Joe Ide: 2019 National Book Festival

Joe Ide: 2019 National Book Festival


>>Stephanie Merry:
Welcome to the Library of Congress National
Book Festival. I am Stephanie Merry, Book World
editor of the “Washington Post”. When Joe Ide introduced the
world to Isaiah Quintabe in 2016 with his debut novel, it felt
like a fresh, new protagonist. Sure, we’d see L.A.-based
sleuths before from Bosch to Easy Rawlins, but Isaiah, or IQ as he’s known,
felt different. He’s a South-Central
detective with the smarts of Sherlock Holmes and the
swagger of Steve McQueen, a criminal who went straight,
and a private eye who is calm and collected while working
through his share of grief. He also provides fans of
crime fiction with a window onto a world they’ve
never seen before, the world of South-Central L.A., which is also the world
where Joe grew up. Joe has proved himself
not just a capable writer, but also a fast one. Since “IQ” came out in 2016,
winning an Edgar Award, he has published two
well-received sequels, “Righteous” and “Wrecked”. His fourth IQ novel, “High
Five”, comes out in January. He’ll be signing
copies of his books at 6:30 on the lower level. It is my pleasure to
welcome Joe Ide to the stage. [ Applause ]>>Joe Ide: Good afternoon. Thank you for coming out. A little background first. I grew up in South-Central
L.A. in an area that was full of crime, and gangs, and all the
inherent problems of the hood. But, as an experience, it wasn’t
any different than what millions of people go through every day. My grandparents lived
in the area because it was close
to Little Tokyo. And my family lived with them
because we were just getting by. My grandparents were
very old world. They spoke almost no English. They were stern. They were formal and
very traditional. My grandfather collected
samurai swords and he had a Japanese garden. My grandmother had a koi pond and she wears beautiful silk
kimonos around the house. And they treated me like
somebody else’s cat. [ Laughter ] You know what I mean? Like they couldn’t actually
kill me but they didn’t have to be nice to me either. [ Laughter ] My parents aspired to
get out of the hood and be Brady Bunch mainstream. And that’s what they wanted for
their kids, me and my brothers. But we adapted to
the neighborhood. Our friends were Black. So we co-opted their speech,
style, attitudes, musical taste. So there was always this
cultural, generational tension within the family, made more so
by the fact that both my parents and my grandparents wanted us
kids to have some connection to our own cultural heritage
which never really turned out the way they had hoped. My parents made me take a
ceramics class in Little Tokyo. It was taught by a
very famous artist. He was from Japan, a
friend of my grandfather’s. So I get there and
there’s eight or ten of these obsessively clean-cut
suburban Japanese kids, and there I am, you know,
with toothpick in my mouth and wearing my Ray-Bans indoors. And I know I have
to get out of this. There’s no way I’m going
to stay in this class. But I couldn’t just blow
it off because I’d get into it with my parents. So here’s what I did: Everything
I made looked somehow phallic. It wasn’t obvious, you
know, but it wasn’t subtle. It would be like a
perfectly ordinary teapot which you wouldn’t
necessarily want to pick it up by the handle. [ Laughter ] My older brother,
Jack, he got kicked out of a Japanese
Boy Scout troop for buying his merit badges. [ Laugher ] You know, he didn’t get the
whole Boy Scout concept. And my brother, he had
them, you know, running up and down his arms, and
I’m four years younger and I’m incredibly jealous because my parents
were so proud of him. And what it made it all
the more aggravating was that I knew it was a scam and I knew my hood rat
brother couldn’t build a wigwam and paddle around in a kayak. And sort of the net
result of all of this was that I was culturally
all over the place. I wasn’t Black. I wasn’t White. I felt way far from
being Japanese. So through most of
that time I really felt like I didn’t fit in. I didn’t belong anywhere. And I think that’s
why I was so drawn to the original Sherlock Holmes. Here’s a guy like me. Doesn’t fit in. Doesn’t belong. But Sherlock had an identity. You know, he was confident. If he faced problems,
he could overcome them with just his intelligence. That was a big idea for me
