Author, musician and journalist Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) visited campus on Tuesday for the annual Gerhold Lecture for the Humanities. He spoke on everything from music to his new novel All the Dirty Parts and even managed to answer some questions about his wildly popular book series, “A Series of Unfortunate Events.”
Handler stopped by WXCU before his student Q&A to chat with Matt McCroskey, Carlee Kime, and myself.
His most recent novel, “All the Dirty Parts,” was released in September and chronicles the life and escapades of 17-year-old Cole. The main inspiration for the book was based on a conversation had at a dinner party about sexuality in adulthood versus adolescence.
When asked how he got into the mindset of a teenager in order to write like one, he said he did “a lot of eavesdropping.”
“The thing with eavesdropping is … you’ve gotta prepare your excuse first,” Handler said. “Like on the bus, for instance, I would just say ‘Oh, sorry, I was spacing.’”
The conversation flowed seamlessly, as Handler is a seasoned pro. He answered questions about writing and inspiration from 6th graders in West Chester, Ohio. They asked how old he was when he discovered his love for writing, to which he answered “age 6.”
“So just as soon as I could write anything, I was interested in writing,” Handler said.
When asked what advice he had for young writers, Handler said “I’ve got a lot of sympathy … not so much advice.”
“I carry a notebook wherever I go, because nothing makes good radio like a visual aid,” Handler said. “Whenever I think of something … I write it down.”
Handler gets inspiration from many places, one of them being books he doesn’t like.
“I’ll think ‘I can do better than this, you know what this book ought to be…’” Handler said. “Music inspires me a lot … that takes me to a space in my head that enables me to think up stories … but I would say looking at a piece of blank paper is very inspiring.”
Handler also revealed that there will be two more seasons of the Netflix adaptation of his “A Series of Unfortunate Events” books. While he didn’t have an exact date for their release, he anticipated that they’d finish filming in December.
This is just a few of the many topics – one being the love lives of everyone with a mic in the studio – we covered in 45 minutes. The interview in its entirety can be found at: https://soundcloud.com/wxcuradio/danielhandler.