Commie Girl (aka Rebecca Schoenkopf) needs no introduction. She’s famous in Orange County and infamous around certain drinking holes. But what the former OC Weekly columnist did need is a book deal. So she went out and got one. Just like that.
Now her collection of columns is all bound up and purdy and coming out in June. Titled Commie Girl in the O.C., this Verso paperback is sure to make you laugh and cry… and then cry some more about the fact that you still haven’t written a book.
We all want to write a book. Well, we really want to write award-winning screenplays and sit back and let the tide of global adoration come lapping at our toes. But barring that, we really want to write a book. So we asked Commie Girl how she did it:
“First, you have to quit your job and not do anything for two weeks. Second, be friends with Mike Davis. Third … that’s about it.”
Before you throw things, read on. She’s really a lovely person and we’re betting her compilation of favorite musings will make for a good read. So don’t hate. Buy.
How did this book come together? I quit my job, and I was lying on my bed in the sunshine for two weeks. I was utterly bone-deep relaxed. I was lying around watching my ass grow, and I loved it. After two weeks, my mom called and started bitching at me and telling me I need to get a job. So I went back, and of course I didn’t keep my clips, so I had to copy and paste everything from the Web site. I revised it a couple of times.
I divided them into sections: I Hate People, Sex Drugs and Rock-n-Roll, Religion and Death and Politics Each section opens with a cover story that I did on that grand topic: A story I did on Orange County Real Housewives and how their children are Hitler opens “I Hate People.”
Mike Davis, you know, City of Quartz, is one of those fabulous guys who lives to do good for the world. He fired off a grand e-mail for me to everyone he knows. And his publisher was thrilled.
So you have to quit your job and have nothing to do to write a book? Yes. I took three weeks off in 2002, and I got 138 pages of a book in those three weeks. But it was the story of me and my son and traveling to Canada after 9/11 … By the time we got to Canada 138 pages in, I was so sick of me that I couldn’t write another word. Because who cares about me? I’m so against the premature memoir as a genre. I blame Elizabeth Wurtzel.
But aren’t your columns pretty personal? They were very personal. The book is sorted by autobiography. I would have put it under essays. You know, me and Joan Didion.
I’m a character in it, but I was going for these thematic choices, so it wasn’t about me going out and getting fucked up and getting fucked. I mean, I have the one about how I thought I had syphilis, but that is in the political section.
Of course. So what is next for you? I am still looking for jobs. I quit my job a year ago. I miss the office. I miss the teamwork of that. Hopefully, I can be the editor of my own paper somewhere. I kick ass at what I do!
Plus, you’re famous. That’s what I keep telling people! I’m famous in Orange County.