because it meant there was a way for a kid like me to face
his world and not be afraid. And when it came
time to write a book, all of this came together
virtually by itself and Sherlock in the
hood was born. I’m asked a lot about character, where they come from,
how they’re created. And I think it’s a lot about
empathy, the writer’s ability to get inside the
character’s head and see the world the way
they do, not to judge, but to understand why
they do what they do. If the writer doesn’t
understand that, how do they know what the
character will do or say in any given situation? I mean suppose you
walk into the den and there’s your husband lying
on the couch watching TV. And the first thing you
do is make a judgment. “He’s such an incredible slob. I mean, how hard is it
to wear both slippers?” [ Laughter ] “There’s no point wearing
a robe if you’re not going to close it in the front”. [ Laughter ] Instead of asking yourself, “Why is there a vacant
look in his eyes? Why is he watching a
program he doesn’t like? Why is he wearing a bathrobe
at 5:30 in the afternoon?” because it’s the obvious
thing for him to be doing, given how he’s thinking
and feeling. And it’s the writer’s
job to tell you that. My first girlfriend, Stephanie
Farrington [assumed spelling], she was eleven so I was ten. She lived two doors down. She was a head taller than me and outweighed me
by thirty pounds. My brother said that
when we held hands, she looked like a ventriloquist
with a Japanese dummy. [ Laughter ] I always thought that
was a little harsh. [ Laughter ] Well, everybody in the
neighborhood was struggling but Stephanie’s family
was destitute. There was never any food in the
house and hardly any furniture. She had a little
brother, a little sister who were always running
around half naked crying. And her mother was a
drunk, you know, she just, she walked around with this
sawed off piece of broomstick and just hit who was
ever closest to her. And Stephanie came out of it
with this attitude that I gave to a character named
Deronda in the first IQ book, and that it whatever I get in
this life I’ll have to take it. And whatever that is,
it won’t be enough. I used to share my
lunches with Stephanie and she would complain
about the sandwiches. You know, “Tell your mother I
don’t like mustard,” you know. And she was like that
about everything. Whatever it was, it
was the wrong thing. It was the wrong size. It was the wrong color. It’s not the one she wanted. Because nothing would ever make
up for her life of deprivation or fill that well of needs
that would never be met. And because I knew Stephanie,
I could write Deronda. There’s a tendency I think,
especially in the crime genre, to define a character
by two things. One if lifestyle. He lives in a penthouse. He drives a Maserati. He lives in a log cabin
and he drives an old Jeep. I don’t have any, I don’t have
a beef with that kind of stuff, you know, and I use it myself. But it’s really not the
substance of character. The substance of character
is their emotional life, what they’re thinking
and feeling as they’re doing whatever
it is they’re doing. I’m not really impressed,
you know, with somebody who throws people off rooftops. I can throw somebody
off a rooftop. What interests me is what
that character is thinking and feeling, even with bad guys. You can’t really
understand a bad guy until you realize he’s a
good guy in his own life. The bad guy in “Wrecked” is an
ex-CIA officer named Walczak. He was at Abu Ghraib. Now he runs a big security
company like Blackwater so we know he’s cruel,
ruthless, powerful. There’s nothing new there. Walczak is looking for
a woman named Sarah. She has photos of him at Abu
Ghraib doing terrible things and this is his reflection: “He
envisioned the photos appearing in the “New York
Times” and on CNN. He could see the media outrage
metastasizing to every country in the world, his name
synonymous with cruelty, depravity, and perversion. The most excruciating
part: His family. The business was Earth
and he was Atlas. His family was the only
true source of happiness and the only people he knew
who still saw him as a patriot, and a hero, and a
great human being. He loved family outings,
soccer games, holidays, barbeques in the back yard. He even wore a chef’s hat and cooked the hamburgers
to perfection. He had to destroy
