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Amy Wallen

by Susan Henderson on February 28, 2007

This week: AmyWallen at Trader Joe’s

It’s crazy how many big-time writers I know. Unfair, really. A person shouldn’t be allowed to know as many successful writers as I do. Especially if that person is, himself, an unsuccessful writer who has been slogging at the craft for a decade and a half, and who loathes himself for using words like “the craft.” And especially if that person has had to make certain compromises along the way, and he took a job at a pest control company where he has been forced to pen junk mail slogans like “Ants In Your Plants?” and “Bugs In Your Rugs?”

My pal Stephen Dobyns has written, like, five thousand books that are now part of many MFA curriculums. Bestselling amigo Josh Kilmer-Purcell is finishing up a big screenplay for Hollywood. But of all the writers in my circle who’ve hit it big, Amy Wallen is the one I know best, and her debut novel MOONPIES AND MOVIE STARS just reached number ten on last week’s Los Angeles Times bestseller list.

The writer Gore Vidal once said, “Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little.” Who in the world would say such a horrible thing out loud?

Besides, Amy and I have been comrades in the writing trenches for twelve years. We hang out together, and swap crude e-mails and insulting jabs. I don’t even call her by her real name. To me, she’s been “Amos” for as long as I can remember. I think that this bothers her. And I think that’s why I do it.

She dishes it out, too. I recently learned how to operate the cutting-edge technology known as MySpace. Amy is my only MySpace friend, and hers is my only comment: “Did you get a face lift? Your jowls don’t show in this photo.”

One night she coaxed each person in our writing group to bring in a piece that imitated my sparse, more “butch” style of prose. That was something. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a room full of writers howling as they fight for their turn to read aloud and make a mockery of your craft.

To balance her chronic wickedness, Amy does a lot of volunteer work. One day a week she reads books to elementary school children in the tough part of town. To raise money for the non-profit San Diego Writers, Ink, she hosts a popular open-mic event called First Friday, where each month writers can bring three minutes of prose and try it out in front of a big audience (Each of these 3-minute stories are just a click away, free and in .mp3 form, at www.FirstFridayProse.com). She also leads a read & critique group, hosts a weekly drop-in writing practice group, and teaches a creative writing course at the University of California at San Diego.

And then there’s another thing that she does to feel better about herself. She buys her groceries at Trader Joe’s. Do you have these in your part of the world? If not, check again tomorrow. The stores are spreading as fast as Starbucks and bird flu combined. Trader Joe’s is a Southern California chain that delivers organic-grain/holistic-produce/pesticide-free-yogurt/farm-fresh-hummus to hip, urban dwellers who receive large advances for first novels. Here are some things they don’t offer: Twinkies. Lucky Charms. Doritos. Peter Pan Chunky Peanut Butter. Pop Tarts.

Amy tells me on the phone that she has to make a run to Trader Joe’s today. She needs “emergency guacamole.”

We decide to meet in the parking lot of the store in Hillcrest. When she sees me, though, she suddenly remembers that the trunk of her VW bug doesn’t have room for groceries today. It’s laden with shiny copies of MOONPIES AND MOVIE STARS.

“The book tour”¦” she groans, as if to say, ’aren’t book tours a bitch?’ and I’m forced to wonder for a second if I’ve ever really liked her at all.

I’m supposed to interview her while she shops, inside the store. I have brought my recording gear.

“I should probably ask for permission,” I say. Amy agrees, and I go into the store, where I’m directed to a manager who, after hearing my request, looks at me as if I’ve asked to spray paint my gang affiliation across the gluten-free, buckwheat-flour bread rack.

This is another thing I forgot to mention about Trader Joe’s. Even though most of them are just wedged into strip malls, everybody acts like the stores are hallowed ground. The customers radiate an eerie, euphoric devotion that’s rarely seen outside, say, a Navajo sweat lodge. They’re evangelical, and they’re always saying things like, “Have you tried the new Wasabi Tamari Almonds yet?”

