Joe Meno is most recently the author of The Boy Detective Fails.
Condition of Mr. Segundo: Responding to MySpace lies.
Subjects Discussed: Shirley Wins, pumpkin launching, Halloween, grandmothers, writing women convincingly, Sons of the Rapture, Strom Thurmond, the differences between North Carolina and South Carolina, moving to Chicago vs. moving to New York, Whiskey and Robots, populist poetry, the Icarus myth vs. Wayne Gretzky, independent book touring, BookScan, growing up books, novels that use fiction as an escape mechanism, Encyclopedia Brown, cryptograms, textual buildings, creating a sense of mystery, telemarketing, Mark Haddon, Alessandro Baricco’s Silk, Faulkner, Donald Barthelme, short chapters, savvy audiences and storytelling, inventiveness, how the success of Hairstyles affected Meno, sartorial colors, Dick Tracy, the Boy Detective play, and indie presses vs. corporate presses.
EXCERPT FROM SHOW:
Meno: For me, the book is about how as an adult you negotiate a world of mystery, a world where you don’t have the answers. And so I wanted the audience, or the reader as they were reading, to feel that sense of surprise. That when you’re a kid and you get a detective kit, you look at the world a little bit differently because of that object. And so I wanted the actual text to be surprising. As you were reading through it, you weren’t exactly sure technically what was going to happen. If you’d have a couple pages that were blank. Or if you’d have some of the text that was broken up into these small little buildings that go throughout the book or if there’d be a piece of text that was shaped like a cloud. And so that, you know, using the text itself to give that sense of mystery or surprise to the audience as they were going through.