those pictures. The thought of his
darling wife, Patty, seeing him rape a helpless
woman made him sick. The thought of his
precious son, Noah, knowing his father was a
monster made him want to die. He had never been so afraid, not
when the desert night was lit with tracer rounds, and
the mortar shells exploded so close you thought
you were finished, and you could hear your
fellow soldiers screaming and dying in the rubble. None of it frightened him
more than the revelation of his beastly heart”. I don’t have that, I
don’t have a character. I also try to find
character through dialog. Dotson is a former
street hustler. He’s slick. He’s opportunist. He’s incredibly self-involved. But he’s recently
had a new baby. So for a guy like this the
responsibility is overwhelming. And here he talks it over
with his friend, Isaiah. “What’s flaming, Seven?” Dotson said. He strolled in like the
landlord, an icy breeze with an attitude, condensed
of stature but walking large. “So what’s up with you?” “Nothing special,”
Isaiah said, “How’s Mica?” Dotson made a face like he was
remembering a car accident. “Man, that baby is work. You know he can’t do
nothing for hisself? Can’t even hold his
oversized head up. You got to watch him
all the damn time”. “You didn’t know that going in?” Isaiah said. “Knowing and doing is
two different things. You know Charisse makes me
wash my hands every time I pick him up? I don’t keep my toothbrush
that clean. And the kid is always
spitting up. And he farts like
he’s full of propane. I couldn’t believe it first
time I changed his diaper. He don’t eat nothing
but mother’s milk and his shit’s the same
color as hotdog mustard. [ Laughter ] And for some reason, we’re always hurrying
and rushing around. Why, I couldn’t tell you. Damn baby ain’t no
bigger than a pot roast and he ain’t going nowhere. And everything’s a damn crisis. The boy gets a rash on
his ass and Charisse and her mama carry one like
he had a tumor on his neck. I said, ‘What y’all
worried about? Everybody gets a rash on the
ass at one time or another. I got a rash on my
ass right now'”. “How’d that go over?” “Like I farted at a funeral. And Charisse, Charisse done lost
her sense of humor altogether. Other night I’m changing
the boys’ diaper, trying to keep it
light, you know how I do. I said, ‘Charisse,
check this out. The baby’s got a hard on him. Takes after his daddy, too,’
girl didn’t crack a smile and her mama looked at me like
I was crip walking on her grave. And check this, I got
to use my inside voice. The fuck does that mean? I am inside.” [ Laughter ] [Inaudible] said,
“Everybody talks,” meaning everybody’s articulate. Everybody can say exactly
what they want to say in their own vernacular. And what it does, it
elevates the character. You know, Dotson is
no longer a hustler. He’s this hustler. He’s this particular hustler. Fictional characters can’t
possibly be as complex as actual human beings but
opinions help flesh them out. They fall somewhere between
an abstract and abstraction, and when you’re trying to
give some specifics while at the same time give a feeling
of a character, a gestalt. In the next book, “High Five”
that’s coming out in January, the bad guy’s an elderly
man named Angus Burn. He’s been selling weapons
to the cartels for decades. And he succeeded through
shear brutality and cunning. But over the years he’s
turned bitterly cynical. His reflection: ” ‘There
was that old adage, ‘Guns don’t kill people;
people do,’ and they kill them with all kinds of other things,
too,’ Angus thought, ‘Knives, hammers, tire irons,
baseball bats, and full action deer rifles. The blame lies with the bearer. True enough,’ Angus
thought, as far as it went. ‘What you can’t do with
any of those things is go into a classroom at
an elementary school and slaughter all the
children at the same time. And what was that
other chestnut?’ Angus thought, ‘Oh, yeah,
that you needed an AR-15, a 30-round clip, and a
thousand rounds of ammo to defend your family
against what exactly? A swarm of tigers? An invading army from Canada? No. The real reason gun
advocates believe they needed an arsenal was to defend themselves
against the U.S. government, when, in clear violation
of the Second Amendment, it’s agents came to
confiscate your guns.’ Angus shook his head whenever he
heard some numbskull say that. ‘There were 300 million
