind of guy.

Jeannie locally; I’ve had some articles published, but none of my fiction has been–yet.

Ryan aussiebob, Welcome to the Chat Room, with special guest
author Kinky Friedman. … Feel free to ask Kinky a question. If the room
gets crowded, however, I’ll be starting a discussion queue.

Kinky Friedman Jeannie, that is exactly right, you have to write with a
disregard for the reader, that is the only honest way.

yazzle Kinky–do you write every day?

Jeannie I think too many sit down and write for the public.

Kinky Friedman No to playing with Bob Dylan, we are thinking about doing some traveling out west, Way Out West.

Jeannie Romance writers especially.

Scott How does the publishing industry compare with the music industry from your exp. as an artist?

Kinky Friedman yazzle–yes when I am not on the road. Of course it helps to be unemployed.

yazzle are you sort of strict in the discipline? like–ok–between 9am and 5pm I write . . .

Jeannie Don’t you think that telling a neophyte writer to write every day
without fail may take away some of the fun?

Kinky Friedman I think the music industry is a bit less honest if that is
possible.

yazzle Jeannie–that’s what I was wondering . . .

Kinky Friedman yazzle–NO, I just keep a page in the typewriter and work when
the mood hits me. Of course the only two people in America who still use the typewriter are Kinky Friedman and the Unibomber.

Jeannie I write because I love it; not because I have to. It’s not a job to me; it’s fun, and like Stephen King says: I’ll stop when the fun goes out
of it.

yazzle do you rewrite a lot lot lot???

Kinky Friedman No, just a bit–

Jeannie King uses an IBM Selectric.

Jeannie I LOVE revising.

Kinky Friedman I think the editor should earn his money.

Scott Have you had good relationships with your editors?

Kinky Friedman King–that figures, haven’t run into him lately.

Unknown Who’s your agent Kninky?

Unknown Kinky, sorry.

Jeannie was that a joke?

Kinky Friedman Great relationship with my editors. Chuck Adams, my old editor was Jim Landis, also Jane Cavelina. Esther Lobster Newburg is my agent, and I will defer any questions to her.

yazzle do you send your manuscript through to your editor as you write, or just when it is finished??

Scott So do have multi-book contracts, or do you pitch them one at a time?

Kinky Friedman But It doesnt pay to change agents, as Joseph Heller said, every change is for the worse.

Jeannie I read recently that someone else used your agent; think I read it in Writer’s Digest or Fiction Writer.

Kinky Friedman I have a three book deal with Simon & Schuster.. .two of which are written, one of which is still out there.

Jeannie I’ve got three sequels in mind to the novel I’m currently working on.

Kinky Friedman Two books are written but not published yet. The Mile High Club and Stepping on a Rainbow.

Scott I caught some touches of Heller in your work. You a big fan of Catch-22?

Jeannie how would that sound to a publisher?

Kinky Friedman I think it’s a great book– although it hasnt caused as many deaths as the bible, it has
caused a few people to think about the nature of life.

yazzle sorry to ask twince … but do you send your manuscript through to
your editor as you write, or just when it is finished??

Kinky Friedman yazzle–just when it is finished . . . when I think it is finished, he doesn’t always agree.

yazzle aha

yazzle and how long does it take you to write a book?

Jeannie Would a publisher be excited to know that I have three sequels in
mind, using the same basic characters, to the novel I’m currently working
on?

Scott You’re a real master of the great title–Need to say that the
title of The Love Song of J. Edgar Hoover is classic in and of itself.

Unknown I noticed in Spanking Watson you cited Ginsberg & Camus, practically in the same paragraph . . .

Unknown Which one is your favorite of the two?

Kinky Friedman Jeannie, yes that is all to the good. But first you need a
complete manuscript.

ing kinky,in your new novel do you get it on with winnie?

Kinky Friedman yazzle–maybe two or three months if life doesn’t get in the
way.

Jeannie It’s nearly finished; am doing the second draft of the first book. What is my next step?

yazzle wow! that is FAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

yazzle I just wrote one and it took nearly two years.

Unknown The Love Song of J. Edgar Hoover. Kudos on the title. Actually, can
I use that?

Jeannie yazzle, same here.

Kinky Friedman Ginsberg is the devil I know.

yazzle THREE MONTHS!!!! I bow down

Kinky Friedman yazzle, I pretend that I am Oscar Wilde behind bars with my hair on fire.

yazzle lol

Jeannie took me six months of research and then took another 3 months to
write the first draft.

Kinky Friedman Unknown, Be my Guest!

Scott What would you say to beginning novelists about promoting their
work?

yazzle I trashed everything I wrote in the first 9 months.

Unknown Thanks man.

Kinky Friedman yazzle, Not always that fast.

yazzle Phew

Dirk Uh, hold on . . .

Kinky Friedman Okay Unknown.

Ryan since we’re getting a little crowded in here, I’m going to start a
queue for questions. If you have a question for Kinky, please type a “?” or a “!” and I’ll add you to the list.

Kinky Friedman Georges Simenon could write a novel in two weeks.

Jeannie Kinky, thanx for talking with me; good luck on your next book (s).

yazzle mon dieu.

Kinky Friedman Jeannie–Good Luck on your book.

yazzle Good luck, Jeannie!

Kinky Friedman yazzle–I don’t speak Italian.

Jeannie Thank you!

Unknown ? Kinky, did you meet Tom Waits?

Jeannie bye

yazzle ?

Kinky Friedman Yes, Tom and I were old friends in LA, twenty years ago.

Kinky Friedman Now we are penpals.

Dirk How’s he doing?

