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TheDailyPunctilio

15 JANUARY 2013

Warning: On Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 7pm EST, there will be a live chat with Lemony Snicket at this address. He will be answering questions and talking about his newest novel, Who Could That Be at This Hour?, so we would of course suggest that you run away before you learn something that might endanger you.

EDIT: A full transcript of the chat follows:

Preeti: Hi everyone! Thanks for joining us tonight. Lemony Snicket will be on in just a few minutes. Before we get started, we just want to say how excited we are by how many of you are here, and since we’ve only got him for 45 minutes, we are going to get to as many questions as we can!
Lemony Snicket: Hello, strangers.
Lemony Snicket: I am delighted to be speaking with you from this remote and secure location, and will try to answer your questions as best I can.
Comment From Meaghan, Al, and Johnah: Who is your favorite character from any of your books?
Lemony Snicket: There are quite a few people I admire in my books. Kit and poor Jacques Snicket are probably my favorites, but that's because I'm related to them.
Comment From Shannon Gibson: Dear Mr.Snicket, I'am diehard fan! Why did you choose to leave ASOUE open ended, Do you plan on filling in the gaps in your new series?
Lemony Snicket: I've always been more interested in books that ask questions than in books that answer them. All The Wrong Questions, as one might suspect, adds more questions, but I hope it might answer a few as well.
Lemony Snicket: Someone has asked me if I am a boy or a girl. I am male, last I checked.
Comment From Brianna: Are you wearing a hat? You seem like a hat person. Or am I assuming to much?
Lemony Snicket: I am indoors at the moment, so my hat is off, and my hat is off to you for asking a sartorial question.
Comment From Elise: What was your inspiration for ho could that be at this hour?
Lemony Snicket: Who Could That Be At This Hour? is autobiographical, a word which here means "based on my own experiences as a young man, and is as reliable as I was when I was that age."
Comment From Dayse D.: what is the next question? (in your book series, I mean, not in life in general)
Lemony Snicket: There are many, many questions in the next volume in All The Wrong Questions. One of them is, "Why are the parents of the missing girl behaving so very strangely?"
Comment From Madison: Mr. Snicket, what is your favorite kind of tea?
Lemony Snicket: Darjeeling in the morning; green in the afternoon; mint in the evening.
Comment From London Saunders: what/who inspired YOU to write?
Lemony Snicket: Who? Writers I have admired, including Roald Dahl, Edward Gorey, Zilpha Keatley Snyder and Elizabeth Bishop. What? Blank paper.
Comment From Mariana Presa: Hello, which is your favorite book of all the ones you have written? (Pardon me if the sentence is wrong, English is not my first language.)
Lemony Snicket: Your sentence is quite elegant indeed, and I congratulate you on mastering another language, which I have never been able to do. All of my books are dreadful. I am equally ashamed of all of them.
Comment From Cleon Ware: If you could revive one dead character from your books which would you and why?
Lemony Snicket: I would not raise the dead, even if I could. But I miss my brother Jacques very much.
Lemony Snicket: A reader asks if I have discovered the current whereabouts of Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire. I have not, and welcome the assistance of anyone who might have information about them.
Comment From Andriana: My dear Mr. Snicket, what advice would you give to a younger VFD member who hopes to make the world quiet again? With all due respect, A. M. Tristan
Lemony Snicket: Work on your eavesdropping skills, carry a notebook with you at all times, and find a librarian you can trust.
Comment From Caitlin: How did you come by such an astonishing vocabulary? Some of my favorite words are thanks to your writing
Lemony Snicket: As a child I read books which were inappropriate. Naturally they contained words I had to look up. Later in life I became quite addicted to the Oxford English Dictionary.
Comment From Sherry Ann: The birthday party in your most recent published work was saddening. How would you describe your own ideal birthday gift?
Lemony Snicket: My favorite gift to receive is cufflinks. If I like them, I will wear them and be reminded of the person who gave them to me, and if I don't like them, I can hide them in a drawer and never think of them again.
Comment From Barbara & Katherine: My dear Lemony, why are you so fond of acronyms?
Lemony Snicket: I'm fond of anything that obfuscates and saves time simultaneously.
Lemony Snicket: A gentleman named Matthew asks what I mean by "remote." I mean "far from Matthew."
Comment From Pilgrim Midget: Are banana peels, in your opinion, considered a good weapon?
Lemony Snicket: "Weapon?" No. Trap? Yes.
Comment From Lilly Dodd: What's you favorite kind of cookie? I ate cookies for breakfast, and I left the least one, since it's rude to eat the last cookie. I learned that from you.