I’m not real surprised when the Trader Joe’s manager tells me that I can’t record inside the store, and I curse myself for going against my credo that it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission. Amy suggests that we drive down the hill to another Trader Joe’s and “go clandestine.” Four minutes later, we’re at the next one. I strap the recorder over my shoulder and then cover myself with a big, heavy jacket that’s been sitting in the back of my truck for months. I bury the foot-long microphone in my inside pocket and loop the cable so I can tuck it into my waistband.

“You look very natural,” Amy says. “They’ll probably call the bomb squad.”

I decide I should push a cart in front of me. Amy’s shopping list is deceptively simple, and within thirty seconds she has already scratched off Trader Joe’s brand Applewood-Smoked Niman Ranch Bacon.

Also in the same refrigerator section is the ready-made Trader Jose’s Avocado’s Number Guacamole, “with 5+ avocados.” Ready-made guacamole offends me on about five-plus levels, but Amy tosses a package in her cart. It turns out that tonight is Taco Tuesday, a monthly dinner event with some of her writer friends. An event that I am just now hearing about for the first time ever. But before I can express my feelings about this, a Trader Joe’s employee gets in front of my face.

“How you doin’, buddy? What’s goin’ on?” The words are friendly, but the voice is not.

I’m suddenly feeling like a coke mule about to get my passport stamped at Miami International. I stammer that I’m interviewing Amy because she’s a big-time author, and I want to show the stuff she likes to buy, and I stammer and I stammer and I stammer. It makes the guy uncomfortable and, in the end, he just allows me to continue.

(Click here to listen to the 90-second “Emergency Guacamole/Here Comes the Fuzz” segment.)

We’ve now been inside the store for three minutes.

“They’re like the Gestapo,” I say.

“They have the best cheese in the world,” Amy says, oblivious to the fascism. I realize now that she’s deep into this cult. She won’t even see the Kool-Aid coming. She places a wedge of Dubliner Irish Cheese in the cart, followed, a moment later, by a single Trader Joe’s Bean & Cheese Burrito.

We cross to the juice aisle and Amy grabs a jug of something called Dynamo+Calcium. She tries to remember if she used up the last of her Mango Anti-Oxidant Juice.

(Click here to listen to the 75-second “What Flavor Is Dynamo?” segment.)

We circle around an end-cap of hormone-free, free-range chicken eggs and start down the cracker aisle.

“This is a main staple for me,” she says. Everyday at lunch, it turns out, Amy eats chicken salad on crackers.

I ask her when the whole OCD Chicken Salad thing began.

“My mother always had tuna salad,” she says, “and so I always had tuna salad my whole life, and then the tuna started making my hair fall out, because of the mercury.”

(Click here to listen to the 2-minute “OCD Chicken Salad” segment.)

We pass the booze aisle without even slowing. In the next aisle are cleaning supplies.

“Are you familiar with the Castile Soap?” Amy says. She holds up a bottle that looks like the jewelry cleaning solution my grandmother kept under the sink. Amy reads a list of uses from the back of the bottle, the last line of which states, “Enjoy only two cosmetics: enough sleep and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap to clean body, mind, soul, spirit — instantly uniting all as one.”

(Click here to listen to the 60-second “Castile Soap” segment.)

In the dairy section, Amy knocks two more items off her list: Trader Joe’s Lowfat Vanilla Soy Milk and Trader Joe’s Nonfat Vanilla Yogurt. These, she says, are building blocks for her greatest indulgence. She’s almost giddy now. At the end of the dairy fridge is a wall of hundreds of cereal boxes, not one of which I’ve ever seen before. No Lucky Charms. No Cap’n Crunch. Not even the fruit-based, healthy stuff, like Apple Jacks or Froot Loops. Trader Joe’s sells cereals called Organic Flax Plus, Wheatabix, Hemp Plus Granola ”“ and Amy’s favorites: Maple Pecan Granola and something called Just the Clusters Ginger, Almond, and Cashew Granola. She grabs two huge boxes of each.

