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Publisher's Weekly

PW Talks with Daniel Handler

by Staff -- 5/6/2002
PW Forecasts > Children's Books

Daniel Handler, as the official representative of Lemony Snicket (author of the A Series of Unfortunate Events books) in all legal, literary and social matters, often appears in place of Snicket at author appearances.

PW: What was the first thing you did when the contents of this unauthorized autobiography came into your possession?

DH: The first thing I did when the manuscript reached my hands was lock all the doors and windows of the hotel at which I was staying. It was a big hotel so this took some time.

PW: Do you have any compunction about publishing materials that you are not certain Mr. Snicket would want to have released to his readership? Aren't you afraid of the potential repercussions?

DH: What I fear are not "repercussions" but "percussions," as there seem to be several suspicious drummers who have appeared in my life since publication was announced.

PW: What do you surmise from the fact that Snicket organized his life into 13 chapters?

DH: No one is certain that it was Lemony Snicket who organized this book, but in general, someone organizes a book into 13 chapters when there are more than 12 crucial events but fewer than 14.

PW: What made this moment--between books eight and nine in the series--the right time to share Snicket's story with the world?

DH: The number "8 1/2" has always been of interest to Fellini fans and people with a B+ grade average, but the publication of this book has coincided with the moment when HarperCollins felt it was no longer safe to keep the information in its vaults.

PW: Has your opinion of Lemony Snicket changed after looking through his personal effects? Is he in fact as fascinating as he would have us think?

DH: My opinions on nearly every matter--except for vermouth, my wife and United States foreign policy--change so frequently it is scarcely worth noting. Mr. Snicket would have you think he is not fascinating at all, but people who say such things are usually wrong, or liars.