The original post for this episode can be found here.

John August: Hello and welcome. My name is John August.

Craig Mazin: My name is Craig Mazin.

John: And this is Episode 335 of Scriptnotes, a podcast about screenwriting and things that are interesting to screenwriters.

Today on the podcast, it’s a whole other podcast. Yeah, I have spent the last two years recording interviews for a brand new series that begins today. So we’ll have an excerpt from that. Excerpt? I don’t know. It’s kind of a trailer, but it’s like a featurette. Craig, what is a featurette? Do they still exist?

Craig: I don’t know. I’ve never known what a featurette is. Most of the time when they add the suffix “ette” to something I’m confused. Other than cigarette, I know what that is. And moist towelette. Other than that I get very confused. Even novellas confuse me. When does it stop being a novel and become a novella? I don’t know.

John: That’s a question I could answer on my podcast.

Craig: Yeah, you could. But my question for you is I’m not fired or anything right?

John: Oh my god, no.

Craig: Our show is still a show, right?

John: Yes. This is a bonus. This is an extra thing I’m doing.

Craig: Oh.

John: Why don’t I tell you what it’s about? It’s a show called launch. It follows the process of making a book, from idea, to writing it, to selling it, to printing it, to seeing it in stores. So the series is only six episodes long, the first two of which drop today. So, this is the first chance to sort of get into it.

You listened to I guess the full first episode?

Craig: Yeah, that’s right. And that’s why I was a little concerned, because I listened to the whole thing and I thought this sounds like a – you know, I don’t listen to podcasts. We’ve established this.

John: No. It was a big ask for me to have you listen to this.

Craig: Correct. So right off the bat I felt quite Christ-like in this. But, you know, I have heard like clips of podcasts before, you know? And I did listen to the Slow Burn podcast. That was like a whole big new thing for me.

And so when I listened to the first episode of Launch, it struck me that it sounded a lot like a podcast. Whereas our show, I don’t think we sound like a podcast. I think we just do our show. We just talk. But that show sounded like a podcast and it was even sort of meta. I mean, when people listen to it they’ll realize that you’re aware that it sounds like podcast. But I thought, wow, what a crazy way for you to tell me that you were firing me off of our own show.

John: [laughs]

Craig: If you just stopped doing our show and just started doing that.

John: So, Craig, Scriptnotes is a gabfest style show, where it’s two people chatting. And so it’s done almost in real time. So, Launch is the other kind of podcast, or one of the other kinds of podcasts. It’s much more like a Startup or a Planet Money in that there’s a bunch of clips and there’s narration and I have to be able to put sentences together in a meaningful way. It’s all written. I’ve done so much writing for this show that it’s been crazy but good to do.

And we go through multiple drafts, and so we do table reads. It’s really different. Aline Brosh McKenna of Scriptnotes fame, she helped us out a lot. She listened to an early cut and gave me some really good feedback. So I went back and rerecorded some stuff just based on her notes.

Craig: Well, it did remind me of a little bit of Karina’s show, too, because it is written and it is crafted, but it was funny because I know you so well and I know your podcast voice so well and I’m fascinated – because I have a feeling like a lot of people that listen to this show are going to listen to it not necessarily because they’re Scriptnotes people, because they are interested in the writing of books and novels, which is what this is so much about. But I think probably you’ll have some decent crossover. And I’m fascinated to hear what they think about the other you. It’s like this other you. It’s really interesting. It’s more professional. [laughs]

John: Well, it’s more professional, but it’s also a whole different kind of podcast in that like there’s ad reads, there’s sponsors, there’s all that kind of stuff. There’s act breaks. So I have to sell stuff on the show as well. And that was exciting to do. But there’s also just other sort of infrastructure.

So, people will recognize some familiar names. So, Megan McDonnell, who is the Scriptnotes producer, she’s also one of the producers on this. But there’s also four other producers on the show.

Craig: Whoa.

John: There’s a mixer. Matthew Chilelli did some original music for us, which was awesome. So, Matthew is great.

Craig: Awesome.