“This one I eat in the morning with soy milk,” she says, shaking the maple one. “And this one I eat with yogurt when I’m watching The Daily Show.”

(Click here to listen to the 2-minute“The Holy Grail of Cereals” segment.)

Soon, all that’s left is the produce section. The vegetables look fresh, but the signs say that everything is organic, and pesticide-free. I know that I’m probably biased by the job at the exterminating company, but when I learn that something is organic, I expect it to rot quickly. When something is pesticide-free, I expect it to be full of bugs. I mention this to Amy. Her response borders on Zen.

“Life is like a bag of spinach,” she says. “Sometimes you get a nice salad with a raspberry vinaigrette, and sometimes you die of E. coli.”

When she’s with important people, Amy will do things like wear sequins, and wash her hair.

We should talk about her novel, but we don’t. Don’t get me wrong ”“ MOONPIES AND MOVIE STARS is great. Too great. It’s funny. It’s sad. It’s had a bajillion stellar reviews, including one in the LA Times that said, in part, that Amy’s heartfelt narrative has “an important place in contemporary writing”¦ Eschewing detachment and irony”¦ Wallen scoots under our rib cage, right where the deepest hurts of the human condition lie. The best humor, after all, has it’s roots in pain.” She’s been invited to sit on a panel about humor writing at the upcoming Los Angeles Times Book Festival. Amy has an amazing website at www.AmyWallen.com. She is likeable. She’s funny. She’s pretty.

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.” Why do I have to have friends that make me feel bad about myself?

(SUSAN – THIS IS WHERE I PLAN TO MAGICALLY TIE IT ALL TOGETHER AND MAKE IT SEEM LIKE THE STORY IS REALLY ABOUT AMY, AND PEOPLE WILL FORGET HOW SELF-CENTERED I AM… THX”¦ James Spring, of www.JamesRSpring.com)

(Click here for a 90-second bonus track called “Amy’s 1st Short Story story,” recorded inside my truck.)

Click here for Ten Questions with Amy Wallen.

*

AMY WALLEN‘s favorites: The number 10, the letter A, the color teal, chicken salad, the XKE Jaguar, the song You Are My Sunshine, Catcher in the Rye, the short stories of Edgar Allen Poe and of Mary Gordon, the mimosa tree, dogs. She prefers plastic to paper bags.

JAMES R. SPRING is a writer, sort of, living in Southern California. When he’s not killing bugs or trying to sell manuscripts that he has worked his whole life to create, he does stories for THIS AMERICAN LIFE and other NPR outlets.

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

mikel k poet February 28, 2007 at 6:40 am

the first part of this is brilliant…humorous as heck, makes me want to read the whole thing…but i can t because finally i have gotten tired enough to go back to sleep…which i was when i started reading this piece, but since it was so good it kept me awake and alert longer than i would have been…am i making any sense here…all i am saying is that the first part of this piece is brilliant and very humorous. did i already say that?

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ellen meister February 28, 2007 at 12:25 pm

This is hilarious! (And one day I want to be famous enough for somebody to interview me as I do my marketing.)

I’m going to buy Amy’s book. And meanwhile, if Amy or James (or any LitPark reader for that matter) is looking for another MySpace friend, I heartily volunteer.
http://www.myspace.com/ellenmeister

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Betsy February 28, 2007 at 1:57 pm

Yes, this was great – and my husband said, “Who’s that? She’s cute!”

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Paula February 28, 2007 at 2:48 pm

This is the best thing I’ve read in ages. It sounded like any typical day with me and my best friend and made me wish we had a Trader Joe’s here already and made me want to have coffee or some beers and funky healthy pizza with these two folks, with lots of chatter.