guns in the country. The government couldn’t
confiscate 300 million car keys. There’s was no stopping the arms
trade or even slowing it down. And if you’re a ball bearing, somewhere in that
wheel, don’t be a pussy. Accept your part in it.’ It disgusted Angus when he
heard gun people try and weasel out of their responsibilities. ‘If you profit from a product
manufactured specifically to kill people, you were, to
one degree or another, culpable. And if you can’t handle
it, take an immunity pill from human suffering and get on
with your fucking business’.” That was a character,
by the way, I try and keep myself out of it. [ Laughter ] Secondary characters might not
take up a lot of page space, but sometimes they’re pivotal. And because I write a
series, I want the reader to remember the character
from book to book. So I try to give each of
them sort of a trademark. T.K. is an old man who
runs a wrecking yard. And, in his case, it’s
his sense of humor. “Later when they were
back on the lawn chairs, drinking cold beers and
eating take-out pizza, ‘So there are these three
old men, you see,’ T.K. said, ‘and one of them says, ‘Sixty
is the worst age there is. You feel like you need to
pee and nothing comes out, and the second old man
says, ‘That ain’t nothing. When you’re seventy, you
can’t even take a dump without eating a bran muffin’. And the third old man says,
‘You boys don’t know nothing about trouble til you’re 80. I pee and take a dump every
morning at exactly 6:00 a.m.’ And the first old man says,
‘Well, if you can do all that every morning at 6:00
a.m., what’s your problem?’ And the third old man says,
‘I don’t get up til seven’.” [ Laughter ] You know, it doesn’t make any
difference how lucid I am. People remember the joke. [ Laughter ] Now sometimes I’m asked did any
of my real life experiences, you know, go directly
into a book. And my answer is sort of. What happened is that my
growing up got filtered through the life I’ve lived and what remains is a
kind of emotional residue. Right around the corner from my
house there was a liquor store, A and J Liquor. Winos used to sit out
there on orange crates and drink Thunderbird all day. And one of them was
a man named Beck. Beck was elderly. He was very tall. And he had a very dignified
way of carrying himself. You know, he reminded me a
little of Morgan Freeman. And Beck was always immaculate. He wore this rust colored
homburg hat, you know, the kind with the
little feather in it? Herring bone sport coat,
shirt and tie, brown slacks with a crease in them, and
brown and white spectator shoes. That was sharp. And he did this every day. Now my older brother’s
name was Jack. So Beck called me Little Jack and he called my
mother Mrs. Jack. [ Laughter ] My mother, five feet tall,
very prim and proper, and exceedingly polite. Mom didn’t care who you
were, where you came from. If you were mannerly,
if you were a gentleman, you were okay with her. So every morning Mom would go down to the bus stop,
catch a bus for work. And Beck would be
waiting for her. And she would say, “Good
morning, Beck, how are you?” And he would say, “Oh, I’m
old and slow, Mrs. Jack, but I’m doing all right”. And Beck would stay with her
until the bus came just to see that nobody messed with
her and nobody ever did because Beck carried a gun. [ Laughter ] And I still have this image
of them, you know, this tall, elegantly dressed wino
and my little mom standing at the bus stop, talking like they were old friends
and maybe they were. And there was such a sweetness
about it, a wistfulness, and that was the emotional
residue and the kind of thing I try and
put down on the page above and beyond the story. My older brother Jack
was something of a thug. He was into drugs. He got arrested numerous times. He belonged to a gang
called the Outlaws. And when he was in high school,
he had a girlfriend named Sugar. Sugar was always spilling
out of her clothes, you know, she had an attitude. She was always chewing gum. And she had this rep, you
know, for getting in your face if you looked at her wrong. So one Sunday Jack
thinks everybody’s in church so he brings her in. I’m sitting there watching TV. Jack suddenly realizes
that our prim and proper mom is
coming this way. So he rushes off to steer
her in another direction and it’s just me and Sugar. I’m nothing to her. I’m a houseplant. She doesn’t even
