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In which John discusses The Fault in Our Stars, his new book, which is OUT NOW AT BOOKSTORES EVERYWHERE. (Also at like Target and Walmart and Kroger, if you like to shop for books while shopping for toilet paper.)

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(For incredibly complicated reasons involving people not believing me about nerdfighteria's amazingness, some preorders--especially in Europe--are unsigned. I am solving this problem. Email me at sparksflyup-at-gmail-dot-com with your name, your address, and where you ordered the book from, and a beautiful and very very rare signed bookplate will be sent to you.)


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A Bunny
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Good morning Hank, it's January 10th, 2012! The day that The Fault in Our Stars comes out! It's actually Monday, January 9th, but I have to make this video now because tomorrow I gotta be doing a bunch of things.
It's question Tuesday, The day that I answer real questions from real Nerdfighters!

How are you doing?
Good. I'm just a tiny bit stressed out - I have to leave my family for a month which is kind of a bummer - but I'm excited to go on tour. How are you doing? You can't answer; you're inside of the camera.

I hope I get my copy today so I can lick your signature.
Um, that's not a question, but I don't recommend licking sharpie. That, that's bad for you.

So what inspired you to write The Fault in Our Stars?
Almost 12 years ago I worked as a student chaplain at a children's hospital and ever since then I've been trying to write a funny, honest story about it and it just, you know, took a while. A long while...

Do you think The Fault in Our Stars is your best book yet?
I don't know, the reviews have definitely been better than for any of my other books. But authors shouldn't be trusted to judge their own work, I don't think. Like, Mark Twain thought that his best book was Joan of Arc. Yeah, no.

Hank, I gotta go pack and stuff. Walk with me.

Could an unladen swallow carry a copy of The Fault in Our Stars in its talons?
Well definitionally not, as it would then be a laden swallow. Do you like this tie?

Was it hard to write The Fault in Our Stars as a parent?
I don't think I could write it until I was a parent.

How much research did you have to do about the medical stuff in The Fault in Our Stars?
More than a hypochondriac probably should.

What made you decide to write this one from a girl's point of view?
That's pretty hard to answer without spoilers, but part of it was that I wanted to think about the way gender constructions shape our understanding of what constitutes heroism.

Do you think that V for Vendetta is a proponent of democracy or anarchy?
I think V for Vendetta is primarily a proponent of a very specific and pervasive idea of heroism.

Can you do peanut butter face?
I'm in an airport, people will think that I'm crazy. Alright, fine, hold on. Do you guys have any peanut butter crackers? These were the best I could do. Happy?

Will I feel out of the loop if I haven't read Looking for Alaska?
No, it's not like Harry Potter. My books don't have anything to do with each other.

What genre of music are the Hectic Glow?
The genre of awesome.

Hey, my pre-order wasn't signed!
Don't panic. Just email with your name, address, and the place where you ordered the book.

Did you ever get emotional when writing this book?
Yeah, quite a bit actually, but I'm a crier.

Wait, is The Fault in Our Stars gonna make me cry or laugh or what?
Well, ideally it's going to make you feel all of the things! The people in the airport think that I'm crazy. The people in the airport think that I'm crazy. I probably shouldn't have done that while doing a dance. That's probably - let's face it, there's nobody in the airport. Seriously, I got this whole section to myself. There were some people here but they left when I started talking into a video camera.

Was Esther an inspiration for this book?
Definitely. There's no way I could have ever written The Fault in Our Stars unless I had known Esther. But at the same time it's really important to note that Hazel is not Esther. The book is made up, I wrote a novel, I promise.

Does The Fault in Our Stars contain anything about fruit?
I don't think so, I think that might be one of its insufficiencies, is a failure... to tackle fruit.

Are there any tickets left to anywhere on the Tour de Nerdfighting?
Yeah, if you live near New Orleans, Houston, Austin, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Seattle, or San Francisco. Otherwise, no, I'm sorry. Ticket info in the dooblydoo.

Is this real life? Heeeeeeeeey!

Has Nerdfighteria influenced your writing at all?
As you'll probably see in reading it, Nerdfighteria has shaped this book in so many ways that I can't even list them.

What was your favorite moment in the creation of The Fault in Our Stars?
So Hank, Islamic mystics have this word fana which means, like, dissolution or annihilation of the self and for me that's what reading and writing do when they're working. And when I was writing The Fault in Our Stars I was very, very lucky to have many moments where I felt like I wasn't me, like I was somehow transcending the limits of myself, and that was really great and I can only hope that readers will have that experience, too. Thank you all for reading The Fault in Our Stars! I hope that you like it! DFTBA! Best wishes, Hank! I will see you in a minute when I go over to your room.