The Kill Your Darlings Podcast is back with a few strange tales from the Melbourne Writers Festival and beyond. In this edition we speak to one of our KYD First Book Club authors, Madelaine Dickie, about her novel Troppo and the experiences in Indonesia that informed it. We also have Julie Koh reading part of ‘Cream Reaper’, from her brilliantly bizarre collection Portable Curiosities. Finally, I restrain my inner fangirl (who is also my outer fangirl) while asking Lev Grossman about his series The Magicians, magical protagonists, and what it’s like seeing Brakebills brought to life.

Further reading:

Read an extract from Madelaine Dickie’s Troppo, KYD’s First Book Club pick for September
Post-Potter: Patrick Lenton on magic for adults in the Magicians Trilogy
Satirists Rising: Julie Koh on Portable Curiosities and the New Wave

You can stream the podcast above or on Soundcloud, or subscribe on iTunes or your favourite podcasting app.

 


TRANSCRIPT

Lev Grossman: …Reality just doesn’t act like that. It doesn’t act like books, it’s not as satisfying. It’s not as well organised…
Madelaine Dickie: …And so one night the fishermen in the village…
LG: …I wanted somebody who’s very un-chosen. And that was Quentin…
Julie Koh: …‘The Capote of the food world, hey?’…
MD: …Really start to tend this careful and patient hatred…
LG: …Basically put him in the world that I wished that I’d been in when I was 17…
JK: …I can barely contain my excitement…
LG: …I’ve beat my characters viciously, to make them say anything at all…
MD: …Crawled through caves full of bones in Sulawesi…
JK: …To give me this exclusive…
LG: …People did find him grating. That’s precisely the word…

Meaghan Dew (KYD): Welcome back to the Kill Your Darlings Podcast. I’m Meaghan and I’ll be your host for the next half hour or so, as we delve into stories that are a little unusual. During the Melbourne Writers Festival, we spoke to Lev Grossman about The Magicians, so that interview’s coming up, and so is Julie Koh’s reading part of her short story ‘Cream Reaper’. But first up we have an interview with Madelaine Dickie. Her debut novel Troppo is the September KYD First Book Club pick, and is out now with Fremantle Press, official sponsors of this third of the podcast. I asked her about her first experiences in Indonesia, where the novel is set.

Madelaine Dickie: I first went to Indonesia on a study trip as a 16-year-old, so I studied Indonesian throughout high school, and had a ten-day sort of study tour in Denpasar, so I went to school in Indonesia, and in Bali, and yeah, just brushed up on the language skills. It was really different, actually, speaking Indonesian in the country as compared to learning Indonesian in the classroom. I thought I was pretty well, but as soon as I hit the markets and that first little roadside warung, first café, I really strong with the accent and yeah, it took many, many years after of travelling before I finally felt like I had a good hold of the language.

KYD: How have your feelings about Indonesia evolved over time?

MD: Yeah, so, all up I suppose I’ve spent 3 years living, working and surfing in Indonesia. when I was a lot younger I’d crawled through caves full of bones in Sulawesi, surfed off the execution island, Nusa Kambangan in Java, and I got crook with malaria as an 18-year-old in the Solor–Alor archipelago. Since I’ve got a little bit older I guess these like really sort of full-on travel experiences settled down a little bit. A few years ago when I got a prime minister’s Asia-Australia Endeavour Award, and that award was to move to West Java and work on the first draft of my first book, Troppo. So this was really quite a different experience to that super wild hectic travel when I was 17, 18. On this trip I moved with my partner and where we chose to live in a small fishing village in West Java, which to live in the village and to live locally, and… I think, I mean, it’s not really exaggerating to say that this year was probably the best year of my life. Our neighbours were just incredible. Like, incredibly generous. We were often gifted with fish, or coconuts or mangos. And I think during this whole time I never really felt unsafe, and I never felt unwelcome at all. The biggest sort of thing about living in Indonesia, and I guess what draws me back again and again, and certainly what draws the protagonist of my book, Penny, back, is that you’re always living with this constant kind of feeling of danger. So for us, these dangers were things like earthquakes, we had a number of earthquakes while we were in the village, we lived with the threat of tsunamis, obviously when you’re testing yourself out in big surf, from paddling out, and the conditions that you’re not quite sure if you can sort of handle, that’s always really scary, and definitely riding motorbikes is a pretty scary thing too. And I suppose that my real hope in Troppo is that I’ve conveyed danger and this magic, and I really hope that Penny comes across as a character who has this deep appreciation for the exotic, and for this country. And I guess, certainly my own sense really changed over the years, like the longer that you spend in Indonesia, you get a deeper sense of the politics and a better understanding of the language and the local dialect, and I really think that this sort of colours your own experiences, I was a dabbler, but I really hope that it colours the book as well.