bother to look at me but then my grandmother
comes in. So there’s Sugar and my grandmother standing
there looking at each other. You have never seen two more
different people in your life. There’s my grandmother, straight out of a sixteenth century
samurai movie, and there’s Sugar who could have been a
stand-in for Lil’ Kim. Now I don’t know
what’s going to happen. I mean, the tension is
killing me, you know. Is my grandmother going to
lash out with a karate chop? You know, is Sugar going to
get in my grandmother’s face? So finally Sugar says, “Do
you have any Dr. Pepper?” And my grandmother said, “No. I have tea”. And Sugar said, “I
don’t like tea”. And my grandmother said, “No. You come, I make tea”. And the two of them went off
into the kitchen together. [ Laughter ] I don’t know, you know, if
that scene is ever going to make it into a book. But what I distill from
that experience was that incredible sense of tension
from just two people standing in a room looking at each other. I thought that was remarkable. And what was even better was
the look on my brother’s face when he saw my grandmother
and Sugar having tea. [ Laughter ] And those are the kinds
of things I try and get down on the page above
and beyond the story. It’s the hardest thing I do. And I’m only ever
successful part of the time. And most of the time I
strike out all together. But I love that process
which is fortunate because any time I get outside
the realm of my imagination, I am incredibly incompetent. There’s hardly anything I
can do of a practical nature with any sense of proficiency. In fact, there’s a saying
in my family that goes, “If your plane crashes in the
Amazon and you need to survive, Joe is the one that you
should kill and eat”. [ Laughter ] Also a little harsh. [ Laughter ] So you can understand why
I’m grateful for all of you who are allowing me
to write for a living. [ Laughter ] It’s a luxury. It’s a privilege. It’s a life I always wanted but
never really thought I’d lead. All of my characters are
composites except for one. There was only one character
who made it from my growing up directly into the book. Right across the street from that liquor store there was
a pool hall, Stamps Pool Hall. My brother used to
hang out in there but it was too scary for me. You know, it was one of those
places where everybody’s on parole and the hookers liked
to show you their bullet wounds. So and there was a
pimp who hung out there and his name was
Charlie O, the initial O. And Charlie was your
conventional pimp. I mean he had the perm, silk
shirt, ring on every finger, white alligator loafers. And once I asked
Charlie, you know, what the O in his
name stood for? And he said it meant, “Oh,
my God, you must be crazy”. [ Laughter ] And according to Charlie that’s
what a woman would say the first time she saw his penis. [ Laughter ] You meet people like that,
you have to write a book. [ Laughter ] Thank you so much
for coming out. [ Applause ] If you have questions,
I’ll try and answer them.>>Yes. Thank you so much
for your wonderful work. It’s just phenomenal and I and
so many others were delighted by reading your first
and the subsequent books. I have two questions,
three questions. One is in terms of your
heritage and writing about African American
characters and communities, and using, you know, the lingo,
the jargon, you know, as, you know, accurately as you
can, do you get pushback or negative feedback in any way
from African American community or readers, and that’s
one and two. How hard was it to actually
get your first book published and accepted? What did you have to go through? Anyway, what you’ve
done is remarkable, but I’m very interested in that.>>Joe Ide: Thank you. I haven’t had any pushback
which I’m surprised. And why, I couldn’t tell you. Getting my book published
is one of those stories that make other writers
really nauseous. [ Laughter ] So I worked on the
manuscript for three years. I had to take a second out
on the house to finish it. I’m finished. I got this manuscript
but I don’t know anybody in publishing, nobody. So I’m passing it
out to readers. And I had this cousin. His name is Francis Fukayama. He’s a world renown
political scientist. He was the one who wrote
“The End of History”, predicted the fall of the
Soviet Union, huge resume. He’s on the board