John: So you’ll recognize some of those things, but it’s also just really different. It’s a much bigger circus to make this kind of show and I’ve learned a ton.

Craig: Wow. Great.

John: So the clip we’re going to have today is from Episode One. This is the episode in which I sort of have the first idea for doing this book and sort of how it all begins. It goes up through the part where I get an agent. This is me talking about how to get an agent, which is just really weird. I had to go out and get myself an agent. So it’s that whole part of the process.

Episode Two, which is also out today, is selling the book and then the writing, getting into the edit, and really the shadow of Harry Potter, which is so odd to be writing a kid’s book because Harry Potter looms over everything. So, Episode Two gets into that.

Craig: Well, I really enjoyed Episode One. And I enjoyed it so much that I actually will listen to Episode Two. Now, mostly – just slow your roll for a second – because mostly what I’m hoping for are a couple more moments like the kinds I got in Episode One where evidence of your let’s just say organic origin story emerge. Because as you know, most of you was obviously built/assembled in a room at the Foxconn Plant in Guangzhou.

But your mother appears in this and your brother appears. I didn’t even know you had a brother.

John: I have a brother. It’s sort of retcon that John has a brother now. But, yes, my brother appears into it.

Craig: It’s a retcon. You retconned a brother.

John: In later episodes my daughter is in it, my husband is in it. Like everyone–

Craig: Well, I know them. But like your brother shows up and the crazy thing is – so first of all I’m listening to your mom and I’m like, yeah, but I guess if I had to imagine what John August’s mom would sound like that’s pretty much right on. And then your brother came on and I’m like who is this guy? This doesn’t sound like John at all. You guys couldn’t sound more different. It was fascinating.

John: Yeah. So it has been really interesting to sort of go and do the introspection that is so part and parcel for this kind of show, because it’s really about the questions and decisions along the way of trying to make this book.

The first episode is very sort of let’s get inside John’s head and sort of how I got lost in the woods. And there’s some stuff there that’s a little more personal than I would ever get on our normal show. But down the road it’s also just a chance to sort of break out of the normal bubble of just two people talking. So, Episode Three I get to sit down with the cover artist. I talk to the guy who is doing the audio book for Arlo Finch, which is so cool. He’s awesome.

I get into some fights and some squabbles. We get into some grammar battles. And then in Episode Four I go to the printing plant in Virginia to actually see the book being printed. And that was so amazing. That was my chocolate factory moment where I got to see how it all is actually done. And that is one of the top ten experiences of my life was getting to see the book being printed and how that all works.

Craig: That’s so cool. I am a personal fan, bordering on obsessive fan, of any – I guess what do they call them, the how was it made series.

John: Yes.

Craig: And they have millions of these that you can just watch for free on YouTube through the magic of copyright infringement, but regardless like probably every other day I’ll go how do they make staples. How do they make pills? Pills are one of my favorites. Like how do they make pills? Oh my god, it’s fascinating.

Anyway, any time I watch those or somebody talks about doing something like you’re doing, which is to go to this massive center where books are made, physically, in my mind I always hear that [hums]. And when we were kids there would be a little soundtrack and some sort of wah-wah pedal playing as the pages got churned out of the big conveyor belt. I have a rich inner life, John, is what I’m saying. Rich.

John: Well, at least there’s a musical accompaniment to your life.

Craig: Oh, for sure.

John: Which is crucial. Absolutely.

Craig: Oh yeah.

John: The how things are made video that I loved so much recently was how rubber bands are made, which is a surprisingly mechanical manual process. Like you’d think like, oh, it’s just a machine that makes rubber bands. It’s not at all. There’s literally a guy who is taking like this rubber tube out of this vat and sliding it onto this sort of big tube and it goes through this vulcanizing process. And it’s just really surprisingly manual. And you’d think like, “It’s a rubber band. How can that be a manual process?”

Craig: I know. Some of it is so bizarre. Some of it is really, really bizarre. But it is all oddly beautiful. I assume you took some video, right?