KYD: Firstly, I guess that sense of danger that you experienced is quite a different sort of danger to the sort of threat that Penny occasionally experiences, or feels like might be an issue.

MD: Yeah, yeah, ‘cause obviously in Troppo, the big sort of deal is this bloke, who is just a real feral, and I think he’s the kind of character, he’s like a lot of people that I’ve met in different parts of the world, like in Tonga and Costa Rica, Philippines and Indonesia – they’re people that sort of move to a place, and… Maybe they’re drawn there by, like, the promise of good surf, or that the women are really beautiful, or that the food’s good, that it’s cheap, and at first they really love it, but then slowly over the years, things sort of change, and the longer that they’re there, they really start to tend this careful and patient hatred toward the place. And this certainly happens in the case of the villain in Troppo, Shane. I think he loved Indonesia when he first moved there, but as he got a bit older and as he was there longer, things really progressed and changed in the way that he viewed the place, and there’s a lovely line that TS Eliot wrote: ‘between the idea and the reality falls the shadow.’ And I think in Troppo, all of the expatriates, Australian and European, have this kind of idea of what Indonesia’s like, but between that and the actuality on the ground is this shadow. So I really feel that Troppo kind of deals with these shadows.

KYD: So she’s a bit young, a bit foolhardy at times, but she’s also very aware of her own relative privileges while she’s in Indonesia, and she’s sort of leaps and bounds ahead of most of the bules, or a lot of Aussie tourists who, when it comes to their, to her knowledge of and respect for Indonesian culture – how important was that to you when you were constructing her and her story?

MD: Oh, I think really important because it gives her that vantage point to sort of look at things that are going on around her, and say ‘you know what? That’s, you might be able to behave like that in your own country, but that’s not a way to behave here.’ And that’s sort of what the book is looking at, looking at that conflict between these really sort of bogan aspects of the Australian surf culture, and the culture in a part of Indonesia where the people are quite strict Muslims. So I think it was important that Penny has that sensitivity, so that she’s able to observe these different sort of dramas that are playing out around her.

KYD: One of the other conflicts in the book seems to be between the encroaching modernity in the village where Penny is, and various superstitions. It’s left pretty open in your book as to whether the magic that is encountered, or whether the curses, like, whether they’re actually real in the context of this book, or whether they are just superstition. Where do you fall on that?

MD: Well I guess I’ve got my own experiences from travelling and being privy to black magic and white magic, I suppose, as well, from things that I’ve experienced. I guess on the black magic side of things, just near the bamboo bridge I spoke about a little bit earlier, when we turned up to the village there was this little hut with red graffiti spray-painted across the front which said dukun santet, and in Indonesia, dukun is like a shaman, and a dukun santet is like a black magician, he’s the worst kind. And when I asked my friends, ‘hey, how come there’s this graffiti there, how come it’s all boarded up?’ they said ‘Oh, yeah, there was this dukun there, but he’d made too many people in the village , he’d sent them bankrupt, or made too many people really sick, and so one night the fishermen in the village came to his house, they trussed him up, put him on the back of the motorbike, took off to the beach, popped him in one of the boats, and then hacked him up with machetes, kept him alive and then threw him, bleeding and alive, over board for the sharks. So that was something that happened in the village not too long after we moved there. And I think black magic’s something, it’s always really interested me. On that trip when I was 16 I went to a library, I think it must have been attached to the language school where I was studying, and I found a copy of the book by Clifford Geertz, The Religion of Java. And he was an anthropologist, I’m pretty sure he was in Indo in the 70s, and he writers a lot about black magic and there’s a lot of case studies that sort of come out of Banyuwangi in East Java, so a lot of the things in my book as well come from these really old stories, and stories about black magic during the Dutch times… yeah, just different sort of things. So I guess on that intellectual level and reading different books about Indonesia, I’ve always been drawn to those sort of aspects. And then on the kind of surfing level as well, like, as someone who’s surfed all over Indonesia, there’s also, you hear a lot of stories from old bules, who’ve been going to Indonesia for 30 years plus, and I’ve definitely heard stories about men who say, you know, one night when they’re in the tiny little seaside lodge, like a little boarding house, they felt someone’s hands around their neck, as if they were being strangled in their sleep, and they’ve woken up and there’s no-one there. So… there’s always these kinds of stories circulating in Indonesia, and I guess it’s my kind of feeling that if people believe that it’s true, then it’s true. And the American writer Wade Davis, I’m reading one of his books at the moment called The Serpent and the Rainbow, and he put forward a lot of different ideas, he writes about black magic in Haiti, and voodoo deaths in particular, and he sort of put forward the idea that fear can initiate actual physiological changes, that quite literally lead to death. So… I guess it’s my kind of feeling that if there’s belief in a culture about that, then, then sure, it’s possible.