My favorite (it’s close, there are so many good lines): “We pass the booze aisle without even slowing.”

I’m a fan of the subtle humor.

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Kimberly February 28, 2007 at 3:14 pm

Brill! although I’m bummed. I just finished a massive Amazon/LitPark order… Will have to promptly start a new list!

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Carolyn Burns Bass February 28, 2007 at 3:41 pm

The best thing about LitPark is that it’s not just a parking lot for author interviews. Thanks, Susan, for giving James the mic and thanks James for this very hip interview with Amy.

I don’t think you’ll find Moon Pies at Trader Joe’s, but they have a fabuliscious tiramisu among the frozen desserts.

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Susan Henderson February 28, 2007 at 3:43 pm

Amy and James – This was so much fun, although I have to say the background music in the mp3 samples kind of makes me want to kill myself.

mikel k – If you like this and don’t already listen to This American Life, you should. Hope you got a good sleep!

Ellen – I’ve shopped for makeup with you before. Next time, I’ll bring a recorder.

Betsy – But she kind of looks like you so what he’s really saying is you’re cute.

Paula – I was cracking up from the subtle humor, too, and the pauses.

Kimberly – Yay for more books! Sorry we missed you for lunch on Saturday.

Carolyn – I’m one of those people who’s afraid to eat anything that doesn’t have preservatives in it.

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James February 28, 2007 at 4:31 pm

UPDATE: Alert blog reader Gail Louise Siegel and I have agreed to a mutually beneficial THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN arrangement, wherein I will create cement shoes for her relatives Richard Ford and Amy Hempel, and Gail will help me to no longer have to feel bad about Amy Wallen’s success, if you know what I mean… (Gail, please send me a MapQuest link to Richard Ford’s and Amy Hempel’s houses.)

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Amy Wallen February 28, 2007 at 5:49 pm

James promised me I’d be on This American Life and a lifetime supply of chicken salad. But I’m looking around this litpark and I’m thinking,wow, this is pretty cool. today, I may have a burrito instead!

James, the cops will be arriving at your house soon to arrest you on attempted murder charges. Your next series of interviews can now be: Interviews with Authors from the Big House. You can talk about your tattoos.

That reminds me, why didn’t you ask about mine?

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Jenn February 28, 2007 at 6:31 pm

I love Amy! (not in the way that says, hey Eber look out) and I love James! (and not in the way his wife has to worry about) but seriously, these are two of my most favorite San Diego Writer Co horts. I for one rejoice in their success, as I truly believe that surrounding yourself with awesome people just makes you work harder. And, it shows you it IS possible!!

My one critique of this interview/essay is … Trader Joes is actually a German supermarket chain– Aldi fyi. :-)
and James, I’m right there with ya– I’ve never written anything as whimsical as “Ants in Your Pants” but my riveting “Tale of Two Welders” was in fact published in The Fabricator Magazine!

and finally. this site is cool I wanna play here more! where’s the margaritas??

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Juliet February 28, 2007 at 7:50 pm

This was terrific fun!
I’ve downloaded your shopping list on account of the way that I do groceries each week is to find someone’s discarded list (left in a cart, for example) and then just pick up what the list says.
You laugh, but it keeps things creative chez moi.

Feel free to coke mule me up some of that Trader Joe bounty.

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LaurenBaratz-Logsted February 28, 2007 at 8:43 pm

Terrific, as always.

I want to be friends with Amy. I want to be friends with James. I want to be friends with EVERYONE who is friends with Susan.

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Gail Siegel February 28, 2007 at 9:00 pm

(Whoa, Nelly! Or James for that matter! I’d rather grow INTO their shoes without jamming their toes into cement booties.)

But hey, tell us which segments you’ve done for This American Life, or which ones are upcoming, whenever they are. It’s a big favorite of mine.

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Robin Slick February 28, 2007 at 9:05 pm

I want to be friends with Amy. I want to be friends with James. I want to be friends with EVERYONE who is friends with Susan.