John: So, I was limited in sort of how many photos and videos I could take because there’s trade secrets. This is the biggest publishing plant in the world. And so it was very cool for me to get to go inside and I got to take pictures of my book, like when my book was on a line, but I couldn’t take any pictures involving people, or process beyond a certain point.

But, I could interview everybody. And so everyone was so cool. One of my favorite moments you’ll hear in Episode Four is I’m with the guy who is literally printing the book. So, there’s three stages to book printing. There’s the printing the signatures, which are the 16-page little segments. There’s making the case. And then there’s putting the book into the case.

But this is a guy who is responsible for printing the signatures. And he was awesome. And I interview him and I say like, hey, so you must really love books. He’s like, “No, I hate them. I can’t go into a bookstore. I hate the smell.” And it’s like talking to a grip about movies. It’s like – they’re completely involved in the process of making this thing, but not always the end result.

Craig: Right. Like for instance I’m sure the same thing could be said about someone who say every week does a podcast and then does not want to listen to podcasts ever.

John: Indeed. You are basically that lineman who is looking at the signatures as they come off.

Craig: I have always been that lineman.

John: Oh, nice. So, what’s also weird about this podcast is the first four episodes come out before the book comes out. Basically Episode Four drops the day the book comes out. And the last two episodes, we’re not quite sure what they’re going to be. So, it will be following me on the road. It will be sort of seeing what happens.

And so while I’m out on the road you can come see me on tour. Again, johnaugust.com/arlofinch has all my dates. But we’ll be some live shows that are kind of half Scriptnotes/kind of half Launch shows. I’ll be talking to Grant Faulkner who is one of our favorite guests recently this past year and some other cool people in other cool cities about books, and writing, and stuff in general.

So that will be part of it. I know there will also be a Q&A episode, so if after listening to this or future episodes you have questions about Launch or the book, or all that process, just send them into the usual place, ask@johnaugust.com, and there will be a special Q&A episode somewhere down the road.

Craig: That sounds great. And I guess part of the deal of this, well, let me just back up for a second. The fact that it’s only six episodes makes me happy, right? Because you know me, I like to know that things end. I can’t just listen to a podcast forever the way that people listen to this one, which is insane. So, I mean, I really, truly don’t know why anyone does it.

So, I love that it ends, but what I find fascinating about the promise of this is that you say in this first episode, as people will hear, that part of the show is what’s going to actually happen with the book in terms of success. Is it going to be a big hit? Is it going to be a flop? What’s going to happen? You don’t know. So I guess that the idea here is that between Episode Four and Episode Five the book happens. And then you kind of say here’s the result, which is either way kind of weirdly – I feel like you win, because you’re going to get a great episode out of it.

John: Absolutely. So either I’ll have a successful book, or I’ll have a flop of a book, and interesting things to talk about on a podcast. In a weird way making this podcast for the last two years has given me an excuse for asking all the questions I wanted to ask. And it would be too weird for me to ask if I wasn’t asking them for a podcast. So, I talked to a lot of writers about success, but also about failure and about what was great and what was bad. And I interjected myself into parts of the process where an author wouldn’t usually be there, but I could ask because I’m doing a podcast. It’s not for me, it’s for the listeners of the world.

Craig: Exactly. But I think it’s really – there’s a wonderful sense of introspection about Episode One and a fascinating meta look at the whole thing. The whole way you approached it I thought was really smart and I’m fascinated to see what happens. I mean, of course I root for the book’s success, but I don’t want it to be too successful, because then at some point you’re going to be like, “I’m sorry dude, but me and Amy Tan, we’re hanging later. It’s going to be me and the Tanster.”

John: Yeah. There’s no Joy Luck Craig.

Craig: Nah. There’s no Joy Luck Craig. And what am I going to do? Like if Chernobyl is a big hit–?

John: Oh my god. Well, you have plans to dump me immediately, right? You and Brian Koppelman are going to skate off?

Craig: Well, first of all, never in a million years. No, and I will tell him that to his face. Never. In a million years. I love Brian, but never in a million years. No, I think I would just end up with some guy who works in the physics department at USC, which is cool for me, but no one is going to listen to it.