at Rand, you know. He’s one of those kind of guys. So I asked him if he’d read
it and he’s a sweet guy. He said, “Sure”. I didn’t hear back from
him for a long time. But I wasn’t surprised. I mean he’s on the
board at Rand. But then I did hear back. And he asked me, he
said he like the book. He said, “Do you have an agent?” And I said, “No. I got to go get one”. And he said, “Let me introduce
you to my agent,” who turned out to be a woman named Esther
Newburg at ICM in New York, arguably one of the top three
literary agents in New York. So that was the first
person who read my book. And Esther being Esther, she
sold it in a matter of weeks. And I don’t tell that
story to other writers. [ Laughter ]>>I love your books.>>Joe Ide: Thank you.>>So I say that first. But not to make any
assumptions about your age, but you published your
first book in 2016. You started working
on it in 2013 about.>>About.>>So what held body and
soul together before that?>>Oh, I was a failed
screenwriter. [ Laughter ] I always wanted to
write, you know, but it’s like everybody
always wants to write. But I started with screenplays
because I thought it was easy but it’s remarkably
difficult to write a good one. I had a friend, an
acquaintance who was an agent. I wrote exactly one
dozen crappy screenplays. And he would send them back
with a note, “This sucks. [ Laughter ] This is intensely boring. No one will want to see this”. So on the thirteenth one I
wrote a decent screenplay. It sold to Disney. And I started to work. I worked fairly frequently. I worked for most of the major
studios and I did assignments, and rewrites, and
that kind of stuff. Nothing ever got made. And if nothing else,
I have a work ethic. I’d knock myself out on a
script and then the head of the studio would get fired,
or star wants too much money, or some Hollywood reason. So I burned out. I could not do it anymore. I would open the
screenplay program and get physically repulsed. So I called my agent and I
said, “Well, I’m quitting”. He didn’t say anything. [ Laughter ] I mean nobody really noticed. [ Laughter ] So I was depressed, like
clinically depressed for a couple of years. If I wasn’t a screenwriter,
who was I? You know, so I went for long,
soulful walks with my dog and felt incredibly
sorry for myself. But at a certain point, you
know, I had to pay the mortgage. And, as I said, my only
real skill is writing. So I decided to write a novel.>>We’re all glad you did. [ Laughter ]>>Joe Ide: Well.>>Deronda is both my favorite
and my least favorite character. So she’s really complex. But my question is when you
go home, do you get comments, or questions, or blowback
from, “Hey, that’s me,” or, “That’s something
you took from me”?>>Joe Ide: No. Almost all the people
that I know back in the old neighborhood
are either dead or in jail. I only have one friend,
actually my best friend who still lives there. Same house he always lived in. And you step out his front
door, and you throw a rock, you can hit the Santa
Monica Freeway. And he fixes cars and he’s
exactly the way he was. And my acquaintances, the people
that I knew there, are the same, are the same as they were. But most of my personal
friends are gone. So I haven’t had any pushback. I haven’t.>>I’d like to ask about
your writing of dialog. I get the sense from
your speaking that that’s just something
that you do really well. But do you have a
process for writing dialog to make it sound
true and genuine?>>Joe Ide: Like most things, it comes out of characters
with substance. If the character
has [inaudible], if he feels like a real person,
then he has a point of view so you know what
he’s going to say. You know what he’s going
to say in that situation. And then it’s a question
of how he would say it. And the vernacular
was my first language. I mean I had to learn
to talk like this. [ Laughter ] And it’s practice. I mean in the movie business
I wrote a lot of dialog. And this is sort
of a continuation. It’s one of the parts of
writing that I really enjoy. I love writing dialog. I love when two people,
two smart people go at it. And they don’t have to
be intellectually smart, just smart in their own way. That’s fun.>>Great. Thanks.>>Hi. Thanks. I’ve been in love
with all these books and I couldn’t wait
for the last one. And IQ just breaks my heart. I’m a little worried that you’re