Ah, but you are, Lauren, and isn’t it so cool? I feel pretty strongly that eventually we’re all going to meet each other in the real world — you’ll see. So what if it’s at a criminal indictment or…

Never mind.

Awesome, awesome interview. Now. About Trader Joe’s. I live there. No, really, I do. It’s five minutes from my house and I do a Homer Simpson there every day…meaning…I am at their “free sample” stations daily. Last week they had this outrageous quiche and then actually had truffles for dessert. However, it is a cult and the worst thing about TJ’s is they addict you to one of their products and then you go to buy it the next week and it’s gone, never to return. Just what the hell were they thinking when they stopped stocking their chocolate covered raisin/peanut trail mix?! Oh. Right. You don’t need chocolate covered anything, Robin. You need the 2% Greek yoghurt. WHICH THEY ALSO JUST DISCONTINUED, DAMN IT!

And why do all the clerks wear those Hawaiian shirts and say Aloha and yes…follow you around like you’re just there to eat the free samples and complain about the lack of yoghurt?

Err…anyway, that’s not the point of this interview, is it. Nope. James, I have no doubt you are a fantastic writer just going by your interview and hearing you “live”. Amy, I am buying your book tomorrow. I’ve read an excerpt and it’s amazing.

Okay, enough out of me. I’m over the flu bug and it’s obvious I’m back in writing mode…this post has become a freaking mini-series. Best to put this energy to writing something I can, in a perfect world, sell.

xo

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Julie Ann Shapiro February 28, 2007 at 9:41 pm

Oh, this is so cool. I heard Amy speak at the Southern California Writers Conference a couple of weeks ago. I feel like the host, Michael Steven said or something like it his intro there, “It’s like our paths have crossed, but they haven’t, or maybe they have and it’s weird cause we both travel the local writing scene.” I’m up the coast in North San Diego County, but I think I met Amy once at a function for the Word Magazine in La Jolla.

Her story and hard word that she shared at the conference could have been any of our journeys. It’s an inspiration that she made it into the big publishing world with a best seller. It shows it can be done.

Yeah, I love Trader Joes too. I’m partial to their trail mixes. Great energy food for running.

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Amy Wallen February 28, 2007 at 9:42 pm

I want to be everyone’s friend as well. Can’t you tell by the fact that James is my friend? I’m not selective.

Oh, and the greek yogurt–too twangy for me. Even with the honey. But when the peanut butter, sunflower-seed pretzels went away, I cried for weeks.

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Julie Ann Shapiro February 28, 2007 at 9:48 pm

James,
I hear you with the bug slogan. Your ant thing is hilarious. I’ve written all sorts of bizarre marketing copy for clients and on the job site while writing my stories on the side. But hey bills need to get paid. I saw somewhere on the net a booklet on a gardening thing that Annie Proulx had written. Also, Amy Tan wrote marketing copy. There’s probably a ton of others from marketing communications that transitioned to fiction writing.

Julie

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Colleen Brennan February 28, 2007 at 11:18 pm

You are ALL too damn funny. Quit interrupting me–I’m trying to work here.
Amy: Don’t give up on the peanut butter, sunflower-seed pretzels! I bought some at the Trader Joe’s in Phoenix :)

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Betsy February 28, 2007 at 11:38 pm

I had to go to work this morning and totally forgot to say that we too have a Trader Joe’s lifestyle and that we eat the artichoke/asparagus/olive frozen pizza at least once a week. Ben likes the bbq chicken pizza too but I’ve never really understood bbq + pizza. Those things should remain separate.
I agree with everyone else, I think there should be a litpark (family) reunion somewhere next summer, perhaps in the exact center of the country? Work that out, willya Sue?