John: Well, here’s the thing though, Craig, you would have no idea if anybody was listening or if your podcast was even available. So you might just weekly show up and have a conversation with somebody thinking that it’s a podcast, but really it’s just you and the physicist talking about stuff which wouldn’t be so bad.

Craig: I feel like you just told me that that’s what’s been happening with Scriptnotes. [laughs]

John: This whole time.

Craig: Oh. My. God. You’re right.

John: So, if you as a listener would like to help me out, there’s two things you could do that would really be amazing. First is to subscribe to the show, Launch, because that drops today. And when people subscribe on the day it drops that actually helps a lot in terms of the ecosystem, the Apple of everything. So, you can find it just anywhere you get podcasts. It’s Launch. Or there’s a URL you can follow which is wondery.fm/launch.

Second thing, because this is a brand new podcast there are no ratings, there are no reviews. So if you’re there and you’d like to leave us a review, a rating, those things are awesome and they are very genuinely helpful, especially for a brand new show. Or tweet about it or Facebook about it. Or if you have a friend who you think might enjoy it, tell them, or just take their phone and subscribe on their phone to the show because why not. That’s what friends are for is to subscribe people to podcasts that they didn’t necessarily choose themselves.

Craig: Yeah, you know, honestly people should do it even if only to pay you back a little for the good service that you have done all these years. I mean, granted, you also take an enormous amount of money from them that I don’t see.

John: Yes, in the form of t-shirts and USB drives.

Craig: That’s right. And USB drives. Exactly. And whatever other merchandise you sell that you don’t tell me about. I get it. But, yeah, listen, we have never asked for anything. That’s the god’s honest truth. And most of the time we don’t have to because you and I make our careers largely writing popular entertainment that is marketed and sold by multibillion international conglomerates, so we really don’t need – it would be grotesque I think for us to ask for assistance in those circumstances. But this is different. This is your book. I feel like any new author with any new book is an underdog. And by the way, I’ll be coming at people for Chernobyl also because that isn’t a mass entertainment sort of thing. It’s going to need some love. So people should, I think, I’m saying to people – you wouldn’t – but I’m saying you guys should do it to help John out at the very least.

Plus, also, it’s a good podcast. I got to say.

John: Thank you.

Craig: I mean, and I know podcasts. I listen to literally ones of them.

John: [laughs] All right. So, let’s take a listen to the first episode of Launch.

LAUNCH FEATURETTE:

John: Hi. My name is John August.

If you Google me, you’ll see I’m mostly a screenwriter. I wrote Big Fish and bunch of other movies.

Two years ago, I started writing a novel. It was something I’d never done before, and knew almost nothing about.

At the same time, I began recording interviews with authors and agents and publishers and everybody remotely connected to the book I was writing. I didn’t know exactly what I’d do with all these interviews, but I had questions, and I figured I might as well get the answers on tape.

Now, my book is coming out.

Two weeks from today, you’ll be able to buy it in stores.

This podcast is about how that book got there. How I wrote it, how I sold it, and how publishing works— not just as a business, but literally how books are printed and shipped. We’ll be talking about success and failure, school librarians, book tours, typefaces, and how the shadow of Harry Potter looms over everything.

As I’m recording this, I know how it all begins, but I don’t know how it ends. Will my book get good reviews? Will it sell? Did I make the right choices along the way?

You’ll find out when I do.

From Wondery, this is Launch, a podcast about making new things.

I’ve never made this kind of podcast — the kind with audio clips and music and ads.

For the last six years, I’ve hosted a weekly podcast about screenwriting called Scriptnotes.

One of the recurring bits is that my co-host Craig hates podcasts.

Craig: As you know, I listen to exactly zero podcasts. Even this one.

John: Me? I love podcasts. All kinds. I currently subscribe to 65 of them.

One of my favorites of the last few years is called StartUp. You’ve probably heard it. It tells the story of Alex Blumberg as he struggles to establish a new company. Week by week, you can hear it grow, and change.

