- Jupiter's name is actually Russian, although nobody believes this. It means "Jupiter." (It's pronounced "Yupiter," but it means the same thing.) I always knew he was going to have a weird name, and I didn't go into his name having chosen it; I just started writing. I figured, if I'm gonna put this kid through hell, the least I owe him is a name any geek would die for.
- geeky Russian sweatpants - That is, $4.99 sweat pants, always in gray or navy blue, that you get at the local Marshall's, Kmart, or store of comparable embarrassing-when-you-walk-out-of-it factor.
- Chapter titles: Most of them are named for songs by the Cure. The whole book is kind of a tribute to my best friend, who died recently, who only listened to five bands, and three of them were the Cure. There are two chapters that aren't. Those, I'll leave you to figure out (for now, anyway).
- The spectacular Ms. Marie, a librarian in New York, writes in:
i told my life with the thrill kill kult tonight that one of the characters in your book is wearing one of their shirts within the first few pages. And they asked me "what's the name of the book?" and I said "Losers" and they said "oh great, that just about sums it up" and i said "oh, but the character isnt a loser, he's a gay metal head"
And they found it a compliment.
- Nail and Anarchia. Nail is a name and a character I totally lifted from my friend CAConrad's genius book Advanced Elvis Course, which has since been sold to Soft Skull Books and is coming out this spring. (I'm super excited -- my friend Annalisa gave me the ms right before I got on a plane to move to San Francisco, and this is the only book I read for 3 months after moving there. I read it again and again.) Anarchia used to be named Lxuren, until David The Editor said that it looked like a typo and was unpronounceable anyway.
- The girls' soccer team: My locker in high school was right across, right across, from the girls' locker room. Anyone else would kill to have this locker. I almost died of embarrassment. Every day of 9th grade, promptly during my big switch-up from 20-pound Bio book to 20-pound Algebra book, the girls' field hockey team wound stream out of those doors, uniforms aflutter, and I felt like a perv for just being in the same hallway.
- Chapter 2 (and a little bit of chapter 1) were originally excerpted in the anthology This is PUSH. There are a bunch of things -- the line "My head slammed against the locker door" -- that I had written one way, and David The Editor changed to something else the first time around. Then, when we were working on the novel, I handed it in with his change s already made, and he said "wouldn't they sound better like this?" and it was the way I'd originally written it. Ha.
2. the waitress ->