LUKE BURBANK, host:
Well, continuing our diary coverage here on THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT, we just talked about a guy who kept the world's biggest diary, and Kevin Smith has a diary out. It's called "My Boring-Ass Life."
Alison, you and him chatted the other day. Let's take a listen to that tape.
ALISON STEWART, host:
If you like Kevin Smith, and, I mean, really, why wouldn't you? He wrote "Clerks." He has comic book stories. He recently directed some cool TV pilots. You might really, really enjoy reading about the minutia of his life in his new book called "My Boring-Ass Life: The Uncomfortably Candid Diary of Kevin Smith." A detailed - and I mean, detailed - chronicle of his life from March of '05 to December of '06. And Kevin Smith joins us.
Mr. KEVIN SMITH (Filmmaker): Believe me, there are people who don't enjoy me or the minutia of my life.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Mr. SMITH: I've dealt with them on the Internet quite a bit. They're not fans at all. But, you know, you can find them.
STEWART: You know, I went to your MySpace page, and you have this post that's really, really sweet - is the word I'm going to use. It says, apparently, I'm a New York Times best-selling author. This is a really big deal for me.
So, first of all, congrats. And are you serious? Is this really a big deal for you, considering all you've done?
Mr. SMITH: Yeah, because I just didn't expect the book to wind up there. I mean, I'd done - I mean, I've never written a book, right? Like, basically, I've got two books, and they're both examples of found material, compiled material. Like the old one, "Silent Bob Speaks," was a compilation of a bunch of magazine articles that I'd written, essays that I'd written and some Web journalism that I'd done. And then Silent - this one, the one that's out now, "My Boring-Ass Life" was a compilation of, like, almost two years worth of blog postings that I'd done. So, you know, those are barely books.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Mr. SMITH: You know what I'm saying? That doesn't really count.
STEWART: Barely a book? Buddy, this thing is over 400 pages.
Mr. SMITH: It's thick, man.
STEWART: What are you trying to tell me, barely a book?
Mr. SMITH: Yeah, it looks like a book. That's for sure. And it feels like one. And, you know, it'll definitely hold up the end of the table like a book will. But it doesn't - you know, I don't know. It's - calling it a book takes away from people like Franzen or Michael Chabon or J.D. Salinger, dudes who actually write books. Like, this is - this was me writing a blog for a while and then Titan, the company that published it, called me up and said we'd like to turn it into a book. And I said, do I have to do anything? They said, no. You've already done it. And I said, go with God.
STEWART: That's works for me.
Mr. SMITH: (unintelligible) as an author. But that fact that it wound up on the list - and granted it's the story of my life, right? Like, it'd be one thing if I wound up, like, in the top 10. I'm at number 32 on that list. But that's just enough for me to be proud of.
STEWART: Yeah. There's some guy at 33 and 34, so 32 is okay.
Mr. SMITH: That's true. And those people are like he didn't even write a book. This doesn't count.
STEWART: Just to give people a vibe of what the book's like, on page 247, it says: Tuesday, 30 August 2005, 3:03 p.m. I wake up, hit the bedroom with my Tetris, and then head to the bedroom office, doing three hours of phoners for "Mallrats X." Afterwards, I pick up Harley from camp, with Hans in tow. We head to the Coffee Bean on Beverly, followed by a trip to Laser Blazer, where I spend - somehow spend 850 on two weeks worth of DVDs. I come home and chill with Jennifer for a while. Then check e-mail, watching the "New Jack City" DVD. After Jen puts Harley to bed, we watched "Witness" and played Rummy. After "Witness," we pop in "The Truman Show." And I fall asleep 10 minutes before it ends.
Mr. SMITH: You know, you just prevented me from selling another copy of that book.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Mr. SMITH: People are like, that sounds like crap. It's boring.
STEWART: Well, you do put boring in the title, so it's not false advertising. Let's just say that.
Mr. SMITH: Yeah, I know. I didn't really believe it at all, man. I'm kind of upfront and forthright with what's the book's about. There's a lot of that, like, when I started writing the blog, it was kind of a daily diary of sorts because somebody online at our - one of our Web sites, the message board at viewaskew.com had asked what I did all day. And I felt that was kind of an interesting question. So I was, like, you know, I'm going to write down everything that I've done today. And I posted it, and the cats at the Web site really seemed to dig it, so I started keeping it up, you know, as a regular thing, as a regular feature. And then I moved it over to its own, you know, standalone blog site.