The basic format is that Alex talks directly to you and tells you what’s going on. Sort of like I’m doing now.

When you go back and listen to it a second time, you realize there’s also some sophisticated techniques he’s using. For example:

David Kramer: This will be probably the biggest and most long term of all your projects.

John: That’s my agent, David Kramer.

David Kramer: So, you just have to make that decision for yourself of how you see the next several years of your life.

John: See that? I’m Foreshadowing that there’s a big choice I’m going to have to make. A life-changing decision. And I’m going to have to make it by the end of the episode.

One of my other favorite shows is called Planet Money. They did a series called the Story of a T-shirt, where they tracked the process of making a t-shirt from growing cotton to delivery. I love stuff like that. Process.

So let’s go back to the beginning of this whole adventure. Let’s see how it all started.

ominous drone

John: If you listen to a bunch of podcasts, you start to notice some tropes.

Like whenever you hear this kind of drone, you know something bad is about to happen. Especially if there’s an out-of-tune music box playing.

add music box

John: And then the narrator says something like:

On June 19th, 1977, a young boy went missing in the mountains of Colorado.

His family was camping in the Roosevelt National Forest along the Middle Saint Vrain Creek. It was hot that afternoon. Still, average lows for June dipped into the 30s. A boy in shorts and a t-shirt was at risk for hypothermia, particularly if he got wet.

The more immediate concern was bears. Black bears were frequently sighted in the area, attracted by an easy meal from the campground trash containers.

Bears are foragers; they rarely attack adults. But a six-year-old boy alone in the woods might not fair as well.

The boy’s father — Hank — and his eleven-year-old son — Bill — went searching for the boy.

The mother — Nancy — and her mother — Helen — stayed back at the campsite. They yelled the boy’s name until their voices went hoarse.

This is the story of what happened to that boy in the woods.

music out

John: I should explain here: That six-year-old boy is me. I didn’t get killed or abducted. It’s not that kind of podcast, remember?

This story about getting lost in the woods is actually really important for understanding why I decided to write this book. It pretty much explains why I am the way I am.

Here’s how my mom remembers that day.

Nancy Meise: We were up in Camp Dick, which is a forest service campground. We’d gone up probably on a Friday night. We had had lunch, and your grandmother and I were sitting chatting and you and your dad, and your brother Bill, had, were going to go exploring around, so you left.

Pretty soon, you know pretty soon, I can’t tell you exactly how long it was, but here come your dad and your brother, but no you. And I said, “Where’s John?” And John wasn’t there. I probably got a little bit teary eyed, like, “Where’s my kid?”

John: Here’s my brother Bill:

Bill Meise: Mom started calling for you. And Mom was kinda freakin’ out, like “John John, where are you?”

Nancy Meise: So finally, your dad and Bill decided they would go back out and look. And it seemed like it took forever. I was a smoker back then. I’m sure I lit a cigarette, you know, and probably smoked it down to the nub.

Bill Meise: You know, she was scared. She didn’t know where you were. You know, it’s the forest, you know. You know, you don’t know what kind of animals might be out there.

John: To my family, this is the tale of How John Got Lost in the Woods.

But the truth is, I wasn’t really lost.

This is what happened:

See, I’d found this trail, and I was curious where it went. So I followed it. There was a little creek, and I made my way across on the rocks.

I wasn’t actually that far away.

John on tape: I also remember hearing you and not going back. Does that sound like me?

Nancy Meise: YES. (laughs) If truth be told, yes. I mean, because if you were busily involved in something, mom could wait.

John: I could hear their voices calling for me..

But there was another voice — this inner voice — that was louder. More insistent. It was urging me to keep going a little farther. To see what was around the next bend. So I kept walking.

That’s when it happened.

I can’t tell you what it was, exactly. The air felt sparkly. The trees were vibrating.

I had this feeling of awe, like I’d wandered into some ancient mystical site. I was six years old, and everything felt electric.

I don’t know how long I stayed there, or why I left. But eventually, I turned around and walked back.

