An interview with Catherynne M. Valente, author of The Labyrinth.

Why should readers pick up your book as opposed to, say, just about anybody else’s book?

Because my book is so much cheaper than LSD, and nearly twice as legal. You are required to brave up to 60% fewer dark alleys and abandoned factories to obtain my book, and the seediness of the pushers involved in your transaction has been reduced by 67%. The FDA has recently determined that Product #423789A, “my book,” causes 1/3 less side-effects than LSD, and actually has nutritional value as a fiber-rich foodstuff. No other book on the market provides such an attractive alternative to spinal-fluid altering drugs as my book.

Assume your book has been filed under “Ages 8 to 12” in the children’s section, perhaps by mistake, perhaps not. How horrified do you imagine a child would be after reading your book, and why? How many years of therapy would the child take to recover from the experience?

The lovable scamp in question would very likely immediately begin spurting blood from her adorable little eyeballs, and become suddenly incapable of communicating except in Silver-Age Latin. Electro-shock therapy would only succeed in advancing her as far as Carolingian Latin, at which point the lisping cherub would be beyond hope. Only repeated doses of high-proof alcohol will return her to a normal state. Sadly, this therapy must be continued throughout the Dickensian rascal’s lifetime.

Also, it will turn her gay.

I love writers.

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