And I was kind of into the notion at first, because I was, like, I think I would enjoy reading this 10 or 20 years down the line or being able to hand it over to my kid and being like this is what I did when you were, like, 6 or 7 or 8 years old. Look at how I wasted my youth. But I…
STEWART: Wait, let's just talk about that. When you hand this over to your kid, Harley. So 20 years from now, she'll be 28, 29. Is that a good age that she should read about this? Because let's just say you and your wife love each other.
Mr. SMITH: Yeah. We are…
STEWART: And we all know that from reading this book that you love each other often…
Mr. SMITH: Yeah, pretty frequently.
STEWART: …and a lot.
Mr. SMITH: …which, I mean, God bless her, because who would really want to love me on a regular basis, that regularly, you know, that physically with clothes off? But, yeah, I'm happy to have her read it whenever. I don't know, if I was, like, 13, 14 and my father had done something like this, I would have loved to have read it. I would have loved to have known, you know, what my father thought about and how frequently he coupled with mother and stuff like that. I mean, I'm sure she won't appreciate it as much as she will, you know, when she's, you know, in her 20s and I'm dead. But I wouldn't be against her - it'd be kind of hypocritical for me to be, like, don't read this until you're 30.
STEWART: Nothing's sacred in what you write. I mean, it's really interesting. You talk about, yeah, personal issues. You talk about something really kind of tough, too, the struggle of your friend's heroine addiction.
Mr. SMITH: Yeah. That's my favorite part. That's the only part of the whole book that I feel was kind of book-like or book-worthy, is I did a nine-part series entitled "Me and My Shadow," which was about Jason Mewes, the guy who plays Jay to my Silent Bob, and his kind of the throes of drug addiction that he went through for the - over the course of seven years. And it's kind of - it's some of the best writing I ever done. But it's also, like, a really gripping story, and it has a happy ending, but it's warts-and-all, you know? And it's kind of the story he would have written if he could write, but I - he can't, I can. So he was happy to see me do it.
STEWART: So, as I'm dissecting the title of your book, we've been through the candid part - that's about Jason. We've been through the boring-ass part, as I read on page 247. But let's talk about the "Uncomfortably Candid."
Mr. SMITH: Mm-hmm.
STEWART: For whom?
Mr. SMITH: I guess it's for the reader. Like, originally, Titan wanted to call it the unedited or - yeah, "Unedited Diary of Kevin Smith." But they actually had to edit it because they're a British company, right? And I guess you can't publish names. Their libel lawsuits are a lot tougher over there than here, so they didn't want to put some of the names, like, the story that kind of kicks off the "Me and My Shadow" blog series was a story that Mewes had told me about having sex in a bathroom with (bleep). And you could kind of say that (unintelligible)…
STEWART: Well, hey there.
Mr. SMITH: Exactly. You got to say it over here, but over there, unless you can prove it, I guess it's a lot more difficult. So I said please don't call it unedited because we can't put her name, and you're not putting her name of the book. Just let's find something else, and we both kind of settled on "Uncomfortably Candid," because it is the kind of - some of the entries you read, and it's just like, dude, that was way too much information than I wanted to know.
STEWART: Something else that I'm interested in is after you read this book, all these blog entries, all at once, did you change anything about your life?
Mr. SMITH: I didn't. In fact, when they sent me the galleys of the book, I didn't even bother reading it because it was too fresh, like, you know, it was only, I think, it runs from 2005 to 2006. They didn't print any of the 2007 stuff, if I remember correctly. But I just felt like, oh, I just lived this stuff fairly recently, so I don't want to re-read it again.
You know, I just had them spellcheck it and make sure - I'm pretty much a spelling Nazi and a grammar Nazi, but I just had them double-check that stuff to make sure that it was accurate, but I didn't bother reading the whole thing again. I'm not looking forward to reading this book for another 10 years, because then, I think, I'll really enjoy it.
STEWART: And that was my conversation with Kevin Smith. We're going to actually have part two tomorrow, because he really - he's not as big a slacker as he claims. He is working on a prequel of "Heroes." He also wrote the pilot for that show, "Reaper."
STEWART: Got a new movie coming out and started filming in Pittsburg this week, so more of that tomorrow.
BURBANK: I love that guy.
STEWART: Yeah, he's funny.
BURBANK: I'm laughing out loud listening to that. Coming up: today's new music. We're going to have new releases from Unfitney, and also Kanye West has got something. Plus, a bunch of Bob Dylan covers.
That is coming up on THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News.
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