Nancy Meise: And here you come. Back. And you know, then I really cried. Because I was just so glad to see you.

John: Something happened that day in the woods. I don’t know what it was, but I have the echo of a memory. This sense of wonder.

I’ve been chasing it all my life.

Maybe you feel it too — that notion that there’s something hidden just out of sight. Just around the bend.

All I know is, I see a trail and I want to take it. I’m still that boy in the woods.

Let’s fast forward 38 years.

[storm sounds]

John: This is when I first spot the trail that leads me to write this book.

It’s October 30th, 2015. I’m in a hotel room in Austin, Texas.

It’s 9:57 a.m. and a massive storm is raging outside. I press my phone against the window to take a video, because it feels like a movie. Winds are howling. Lightning fills the sky. On a nearby building I can see this American flag. It’s whipping so fast I think it might tear off.

It’s been like this for days. The airport is shut down because the traffic control tower is flooded.

I mention the storm because it explains why I didn’t leave the room much that weekend. If the weather had been better, I would have explored the city, or had beers with friends.

Everything would be different.

I wouldn’t be telling you this story.

skype calling

I’m in Austin for the film festival, but there’s one work phone call I need to make.

Kenneth Oppel: Hello?

John on tape: Hey, Kenneth. It’s John August.

John: His name is Kenneth Oppel. He’s a novelist. He’s written this book called The Nest. It’s about a boy who discovers that magical insects are planning to steal his baby brother.

Some producers sent it to me because they think it might be a movie. That’s most of what I do as a screenwriter, by the way. I adapt books into movies.

John on tape: First off, is it okay if I record this?

Kenneth Oppel: Yeah, yeah. Fine.

John on tape: When I first read your book, it seemed really creepy for what I had originally been pitched as a kid’s book. I guess I was confused about what were the rules of a book that is designed to be read by young readers. Do you get that question a lot?

Kenneth Oppel: All the time. I mean, I just came back from a week book tour in Italy, and talked to a lot of adult audiences, who had very profound ethical and philosophical questions about the book and responded to it in ways that I was glad to hear about, because there’s a lot of subtext to the book.

Sometimes I was asked, “Is it too scary for kids?” To my way of thinking, I think kids read stories in an altogether different way than adults do. Kids are used to a diet, from their very earliest stories, of peril and death and monsters. From Grimm all the way to Beatrix Potter, even. There’s some bunnies get eaten and skinned and put in pies. People get locked in dungeons and towers. So I think kids accept this sort of landscape as much more normal, and it’s often the parents, with much more life experience, who read these stories and are actually horrified.

John: I think he’s right. Think back to the books we read as kids. So many of them are really dark. Hansel and Gretl? We all remember the end — the kids pushing the witch into the oven — but it starts with a father abandoning his children in the woods.

That’s like Stephen King dark.

John on tape: What do you say when people ask what genre of books you write, who the audience is for most of your books?

Kenneth Oppel: Well, in the current publishing market, middle grade is usually defined as a book for roughly nine to 12 year olds. I constantly resist these definitions. I like writing books that I thought had a, you know, you could read them if you’re a good reader at eight, or you could read them if you’re 14. So I never really thought so much in terms of the middle grade, like what is that? I just wanted to write a good story.

John: This was the first time I’d heard of “middle grade.” You’re going to hear that term a lot. It doesn’t mean junior high; it’s younger than that.

Kenneth Oppel: To me, the middle grade is [00:09:00] sort of the golden age of reading, as a child. You never love a book as much as the books you loved when you were that age, sort of eight to 12. It’s sort of that sweet spot for kids. A lot of kids, after 12, they’re sort of dropping away.

That’s why I love that age group. It’s still such a great time of life, it’s still so full of curiosity and wonder and potential. It’s not cynical yet. The possibilities are still huge.

John: In most middle grade titles, the hero is roughly the same age as the reader. Think Harry Potter, or Percy Jackson. The reader can easily imagine being in the hero’s shoes.