Lemony Snicket: I enjoy a ginger cookie, but not for breakfast. If you are craving a cookie for breakfast, have a scone, which is the same thing as a cookie but will not make people look sternly at you.
Comment From Adrianna: On Average, how long does it take you to write a book?
Lemony Snicket: 6 months of research, 6 months of writing, 6 months of editing.
Comment From Willis: When will the second book from your new series be available?
Lemony Snicket: October, sadly.
Comment From Sparky: What's the most unfortunate event to happen to you today?
Lemony Snicket: Spilled tea - but it's still early.
Lemony Snicket: A reader named Haley has asked about ways to prevent writer's block. When I have writer's block I take a brisk walk and then come home and listen to irritating music. I only allow myself to turn it off if I agree to get back to work.
Comment From OrphanElliott: Do you ever feel like you've had past lives?
Lemony Snicket: I worry too much about my present life to explore supernatural possibilities.
Comment From Mariana Presa: Excuse me again, what are some tips you can give to the young writers watching your answers? Also, which is your favorite word?
Lemony Snicket: My favorite word is "defenestration." Young writers should read books past bedtime and write things down in notebooks when they are supposed to be doing something else.
Comment From Terry Craig: Does your quite obfuscating and enigmatic new website (LemonySnicketLibrary.com) contain clues to the plot of future ATWQ books?
Lemony Snicket: It depends what you mean by "clues," but if you investigate the section of the website marked with a question mark, you will surely learn something or other.
Lemony Snicket: A reader named Jeremy asks if my stories are true. Of course they are. They are truly stories.
Preeti: You guys are sending in some fantastic questions! Keep 'em coming, we will get to as many as we can!
Comment From David P.: Besides Count Olaf, who has been the most treacherous man you have known outside of Olaf's crew? Or will we hear about this person in an up-coming release of yours?
Lemony Snicket: That man calls himself Hangfire, and I'm sorry to say that he turns up in all four volumes of All The Wrong Questions.
Comment From Am: Mr. Snicket, I am always impressed by the wide variety of culinary creations mentioned in your books. Are there any foods which make you remember gentler times and reminisce about the past?
Lemony Snicket: Any good meal puts one in a nostalgic mood, but a good morel mushroom soup is something I always enjoy.
Comment From Shilo: Does your own ideal bookshelf differ at all from that of your representative Daniel Handler?
Lemony Snicket: It's very similar. Mr. Handler is always borrowing my books.
Lemony Snicket: Barbara and Katherine ask me if I can describe Beatrice in detail. "Dead" is as detailed as I'd like to get.
Comment From Owen K: What was your favorite book when you were seven years old?
Lemony Snicket: When I was seven? Ramona The Brave.
Comment From spinelli: There seemed to be a significant lack of alliteration in your latest book compared to ASOUE. Any particular reason for this?
Lemony Snicket: Alliteration is like showing up late, or playing the accordion. If you do it often enough people begin to despise you.
Comment From Michael Sicsteen: Are there any books you wish you had read, but never got the chance?
Lemony Snicket: Many, many books. It is likely I will die next to a pile of things I was meaning to read.
Comment From Lee C Ford: Would you like to be as inventive as Violet, as well-read as Klaus or as cooking skilled as Sunny?
Lemony Snicket: Must I choose one? I dream of being a well-read, inventive chef.
Comment From Sydney Rymer: Do you use a typewriter or computer?
Lemony Snicket: I use both, but not at the same time.
Comment From Rocco: how many books do you think you will write for ATWQ
Lemony Snicket: There will be four volumes in All The Wrong Questions, although a few supplmentary materials may be published as well.
Comment From Paxton: Are you a cat person?
Lemony Snicket: Do you mean one of those creatures in the film by Jacques Tourneur? No. I am all human.
Lemony Snicket: Shannon Gibson asks me if I will write any more about the Quagmire triplets. I honestly do not know if I am strong enough.
Comment From Nicole: When you were younger did you enjoy school?
Lemony Snicket: Sometimes. When it was time to read A Midsummer Night's Dream, I enjoyed it. When it was time to run around playing kickball, I wanted to sit and read A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Comment From Harold Gary: The females in your books seen strong and intelligent. Who was your inspiration for this?
Lemony Snicket: Strong, intelligent women.
Lemony Snicket: Paige asks if we will hear any more about my niece, Beatrice. I prefer not to talk about family matters with strangers.
Comment From Noir: In what year does ATWQ take place? I thought it was in the interwar period, but then you'd die soon and not write more books :(
Lemony Snicket: All years exist between wars, even years when there is a war taking place. All The Wrong Questions takes place during the off-season of such a year.
Lemony Snicket: Ryan wants to know if I read the letters from the Letter Project I received last October 23rd. I did, with much admiration, but had no address to which I could reply. Please accept my thanks via this chatting software.