Dirk Waits writes well.

yazzle Can you tell us about marekting? There are so many great books out every month–how can you get ‘noticed’?

Kinky Friedman No one knows, he is the Howard Hughes of modern music.

Kinky Friedman Waits is a genius.

Unknown Why do you think Ginsberg is the devil?

Kinky Friedman yazzle–That is a tough one. The best way is to have an affair
with Sharon Stone.

Kinky Friedman If you can’t do that, go on Oprah.

yazzle great idea! shame she’s married and I’m straight!

Unknown I did that actually.

Scott How is Sharon?

Unknown She’s fine.

Kinky Friedman Nothing has changed, the best writers are still dying in the
gutter.

yazzle noooo!

Dirk Yeah.

Kinky Friedman I say Devil in a good way.

Scott From drink or lack of sales?

yazzle Do you think every new sends their book to Oprah?

Unknown Living large in the gutter. Unknown.

Kinky Friedman Ginsberg was an important Jewish troublemaker, not unlike Jesus himself. And he was not afraid to mingle his life with his work.

yazzle what do you mean– “mingle his life with his work…”?

Scott So do people ever make assumptions about you personally from reading about your character in your work?

Kinky Friedman All great writers have been alcohololic.

Scott Has that ever put you in an uncomfortable situation?

yazzle Why do you think drink and drugs are so writing-inducing?!!!??!!??!?

Kinky Friedman most of them didnt sell very well in their lifetime. None of
them sold as well as Dean Koontz.

yazzle Would you ever admit that in public???

Scott Noted you’re a Jameson’s man.

Unknown Your fictional charcter named “Kinky.”

Kinky Friedman They would be quite correct in making those assumptions.

Unknown I like Jamesons.

Kinky Friedman and it never puts me in an uncomfortable position. Nothing bothers the Kinkster.

Dirk Kentucky bourbon.

Dirk And cigars.

Kinky Friedman Yes, but I am not heavily Guinness. The drink that kept the Irish from taking over the world.

Kinky Friedman WHOOPS.

Kinky Friedman I am NOW heavily into Guiness.

yazzle watch your waistline, kink.

Scott You’ll have to drink with The Unknown sometime.

Unknown That passage about the city, the Ginsberg part, was cool. In
Spanking Watson.

Unknown Drink with me.

aussiebob Kinky, any plans to come back to Australia soon, for music or
literary purposes?

Dirk Were you ever a starving artist?

Scott I think we have time for five more questions, or so, then we’ll let Kinky get back to the business of writing.

Kinky Friedman Thanks Unknown, you are a discerning American.

Kinky Friedman Aussie, will be down there in January, for what purpose I am
not sure.

yazzle Come on down!

Scott So what’s the most fun you’ve ever had as a writer, Kinky?

aussiebob we’ll all watch out for y’all.

Kinky Friedman TO paraphrase Truman Capote, having written.

yazzle Kinky–do you ever HATE what you have written? And then love it
again later?

Kinky Friedman Starving artist, probably, cannot remember the first half of
my life.

Unknown Thanks. And thanks for the great title. Who’s the most dangerous
artist you’ve ever drunk with?

Kinky Friedman aussie–Look forward to seeing you little buggers down there.

yazzle It’s sunny here in Sydney today.

Dirk Me neither.

ing no its not sunny here yazzle

yazzle it’s sunny in Bondi!

Kinky Friedman Tom Waits or Abbey Hoffman.

Unknown Oh man. Abbie.

Kinky Friedman sorry . . the spelling.

Unknown No prob.

Unknown He was a yippie freak.

Unknown Like me.

Kinky Friedman Yep.

Scott One last ? here if you had to choose: Beatles or the Rolling Stones?

Unknown Beatles. Oh you’re asking Kinky. Sorry.

yazzle Van Morrison, actually.

Kinky Friedman Well the Beatles say “I believe in Yesterday.” The Rolling Stones say, Yesterday don’t matter when it’s gone. I say, “Find what you like and let it kill you.”

Unknown Ruby Tuesday.

yazzle Except when you get your gorgeous 20-something mistress preggers.

Unknown Yeha. Unknown.

Unknown oops.

Kinky Friedman That’s a good one.

Scott Amen. Thanks for joining us tonight Kinky.

yazzle thanks Kinky

ing yeah, ta kinky.

Unknown Thanx Kinky.

Unknown HTTP://WWW.SOA.UC.EDU/USER/UNKNOWN/dirk.htm

Kinky Friedman Remember, the Lord helps those who help the Kinkster. If you are driving folks, don’t forget your car.

aussiebob thanks cobber.

Kinky Friedman Thanks very much, it’s been a financial pleasure.

Unknown $!

yazzle bye then

Scott Have a good night. May you be paid well in all future endeavors.

Kinky Friedman Bye.


Kinky Friedman lives in a little green trailer in a little green valley deep in the heart of Texas. There are about fifty million imaginary horses in the valley, and quite often they gallop around Kinky’s trailer, encircling the author in a terrible, ever-tightening carousel of death. Even as the hooves are pounding around him in the darkest night, one can hear, almost in counterpoint, the frail, consumptive, ascetic novelist tip-tip-tapping away on the last typewriter in Texas. In such fashion he has turned out twelve novels, including Blast from the Past, Roadkill, The Love Song of J. Edgar Hoover, God Bless John Wayne, Armadillos & Old Lace, and Elvis, Jesus & Coca Cola. A pet armadillo called Dilly, a small black dog named Mr. Magoo, and two cats — Dr. Scat and Lady Argyle-can sometimes be found sleeping with Kinky in his narrow, monastic Father Damien-like bed.

This is a transcript of a chat that took place on the Authors site at About.com in September 1999.

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