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James Spring February 28, 2007 at 11:49 pm

Dear Gail, despite the fact that you appear to be equivocating on our contract – a contract which I believe we sealed with a “virtual” handshake – I am sending you the 411 on my This American Life story “Minuteman for a Day,” which aired about three weeks ago. For 95 cents, you can download the episode Cat and Mouse at http://www.ThisLife.org and hear my story (Act 1) followed by a fable from an odd little fellow named David Sedaris. You can download my Minuteman story for free at http://www.JamesRSpring.com, but you will not get David Sedaris. Also note, dear writers, that the first episode of the TV version of This American Life airs on Showtime on March 22. Gail – when you’re finished with your, um, task, please let me know where you buried Amy’s body. Just within, like, fifty feet. I want to send pesticide-free flowers.

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Shannon Bates March 1, 2007 at 12:43 am

High-larious. I love you guys. You crack me up. Congratulations, Amy, on all your success. It’s wonderful!

Because of the little recorded snippets, I won’t have to call the termite inspection company tonight to hear the voice of James on the voicemail. *sigh* Or maybe I will anyway.

See you Friday. :)

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Paula March 1, 2007 at 1:35 am

*Amendment*
After having read the 10 questions segment — new favorite line:
“My grandmother owned a honky tonk in Brackettville, Texas on Hwy 90—the Wheel Inn Café.”
I will buy this book based on that line alone.

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James Spring March 1, 2007 at 5:01 am

Oh, really, Paula? You, too, have decided, in retrospect, that I’m not the best after all? That Amy’s writing is better than mine? And when I’m already in the fetal position? I always get confused… which way is one supposed to cut, with the vein, or across the wrist? PS… Gail – do you know where Paula lives?

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Paula March 1, 2007 at 5:34 am

Um, I never really comment THIS much on here, James, but if you MUST know, I will confess that I was also utterly enamored by the confrontation with the Trader Joe’s fuzz, because that is exactly how I would have handled (and been busted in) that incident. I could feel the panic rising — from butterflies, up the spine and around the throat to speechlessness — excellent stuff, and I’d much rather laugh about it happening to you!

(My speakers are on the blitz, though… I’m very sad about not hearing all the extras.)

And I KNOW you’re not making fun of Louisville! (ah, take it from the obit lady — with the vein.) It IS the “Gateway to the South,” y’all.
No Trader Joe’s, not many movie stars (outside Derby week), but you can locate a genuine Moon Pie in less than 5 minutes from about any starting point in the city.

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Kaytie March 1, 2007 at 7:08 am

Wait a minute. Were you guys here in San Diego? In the Hillcrest where I shop at Trader Joe’s?

How is this possible? Guess I should leave the house once in a while and meet new people.

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Amy Wallen March 1, 2007 at 3:12 pm

Well, first it was the Hillcrest TJ’s,then it was the Pacific Beach Trader Joe’s which is a long way from where I live, but because James botched the first interview we had to drive “down the hill” to the other place and go undercover, which also got botched by his wearing the camouflage flak jacket with microphone cords trailing out the door to his white van backed up to the automatic doors. The SWAT team that showed up said it was the first time they’d had to raid such an ethereal place. But James’s writing is great. And yes, we live in San Diego, where it’s a breezy 58 degrees. Brrr.

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Gail Siegel March 1, 2007 at 3:41 pm

Okay, I’ll pop for the 95 centavos. Unfortunately, I will be in ITALY during the March 22 segment and do not have TIVA. Betsy, do you have TIVO? And contrary to what James might imply, I will NOT be studying to be Hit Woman of the Year or anything close to that. (Although I will be meeting Hannah Tinti.) Just going to a writing workshop. I am hoping that my cousin and old teacher will stay safe and sound for years.

James, if you kill off your famous friends, who will write your jacket blurbs for you?

My friend Terri Mathes shops at one of those Trader Joes, too. The second one, I think. Maybe she can meet you in the salsa aisle.