Comment From Sherlina: This is killer. Would you rather not be able to read books or write them?
Lemony Snicket: Hello, killer. This is Mr. Snicket. I would rather not write than not read. In fact I frequently read rather than write, but I never write without reading, unless it is very dark.
Preeti: Just 15 more minutes, friends. Get those questions in!
Comment From Trevor: What was your favorite subject in school?
Lemony Snicket: Rhetoric.
Comment From Jason: Who would win in a fight: Count Olaf or Hangfire?
Lemony Snicket: We would all lose in such a fight. What a ghastly thing to imagine. Count Olaf would cheat, and Hangfire would enact fearsome violence. I have a strong urge to hide under the carpet.
Comment From Barbara & Katherine: What is in your junk drawer at home?
Lemony Snicket: I have an alphabetical set of junk drawers, so it depends which drawer you open. "Sc to Sq," for instance, contains scissors and shower caps.
Lemony Snicket: A guest asks, what separates the books you write from most author's novels? I hope the answer is "armed guards."
Comment From Lilly: Did you have a least favourite teacher while you were in school? If so, then why?
Lemony Snicket: Any teacher who kept the room quiet for contemplation, and forgave occasional daydreaming, was a favorite.
Comment From m-to-the-olly: To Mr. Snicket...please answer this question. If you were to add another character to ASOUE, what would they do and what would their name be?
Lemony Snicket: This is a complicated question, but the addition of a helpful flaneur would likely be appreciated by the Baudelaire children, and the name "Sinclair" has always charmed me.
Lemony Snicket: Terry Craig has asked me about films I enjoy. This would be a good time to mention one of my all-time favorite films, Aventurera, a Mexican melodrama. If you do not enjoy this film, we are not comrades.
Comment From Jose V.: Is there anything you can tell us about The Great Unknown?
Lemony Snicket: Once you Know, it turns out not to be so very Great.
Comment From Hanna: What do you think would happen if Olaf went against Lord Voldemort?
Lemony Snicket: If I'm not mistaken, Mr. Voldemort has various supernatural powers, yes? I believe it would be a short conflict.
Comment From Kate M: Which is worse; To say something and wishing you had not, or saying nothing and wishing you had?
Lemony Snicket: They're both ghastly, aren't they? I suppose it is less mortifying to apologize for something you've said than for something you haven't said.
Lemony Snicket: A woman named Christine asks me if I enjoy receiving letters. I do, even when I cannot answer all of them. My mailing address can be found at the site LemonySnicketLibrary.com .
Preeti: Five minutes left! We'll get to as many questions as we can!
Comment From Jacob Schupbach: LISTEN MR! I HAVE READ YOUR BOOKS HUNDREDS OF TIMES AND YOU HAVE NOT ANSWERED ANY OF MY QUESTIONS!!!! I AM SO INCENSED THAT I AM WRITING IN ALL CAPS. I MEAN SOME OF MY QUESTIONS EVEN WERE FUNNY AND SOMETIMES INCLUDED THE SEBALD CODE UM HELLO... DEDICATED FAN HERE. but seriously, do you know where Thursday Caliban is now?
Lemony Snicket: Hello, Mr. Schupbach. I am sorry your frustration has driven you to write entirely in capitals. The answer, in lower case, is "no, i do not."
Comment From PogieJoe: Would you rather lose all of your current memories and continue to make new ones or keep all your old ones and never make another?
Lemony Snicket: I'd prefer to lose everything, as it would prepare me for the day when I shall.
Lemony Snicket: Jason asks me which character terrifies me most. My answer is "Humbert Humbert."
Comment From Christine: What object is directly next to you?
Lemony Snicket: On my left, a pen. On my right, a glass of water. May it always be thus.
Comment From Scott Carpenter: Do you ever have nightmares involving characters of your novels?
Lemony Snicket: I toss and turn thinking of them, in the hopes of dreaming of something else.
Comment From Victoria: What is your biggest pet peeve?
Lemony Snicket: The car alarm, as it has come to signify the opposite of its intention. When you hear a car alarm go off, you know that whatever is happening, the car is not being stolen.
Lemony Snicket: Kate M asks me if I ever finish the stories differently in my head. I try to do everything differently in my head.
Comment From Harley: Are you really Lemony Snicket? I want proof!
Lemony Snicket: Of course I am. I swear on my ankle. Proof?
I love, pale Beauty, how the shadows mass
beneath the arches of your brow;
black as they are, those eyes of yours inspire
anything but funereal thoughts--
Preeti: And that's it, folks. Thank you so much, Mr. Snicket, for joining us tonight. You were as enigmatic and delightful as ever! And if anyone came in late, don't worry, a full transcript and recap of the chat will be available tomorrow!
Lemony Snicket: Thank you, everyone, for participating in this very curious encounter. I apologize to all those who asked unanswered questions, but such is life. I hope nothing dreadful happens to any of you anytime soon.

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