Anonymous asked: Why did you/David decide to write will greyson in all lower case?
That’s David’s character, so you’d have to ask him. (In the past, when he has been asked, he’s noted that there are several ways you can read it: You can read it as a reflection of will feeling like a lower case person, or you can read it as being about will not differentiating between online communication (which is often all lowercase) and irl communication, or you can read it in other ways.
I think David agrees with me that books belong to their readers, although I don’t want to speak for him.
Anonymous asked: Can you explain how Schroedinger's famous cat experiment related to Will/Jane and Will/Tiny?
Well, the reason Schrodinger’s Cat is so famous is not because it was a terribly important thought experiment (although it is a fairly important one), but because it is A. relatively easy to understand, and B. is metaphorically resonant for a lot of people.
Like, for a lot of people, the whole pleasure of being in a state of unknowing is that as long as you don’t know, all possible outcomes (kinda) feel as if they are happening.
When you press for an outcome (i.e., open the box) you get one outcome, but depending on how much you want the cat to be alive, that risk can feel like it is not worth taking.
Anonymous asked: Did you guys agree beforehand for the novel to contain LGBT characters, or was that unspoken before that mid-way point?
No, we didn’t agree to it beforehand or even discuss it. We didn’t discuss anything except for names, dates, and a location for them to meet.
But we only wrote one chapter each before meeting to read those chapters aloud to each other, so I knew after I’d written one chapter who David’s will grayson was. (And he knew who Tiny Cooper was, and so on.) We read each chapter oud loud to each other as we went, but never exchanged the actual text until after we’d finished a draft of the entire story.
swimfor-yourlife asked: So I don't get it- are you, or are you not a fan of Elton John?
I don’t ever think about Elton John one way or the other, really, to be honest with you.
I just thought Tiny Cooper would like Elton John.
Anonymous asked: What originally provoked the two of you to write a book together?
David and I became friends after he read Looking for Alaska several months before it was published. He wrote me an email; I responded (I was a fan of his books); it went from there.
Months later, he proposed this idea for a book about two boys with the same name. I was honored that a writer of David’s stature would think of me for a collaboration (I was still unpublished at the time) and immediately said yes.
Honestly, I would’ve said yes if he’d told me he wanted to write a collaborative book about the history of monastic cheese-making in Belgium. Fortunately, I found his idea really interesting, as I’ve always been interested in the relationship between the identities we’re given (names, religious background, ethnicity) and the identities we choose (nicknames, music tastes, fashion, and so on).
vincentvangodot asked: Did you and DL collaborate on the chapters where the two Wills spoke to each other?
We collaborated more on those chapters, but even then, the odd chapters are mine and the even ones David’s. We talked a lot about the actual mechanics of those chapters, and where characters needed to be when and that kind of thing.
But it was a lot of fun to write David’s will, and a lot of fun to see him write mine.
Anonymous asked: Do you believe that when we love someone (of course, not necessarily romantically) we should tell them that explicitly? Why is it hard for us to confess about love when it's not romantic? (If you're not going to talk about WGWG you might want to answer this in your main tumblr, if you're going to answer this.)
It’s very interesting to me how frequently romantic partners in the US tend to say, “I love you,” and how infrequently friends and certain family members say it. Like, I do not find it at all hard to tell my wife I love her, but I find it very hard to tell my brother I love him.
Of course, I do love my brother, and I don’t think he ever feels unloved by me or anything.
But for Tiny and Will, there is a need to say it, because I don’t think either of them has really accepted that they love each other until they say it. It’s a hard thing to accept, that your best friend is the most important person in your life, but for many of us, it’s a reality, and one to be celebrated.
Anonymous asked: Was the title "Tiny Dancer" a reference to the song?
Funny story: For like the first 10 drafts, the musical was called “Hold Me Close Now: The Tiny Cooper Story,” and then finally David gently pointed out to me that the lyric was “Hold me CLOSER,” and…yeah. So I changed the title of the musical.
saynotohorcruxes asked: What is Tiny Cooper's real first name? In my head it is either really fancy schmancy or it is humorously manly.
I have no idea. Books belong to their readers, and I cannot address questions that were intentionally left ambiguous in the story.
(…he said for the millionth time, further infuriating his very nice readers.)
place-less-traveled asked: whose idea was it to make the two will grayson's meet in a porn shop?
That would be me.
I guess I kind of wanted to force David’s hand here, because I really wanted to write a story that celebrated all different kinds of love, that talked about love between friends and between kids and parents, and that wasn’t just another love story in which the only kind of love was romantic.
And it seemed to me that part of our weird obsession with romantic love is a weird attraction/repulsion to our sexuality, which is inevitably going to be at play any time you write about young homosexual men and women, because there is still so much prejudice against them. (I knew I wanted to write about a friendship between a straight male and a gay male.)
So I thought it would be interesting and resonant to have these two guys have this aggressively unsexual and unromantic encounter in a place (a porn store) we associate so closely with sexuality.