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n.l. belardes March 1, 2007 at 6:12 pm

Although Amy’s book sounds like some good hilarity, really, as fresh as the tasty guacamole she was after, I found myself much more interested in James Spring. Is this guy for real or some Borat of the literary world? I was cracking up and wanted to read all the pieces he mentioned that made fun of his writing…

I mean, what if James Spring doesn’t exist?

Reminds me of the time I was writing a fake tranny blog called Enrique Fuentes: Queen of the Downtown Fur.

I had the local newspaper so fooled because I had the blogger networking online with the entertainment reporter… She started mentioning Enrique Fuentes in the newspaper.

So I had an actor show up as Enrique at an event one night.

hehehaha…

Give James a TV Show! He sounds cool as hell!

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n.l. belardes March 1, 2007 at 6:13 pm

I’ll order Amy’s book. I hope she writes about James in her next novel. The guy deserves fame and glory.

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Amy Wallen March 1, 2007 at 11:21 pm

N.L. I have no doubt James will get well-deserved fame and glory all on his own. He’s the hardest working writer I know. Not to mention the funniest. Someday soon, I’ll be asking if he’ll hire me to do his grocery shopping, I have no doubt.

check out some of James’s hilarious readings on http://www.firstfridayprose.com. He’s got four short, but hiliarious pieces posted, one each month.

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Enid Peltwater March 1, 2007 at 11:41 pm

What a great interview. I just keep scrolling through to revisit favorite passages and peer into Amy’s trunk. I want to befriend you both. Maybe we could shop together some day. However, I do require a trip down the booze aisle.

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n.l. belardes March 2, 2007 at 12:56 am

I will do some reading of James work tonight. Sounds fun! Nice book cover, Amy…

Also, congrats on reaching the LA Times Bestseller list. Tis a mighty accomplishment. And for taking the time to comment here on LitPark. Interviewed authors don’t always take the extra time to interact in the blog conversations. You did and that’s much appreciated by this LitPark reader….

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n.l. belardes March 2, 2007 at 1:02 am

From James Spring’s short piece, Somewhere in Panama…

“A kaleidoscope of boobs…”

hehehaha…

-n.l.

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Aurelio March 2, 2007 at 1:41 am

This post was way too much fun – Stop it! I’ll never get any writing done myself with this kind of cleverness to distract me.

I want to “friend” both Amy and James right now. And if Amy’s book is half as good as Trader Joe’s, then no wonder its a hit, James. (Sorry but I’m hooked on TJ’s too. They are the only place I can find actual, real, heavy whipping cream.)

You both sound like brats. I relate to brats.

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Betsy March 2, 2007 at 3:07 pm

Gail – no TIVO no cable! And might I add, while you’re off having a trip to ITALY you’ll also be missing Crane on Selected Shorts! Oh, who am I kidding, I’d miss myself on the radio for a trip to Italy in a heartbeat.

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Martha March 2, 2007 at 9:03 pm

I thought about naming her Amos.
Amy’s mom.

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Amy Wallen March 3, 2007 at 12:40 am

Oh great! My mom and James are in cahoots.

Mom,we’ve moved on to another page. just type in http://www.litpark.com and catch up with the rest of us.

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Jessica March 12, 2007 at 10:32 pm

There’s a lot of fuss over Amy and James. The real hero is Susan Henderson. I don’t know if the entry was dicatated by James, (is it fun translating all that slurring?), or if James just stamped his name after Susan tirelessly stopped Trader Joes from suing, but either way, where there’s winds and wings, there’s Susan.

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Cyn May 10, 2009 at 8:36 pm

I was just hunting around online for my beloved and now unavailable TJ’s sunflower seed pretzels and I happened on this site. I read every word and laughed out loud. Thanks so much for cheering me up on a day when I am writing and re-writing a paper for English Lit!

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steve kaye July 9, 2010 at 6:39 pm

i have been missing those sunflower seed pretzels for years, have you been able to find them anywhere?? They were the best and have no clue why they stopped selling them!

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