KYD: How did the manuscript evolve over – like, once you turned in your first draft and started working with an editor, how much did the story change?

MD: I don’t actually think the story changed that much, but the rewriting process was really arduous. So it was probably a full three top-to-bottom rewrites. I was in Broome at the time, and sort of working full time, so I would set my alarm for four in the morning and usually work for about two and a half, three hours, have a shower, go do my full day at work, come home shattered… so it was a really, really big job. But having said that, it was fantastic to work with Georgia from Fremantle Press – she made a lot of recommendations and sometimes I was like ‘oh, I might just ignore that one!’ (Laughs). And when she sent the next draft through, I realised that no, ignoring it didn’t work, and she said again, ‘Mads, you really need to consider changing this.’ So, that was really nice, she was never like ‘you’ve got to do this, you’ve got to do that,’ it was always like, ‘have you thought about this, this might be better done this way.’ So I was a little bit anxious about that editing process, but it was really, really wonderful, and certainly the manuscript is so much tighter for it.

*

KYD: That was Madelaine Dickie speaking about her book Troppo. I had to change the time of this interview, but Madelaine was happy to reschedule, it meant she could spend Friday night camping and croc-watching – made my after-work drinks feel pretty tame in comparison. You’re listening to the Kill Your Darlings Podcast.

Earlier this year, Julie Koh released her short story collection Portable Curiosities. ‘Curious’ is certainly the word – in Julie Koh’s worlds, the last satirist is emerging from hiding, third eyes can be surgically removed, and, as you’ll find out, food fads can be deadly.

Julie Koh: I’ve spent just five minutes in the presence of the man known as Bartholomew G, and I’m already convinced he’s a special kind of genius.

The famous allure of this titan ice-creamer is hard to deny. Forget the Romans: this suave thirty-four-year-old is the new man of modern empire, the greatest food revolutionary of his generation, a self-described food futurist slash visionary educationist who has Sydney in the grip of a deluxe ice-cream pandemic. So far, his empire stands at five Ice Dealerships, whipping up frenzies in Alexandria, Surry Hills, Bondi, Darlinghurst and The Star.

The man with the finger on the pulse of frozen desserts has cleared his usually frantic schedule to give me this exclusive on a pop-up venture he is trialling this week. He’s granting me no-holds-barred access to follow him and his team over the venture’s first five days. He’s already calling me his ‘embedded journalist’.

I can contain my excitement. Not only is this my biggest assignment yet but I’ve also dabbled in a bit of horrifically bad homemade ice-cream in my time. I could do with some professional tips.

We’re standing in front of the security gates of G’s new digs in Alexandria, waiting for his business partner, Ian Lee, to arrive. When I comment on G’s individual style, he launches into a rundown of his outfit for today – a dark green Acne Studios fine-knit merino wool sweater over a white A.P.C. shirt, ASOS slim dusty-pink chinos rolled at the ankle, and a pair of Tod’s tan suede moccasins. He’s rocking Cutler and Gross tortoiseshell glasses and a pompadour cut so sleek he reckons it gives David Beckham a run for his money.

‘You know’, he confides, ‘true style is a core life skill. It’s all about mixing high- and low-end brands. Plus if you can add a compelling op-shop find to your ensemble, you’re more than ready to step out the door.’

I tell G that I’m in awe of the empire he has under his belt, which is continuing to expand with no signs of flagging. I ask what drives him to succeed.

‘I came from nothing,’ G shrugs. ‘All I’ll say is that Dad cleaned shopping centre toilets. But I’ve always thought ahead of the curve. Years ago I had this epiphany. In the near future, we weren’t going to have newspapers with food lift-outs. We were going to have foodpapers with new lift-outs. Who wanted to read about the Middle East anymore Food was where it was at.’