never going to let him be happy. [ Laughter ] But I’m a middle school teacher and I think I always [inaudible]
was that idea of somebody maybe on the spectrum dealing
with trauma. And I wondered if you
could talk a little bit about that part of
his character.>>Joe Ide: Wait. I didn’t quite understand
the question. Go again?>>Well, for me, I kind
of always think of him, your main character, as being
somebody maybe a little bit on the autistic spectrum, maybe I’m saying that,
thinking that wrong. But just the way he interacts
with people and he’s so smart. Dealing with the trauma
of his brother’s death.>>Joe Ide: Mm.>>And then how do you
heal from that when you’re so alone and kind of isolated? I think his community
saves him a lot but maybe I’m reading
more into that. I was just wondering what you,
how you kind of dealt with that and what you think of that?>>Joe Ide: If you’ve ever
been the victim of violence, you know you don’t get over it. You don’t get passed it. It becomes part of you. It becomes part of the
way you see the world. You incorporate that
into yourself. And that’s what I try
to do with Isaiah. I try to make his traumatic
experiences part of who he is. And one of the things that I
think is skipped over a lot, particularly in my genre, is
what happens to the victims? You know, somebody gets
shot and then he gets shot. That’s not how it happens. Man, you get shot,
that changes you. You see your mortality
just like that. And it makes you afraid. It makes you afraid. And so Isaiah is always on
edge, and he’s always wary, and he’s always a little afraid.>>So maybe this is
a cliche question, but who are the writers
and who are the characters in other books that you admire?>>Joe Ide: Walter Mosley and
Elmore Leonard are my gods. You know, I’ve read all of
their books multiple times. And the original Sherlock
Holmes, 52 stories, four novels. I read them multiple times
before I left middle school. Those were the biggest. Those were the basis. And then along the way there
have been all kinds of others, the same writers
that you appreciate that I’ve taken things
from them. I’ve just shoplifted all kinds
of things from other writers. I guess the writer that I reread
the most is John Le Carre. Spy novels are just crime
novels in another country. [ Laughter ] And I love his precision. He writes beautifully
and with such precision. And George Smiley is my guy. George Smiley is my guy. And he’s really another
form of Isaiah. If your books ever became
films or television shows, do you have a cast in mind? Do you know who would play?>>Joe Ide: No. [ Laughter ] They bought the manuscript
in 2015, and they just now
got a pilot written. It’s a good pilot. It’s really good. It was written by a guy named
Matt Carnahan who came from “House of Lies”,
writer/producer from that show. And there are a bunch of
other writers involved. But they just now
finished the pilot. So I don’t know if anybody’s
thinking about casting. I myself, I don’t
pay attention to it. You know, I have a day job now. I know what that
business is like. They’re going to do what they’re
going to do with or without me. So, no, just send me
the check, I’ll be fine. [ Laughter ]>>Hi. When you wrote
your first novel, did you have multiple
novels in mind? Or were you just
intending to do one? And if you had multiple
in mind, what are some of the things you
thought about to set up the future books
in the series?>>Joe Ide: It was always
going to be a series, assuming I got the
first one published, it was always going
to be a series. I wanted to write a series where the characters
grew from novel to novel. I didn’t want to write
the same book twice. And so if you’ve read the books, you’ll see how Isaiah
is completely alone in the second book
— in the first book. In the second he
starts to reach out. In the third he has
a girlfriend. And Dotson starts out
completely self-involved and he gets closer to Isaiah. They become partners. And then Isaiah [inaudible]
Dotson as a kid. And so I want to see where
that goes because I don’t know. I don’t know where that goes. But I’m fascinated
with the prospect. I don’t know what
Deronda is going to do. I have no idea. So you and I will both
find out at the same time. [ Laughter ] Well, thank you all
for coming out. I had a good time. [ Applause ]

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