Kenneth Oppel:There’s lots of famous adult books with child protagonists, but for me, the difference between an adult book and a middle grade book, even if they had a child protagonist, is that there’s no gloss, there’s no editorializing, there’s no retrospective commentary on what that kid is doing. With a middle grade book, it’s all present-tense.

This kid is having this incredibly intense and stressful experience he’s really not equipped to have. Then he finds all this inner strength, and becomes a warrior and defeats this monster, really on his own.

John: There’s sort of a template for middle grade fiction. You start with an ordinary kid. But then he discovers something extraordinary — that the world is different than he assumed. He goes on a journey, and the journey changes him.

Basically, a kid goes into the woods. Something happens. And he’s changed by it.

Kenneth and I talk for about forty-five minutes. I don’t tell him, but by the end of the conversation, I have a new plan.

END LAUNCH FEATURETTE

John: And that is the teaser or featurette or whatever we’re calling this little excerpt from the first episode. If you would like to hear the rest of the first episode, and the second episode, they are available right now. So just Launch. Just check out wherever you get your podcasts. Look for Launch. It’s the little yellow logo. It’s me. And just subscribe. That would be really, really great and helpful. I hope you enjoy it.

Craig: I think they’re going to enjoy it. Can I sneak ahead? Can you just give me all of them to listen to?

John: I would love to give you all six episodes. There are exactly two episodes that are ready right now. Literally the paint is barely dry as we were putting these out. But I can give you a sneak preview of Episode Three, which is a Google Doc on my screen right now that I need to finish writing tonight because we start recording it tomorrow.

Craig: You know what? Hold off. Hold off. But I’m going to subscribe for sure so that you have – and I’m not going to give you a rating because I think people would be like, “Oh, look, Craig Mazin likes John August’s podcast. It’s just not going to hold a lot of water.”

John: Yeah. You can give me stars, but without giving me like the named review. That’s fine, too.

Craig: It’s going to be weird if there’s only one thing there and it’s like two stars. Two stars is the worst stars, by the way. Two stars is the worst. One star you’re like, OK, whoever left the one star is a crank. Two stars has been thought about. [laughs] If you get two, that’s the worse. Yeah, so no, you get five. Is it five? Is that the maximum you can give?

John: Five is the most stars you can give.

Craig: Well, that’s what you deserve.

John: Thank you, Craig.

Craig: I’m going to give you five.

John: All right. Some scheduling notes. Craig is headed off to Lithuania I think is your next stop.

Craig: It’s going to be Lithuania, London, Lithuania, London. Yes. That’s what it’s going to be. Back and forth.

John: I will be headed off on the Arlo Finch book tour, so again if you want to see me just go to johnaugust.com/arlofinch and you will see where I am if I’m coming to a city near you.

But we have a bunch of stuff that’s already recorded and it’s really good, so I don’t want to spoil it for you, but we’ve got some good stuff coming to you, and then we’ll be back live before you know it.

So, Craig, thank you for listening to it. It actually does mean a lot, because I know you don’t like to listen to podcasts, so thank you for listening to this one.

Craig: Yeah. I think maybe I actually do like listening to podcasts. Now I’m starting to get a little concerned because I’ve only listened to two. Well, no, three. I’ve listened to three. I’ve listened to Karina’s, and I like it.

John: Yeah.

Craig: I’ve listened to Slow Burn. I like it.

John: Yeah.

Craig: And I’ve listened to yours and I like it.

John: Oh damn, what if you’re a podcast person?

Craig: Yeah, but you know then I’ve listened to Koppelman’s and I don’t love it.

John: Oh, come on.

Craig: I know. I’m just kidding. I just like doing it because it’s so much fun.

John: Because you know it annoys him.

Craig: Because it makes him crazy.

John: So, guys, thank you all very, very much. Our producer is Megan McDonnell. She’s awesome. She also did Launch. Matthew Chilelli edited this episode. And rather than outro I will just leave you with a plea to please subscribe. Subscribe to Launch and pass it along to your friends if you dig it. Thanks.

Links:

Email us at ask@johnaugust.com

You can download the episode here.