It turns out G is a polymath of sorts. With a degree in pharmacology, he began his career in pharmaceutical research before making a dramatic switch to pharma-degustation, apprenticing at Louis Vian’s two-Michelin-star London restaurant, Opioid, in the late 2000s, then getting runs on the board at fine-dining establishments Kurohiko, Grästerika and The Merry Axolotl. He credits Opioid with instilling in him a deep respect for each ingredient, honed while working under the watchful eye of Vian, who insisted that each dish be served in a blister pack of ten softgel capsules.

G’s luck changed in 2013 after a near-miss scooter accident grazed his leg. He quit as sous-chef at The Merry Axolotl and returned to Sydney to get back to basics: artisanal ice-cream, his one true love. It also eventually meant uniting with his pal Lee for today’s joint venture.

‘Speaking of the Dude Food Devil,’ says G, as Lee finally fronts up.

Lee is a member of the hot celebrity set G runs with – known among foodies as The Golden Circle. Also a bit of a polymath, he’s an ex-Big Four auditor and now the plaid-shirted king of Antipodean dude food, known for uber-popular Surry Hills joints Hoe Dawg and Douchely. I ask Lee about his love of French–Japanese fusion hot dogs and cold drip espresso martinis, his worship of nose-to-tail chefs and craft beer artisans.

‘Man, you’ve done your homework on me,’ he says. ‘The Capote of the food world, hey?’

I tell him I keep my ear to the ground.

I ask Lee what he thinks of G. He credits him as an inspiration.

‘What we’re seeing in Bart’s work is mind-blowing, to say the least,’ says Lee. ‘He’s the go-to guy for innovation. An absolute revelation. Everyone who’s anyone worships him. He’s ice-cream royalty, and no one’s going to get anywhere near him for a very long time.’

‘Ready to see where the magic happens?’ says G. He presses a button on a remote. The security gates swing open.

G’s house is a glass hemisphere – a stand-out look for the industrial Alexandria skyline.

‘It’s a converted warehouse,’ he says as we walk up the driveway. ‘I told my architect to design me a place that literally looks like the Sydney housing bubble.’

On the front steps, we run into G’s advertising team. He has them living on the premises while they develop the promotional strategy for the venture. They’re standing around in a cloud of their own herbal smoke, holding their cigarettes out to the side, tapping the ash. They are in the midst of an impenetrable conversation about organic Dutch carrots and mise en scène and style sins and intercultural artistic collectives.

G introduces me to the art director. ‘Tell her about the campaign, Rhys.’

Rhys visibly shivers with excitement under his Native American headdress. ‘Oh my God, it’s so high concept it’s on Pluto. It’s so underground it’s above ground.’

I tell him I’m very curious about the new product.

‘Hells yeah,’ says Rhys. ‘So are we.’

He doesn’t even know what the product is?

‘Well, no. But we’d totes line up to taste it. We hear it’s a killer flavour.’

*

KYD: That was Julie Koh reading part of her short story ‘Cream Reaper’, from the short story collection Portable Curiosities, out now in all good bookstores.

 Lev Grossman spent years with literary fiction, but if you recognise his name it’ll be for his bestselling series The Magicians. In the series, Quentin Coldwater gets a break anyone who grew up reading fantasy dreamed of. Much like Harry Potter, he’s granted access into a world beyond our own. But as with all good stories, entrance to a magical university is only the beginning.

 So The Magicians is set in a very rich world, but it also doesn’t favour world building over character development. Where does that balancing act come from, between rich and well-developed world and also a rich interior life for your characters?

Lev Grossman: That’s something I thought a lot about when I was working on The Magicians originally. As a reader I have two great loves, and one of them is fantasy, and the other one is the modernists, who I think of as being Wolfe, and Joyce, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner… people like that. And one of the things I always thought was interesting was that they were writing at a time when fantasy novels were just getting under way. Tolkien and Lewis were writing, you know, right around the peak of modernism. The modernists are so committed to that interior life, building out those interior worlds with such detail, just following every little thought and feeling, and fantasists just don’t care about that stuff that much. They want a big, rich world with monsters and magic in it, and stuff like that. One of the thoughts I had, literally, when working on The Magicians, was, what if you sort of crossed those streams? What if you had, you’re trying to keep the… the interior life of the modernists, and that rich, thrilling world of the fantasists. What if you tried to have them in the same book? And when you actually put them in the same book, weird, interesting things start to happen.

