Apparently there are rules to abide by when speaking to Wonkette, aka Ana Marie Cox, who recently came out with her work of political fiction, Dog Days.
Because of her busy book tour and schedule, Cox was only able to do the interview via e-mail and through her tightly wound publicist Craig Burke at Riverhead Books. Two questions Wonkette blatantly refused to answer involved Jessica Cutler, the former aide to Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) who helped Wonkette’s career blossom with the revelation of the staffer’s sex-laden Web log two summers ago. The questions revolved around whether Wonkette feels she owes her fame to Cutler and her reaction to Cutler’s piece in Capitol File in which she insinuates that Wonkette had romantic interests that strayed from her marriage.
Q: How long has the basic story of Dog Days been on your mind?
Q: What did you want to be when you were little?
Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Q: It has been rumored that you are going to work for The New York Times in some capacity. Is there any truth to that, either in the paper or the website?
Q: [Several minutes and no reply later …] How about telling me about the NYT?
Q: Have you always been so snarky?
Q: Some reviewers of your book have some awfully harsh things to say about your book — how do you feel about that, and does it hurt your feelings?
Q: I would like a serious answer to the question.
To the extent that a negative review has substantive criticisms, the reaction is much deeper than having “feelings” hurt. I take thoughtful arguments and sincere objections seriously and search in myself and my work for what truth there is to them. That said, many of the negative reviews are so blatantly agenda-driven — they’re attacks on me, the blogosphere, “chick lit” or Washington, not book reviews — it’s hard to take them to heart.
I am the novel’s own worst critic, trust me, and there hasn’t been a review yet that is as hard on my own writing as I can be.
One more thing: If you think I take negative reviews badly, ask my husband: I’m even worse about the positive ones.
Q: What percentage (an estimated guess, of course) of your book is based on reality? Which character do you identify with most?
Q: If your book gets turned into a movie, which actress would you like to play the lead? Who do you think should play Heather (aka Capitolette?)
(How about Courtney Love, that anorexic chick, Lindsay Lohan, or Drew Barrymore pre-rehab …)
Q: Do you really think the bulk of Washington men are a bunch of losers?
Q: Were you popular in high school?
Q: Did you go to prom?
I would provide more detail beyond costuming, but I honestly don’t remember much else. Somewhere there are pictures from the senior-year event — the four of us sitting on swing sets at the elementary school, drinking wine coolers and mugging for the camera. It looks like we were having fun, and I believe we did.
Q: How did you meet your husband?
Q: Being a former farm girl, do you really find Washington that interesting?
Q: Would you ever, like your main character Melanie, have an epiphany and sudden disgust with everything Washington and move back to Lincoln?
Q: What’s the nastiest piece of hate mail or e-mail that you’ve ever received in relation to your blog?
Q: Do people recognize you when you go to the grocery store?
Q: Do you still consider yourself a liberal?