Man V. Nature

Stories that illuminate the complexity of human behavior

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Pleasure to welcome author Diane Cook for an AMA today at 1 PM PST!
@eriktorenberg Hi Erik, everyone, happy to be here. You probably have no idea who I am. I'm a writer who likes to go off the grid and deactivates her Twitter often. My stories are about apocalypses, people surviving large and small disasters. My book boasts monsters eating people AND people eating people. Not for the faint of heart, but stories with a lot of heart too. I got asked to be here I think bc Product Hunt is trying to do for all kinds of books what it's done for new tech and products. Which is cool. So if you've ever wanted to know anything about writing, how unlikely books get out in the world, or how an artist can think like a start up and become successful (my model) then ask me anything. And for more info, here is artist/director/author Miranda July extolling the virtues of my book in the Times: And the SFGate:
If your book had a theme song, what would it be?
@jorgej I listened to "New Ocean" by Jake Bellows about 7,000 times (NOT an exaggerated number) when I was editing my book. It is definitely my book's theme:
If there was one person in the world, alive or dead, mustachioed or not, who you might consider your greatest inspiration, who would that be?
@jorgej Probably Alan Alda....(jorge is my husband which is why he's asking all the questions and here, he's fishing for a compliment but he won't get it from me. not when alan alda is in the mix.)
If you could have written one of these books, which would it have been, and why? The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck; How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie; The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff; The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America by David Sibley
@jorgej Well, if the question is which book do I WISH I could have written, it would be The Grapes of Wrath. I don't think I could have written it, or any of these books. People like to ask the question, What is the Great American Novel like we don't already have one. The Grapes of Wrath is the great American novel. I think the trouble is that many of us read it when we were young in high school, or college, before we'd seen the world, and so didn't understand how amazing and radical it was. We remember a scene as cheesy because we're young and uncomfortable and we think the book is that scene. The book is incredible and disheartening and makes you rethink California. I mean, writing the Sibley guide would be incredible too, but I just like to watch birds, I don't know any of their names.
What's your "off the grid" writing process look like?
@jeffumbro I like to go to a cabin or place as far away from my life as possible. I often end up in really remote places out west, places so remote that I get scared. I turn off internet (if I've had it to begin with) and write about the landscape and the life I see in the world around me. I tend to write about people who are going by their wilder instincts so doing this helps me. Plus, getting offline for a writer can be pretty important. I love being in touch through social media, but I have to turn it off in order to get work done. thanks for the q.