KYD: Given that you’ve got both those elements in your book, which came first, was it Brakebills, or was it Quentin?

LG: I had Quentin already, because Quentin was, essentially, me when I was 17 years old, and I had him, and I knew what I wanted to do with him, which was to put him into that world, or let him explore this world, which would have the things in it which he so desperately wanted. He wanted magic to be real, he wanted to feel like he was special, and he wanted to find his way to Fillory, to a secret magical world that nobody knew about. So in a funny way, I sort of, I just had to sort of put him down and watch him go.

KYD: He’s definitely not your traditional fantasy hero, I find myself thinking of the word ‘protagonist’ a lot more than I think the word ‘hero’ in response, which sounds a bit more mean now that you…

LG: Quentin and ‘hero’ don’t fit that well, do they.

KYD: No, not particularly. But did you worry at any point that that would be off-putting, or grating for fantasy readers who do expect a more traditional heroic arc out of their heroes sometimes, or perhaps have been conditioned to expect that from their books?

LG: It’s something, again, that I thought about a lot. It was important to me that Quentin not be the ‘Chosen One’. There are conventions and tropes of fantasy that I wanted to keep, and there were ones that I wanted to play around with. And one was this idea of somebody who’s a Chosen One, marked out by destiny for great things to fulfil a prophecy. I wanted somebody who was very un-chosen. And that’s Quentin. And it was very interesting to see the reactions when he went out into the world. Because I think some people recognised him and said ‘Oh, thank goodness, finally someone like me, who doesn’t have a special destiny and just has to muddle along, figuring things out.’ And then there was also a lot of ‘I cannot stand this guy!’ (Laughs.) People did find him grating, that’s precisely the word. Probably to a greater extent than I anticipated. That was a trade-off – I always wanted The Magicians to keep things about fantasy that I loved, and the pleasure, and the magic, and the excitement – and lose the things that I thought didn’t ring quite true to me in fantasy. And Quentin was definitely one of them.

KYD: You said that you did in some ways set out to write an adult version of Harry Potter. The impression to me was that what made it adult wasn’t so much the leaving in of the sex and the drugs and the stuff like that, it feels like almost the more adult concept is the idea that you could be a fantasy nerd, be given a route into your fantasy world, and that that wouldn’t make everything perfect ­– that in fact there would be horrible things that would happen and that would still come with you into that world.

LG: One thing that came early on was Quentin being a big fantasy reader, which started out for me just because I thought that’s what would have happened. I always found it interesting about Harry Potter, that he wasn’t much of a reader. When he arrives at Hogwarts, it’s clear that he hasn’t actually – he hasn’t read any fantasy novels. He’s astounded and he learns about it kind of from a standing start. Whereas I feel like, it’s more likely that if there were a real school for magic that the people, a lot of the people who came there would be huge fantasy readers. And then they would have this strange experience of having to learn, essentially, what the difference is between fiction and reality. They would have lots of expectations about what their lives would be like, how magic would work, what was going to happen next. And reality just doesn’t act like that, it doesn’t act like books. It’s not as satisfying, it’s not as well organised. And so Quentin has to, he gets a short, sharp education in the difference between books and real life. And that just actually, it just came out of that question of realism. Who would actually go to a school for magic?

KYD: If, with the first one, the idea seems to, one of the ideas is that sometimes getting what you want isn’t necessarily the answer to all of life’s problems, the second book seemed to very much have more of the idea that not getting it can be just as bad, at least for Julia, you’re not leaving your reader with a lot of comfortable notions as to…

LG: I want to be quick to say that the idea that you might go to a school for magic and get your heart’s desire, and just enter a whole new world of trouble that you didn’t know was there – that comes from Harry Potter. That happens to Harry – Harry’s got a terrible life going on, and then he goes to Hogwarts, and for about 5 minutes he thinks ‘OK, I am set, finally, at last.’ But then there’s a whole new world of problems that he has to deal with. And that’s Quentin’s arc as well. I spent a lot of time thinking about my favourite character from Harry Potter, who’s Dudley Dursley, who, I know we’re not supposed to feel sad for Dudley. He’s a terrible person, and he’s got terrible parents. But I always thought how difficult it would be if you were living with somebody, you’ve got somebody living in your house, you can’t stand him. He’s just this sort of wretched thorn in your side. And then it turns out, ‘oh, look, Harry gets to go to a school for magic. But I don’t get to go. Why was Harry chosen and not me?’ Of course, Dudley in the books, that’s not what really bothers him at all. But I felt like it would bother me, and I kept coming back to this idea – what would it be like to be left behind? To feel like you belonged in a magic school, and realised that it was real, but that you just hadn’t been chosen. How would that feel? And that’s where Julia came from, that sense of being left behind, and shut out, which we’ve all had. Strange to say, I actually put this proposition to JK Rowling herself, one the one occasion when I met her. And I said, hadn’t she been a little bit hard on Dudley, and, you know, wouldn’t it, wouldn’t he be in actually a really difficult, painful position, you know, knowing that Harry went to Hogwarts and he didn’t? And her response, which I remember in its entirety, was, ‘oh, please.’ (Laughs).

KYD: There’s a moment in the trilogy where he sort of first acknowledges that the non-magical world can, in itself, be magical. As someone who read things like the Narnia books and that growing up, I think children who read those books have a bit of a moment where like, ‘oh, OK, so the real world doesn’t have magic in it, but maybe it’s gonna be all right. Maybe there’s some other cool stuff out there that’s going to be nice.’ Did you have moments like that in your life?

LG: That’s right, yes, he does, that comes up in Venice, and again in Cornwall. It’s an interesting and painful question for me. That thing that happens in books, it happens at the end of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, where the kids who’ve lived for years now in Narnia, they’ve become kings and queens of Narnia, suddenly they pass the lamp post, and they tumble back into the real world. They get squished down into little child bodies. And they have to go back to school, when they used to be kings and queens. Likewise, at the end of The Phantom Tollbooth, it’s another moment where the hero comes back to the real world, and he doesn’t even really mind. The real world is compelling – I always thought that was utter rubbish when I was a child. I hated those bits! And in fact one of the things that inspired The Magicians was the idea of writing a story where characters would go, basically, to Narnia, and then they wouldn’t have to come back. And we would see what it was like for them to run their own kingdom. Which we never really see in the Narnia books. So that question of whether the real world is worth living in when there’s a magic reality too, it’s a vexed and painful one for me. And Quentin, he does feel as though he could make that accommodation, and embrace reality. But close readers of the book will notice, I don’t make him do it. (Laughs). He says he could probably do it, but he never really has to do it.

KYD: So the trilogy is a TV series now, which you might have noticed…

LG: (Laughs) Yeah.

KYD: But how involved were you in the adaptation?

LG: I’m not as involved as you might think. What I see is all the scripts, before the scripts I see the sort of outlines that they’re gonna make the scripts out of, and before that I see the sort of outline that they’ve got for the whole season. So I watch the stories develop on paper. In terms of the shooting, casting, directing, how they say the lines, what they wear – I don’t see any of that. And I only see the words in advance. Although I do visit the set every now and then once in a while. And I can tell you, it’s just one of those really wonderful experiences, that more people should get to have. To watch, to get to go somewhere – there’s like 150 people working on this show, and they’re building these buildings that I wrote about, sewing the costumes for characters that I… you know, there’s a room full of people whose job it is to sew the robes for the royal family of Fillory. I mean, to see that happening… It’s an uncanny but really wonderful feeling. It’s just one of the most moving things that’s ever happened to me.

*

KYD: That was Lev Grossman, and you’ve been listening to the Kill Your Darlings Podcast. Thanks to Madelaine Dickie – hope the croc-watching went well; to Julie Koh – the rest of that story is in Portable Curiosities, people; and to Lev Grossman who, in case you’re wondering, would really like one of the Brakebills jumpers. So, SyFy Network, maybe get on that, send him one? You probably have a whole wardrobe full of them, right? As per usual, you can find more Kill Your Darlings on our website, as well as in the latest edition of the journal. See you next time.

LG: For years I worked on these books and there was no publisher or anything and I didn’t know if they would ever get off my hard drive…
MD: One night, fishermen in the village…
JK: …Who insisted that each dish be served in a blister pack of ten softgel capsules…
LG: …Learn, essentially, what the difference is between…
MD: …Really start to tend this careful and patient hatred…
LG: …They get squished down into little child bodies. And they have to go back to school, and listen to their teachers, when they used to be kings and queens.
MD: …When I was a lot younger…
JK: …The famous allure of this titan ice-creamer is hard to deny…
MD: … I guess it’s my kind of feeling that if people believe that it’s true, then it’s true…
LG: …It’s just one of those… really wonderful experiences that more people should get to have.