Interview: Kelly Oxford, Author Of 'Everything Is Perfect When You're A Liar'Kelly Oxford went from being a housewife and mother of three in Calgary to Internet fame. She reveals the secret to success in a new book, Everything Is Perfect When You're a Liar — but her real story may be just as unbelievable.
How Twitter Star Kelly Oxford Makes Everything 'Perfect'
Oxford's been retweeted by Jimmy Kimmel, John Mayer, and even the late Roger Ebert — one of her earliest supporters. Her secret? "The simpler they are, the better they hit," she tells weekends on All Things Considered host Jacki Lyden.
Now she's got a book, called Everything Is Perfect When You're a Liar. It's not a collection of tweets, but it is a series of outrageous vignettes about her life so far. Oxford is actually a terrible liar, she says, which is the point of the title.
"I really believe that the only way that anybody can have a seemingly perfect life is if they're covering up a lot of their life and they're lying to everyone — and perhaps sometimes themselves," she says.
"When my mom told me what the Internet was, I think in 1993, and I was in high school, and I just instantly knew that this was a place that I could put out material. And even though I didn't really recognize it, the audience that I did have online — which was a little under 10,000 people [who] would get emails when I would blog — through all of this, I was using them as a sounding board, telling me what they liked, what they didn't like.
"So you know, a good analogy, I guess, for that would be the stand-up comic that gets onstage and tries out new jokes: 'Oh, this works, this didn't work.' I don't think a lot of writers that publish books or write movies get an opportunity to use an audience to their benefit, and somehow I managed to do that this entire time."
On when she realized her tweets were actually connecting with people
"Really, really early on. I joined in March of 2009 and by the end of that summer I had comedians following me. And by the following spring I had a very large following of people in entertainment following me, and I had been invited down to Los Angeles to be a part of A Night of 140 Tweets, which was a benefit for Haiti. It was 140 celebrities reading one tweet. And I was the only non-stand-up comedian or actor or working writer that was there."
On how women are breaking comedy barriers
"Since Bridesmaids came out, I think that a lot of things have changed for women in comedy. Same with Girls on HBO, I mean, in Bridesmaids we saw women getting sick — and we've never seen that in a film before. And I think that was a really big turning point. And for that movie to do so well at the box office, I think, has really opened a lot of doors for female comedians because now the big bosses and the businessmen can say, 'Oh, people actually will pay to see women be funny and crazy and in crazy situations.'"
On whether she expected such Twitter success
"No, never, never, never. I mean, look, I've been online since 1993 and I would brag to people about having 7,000 people getting an email about a blog that I'd written, you know, and this was in 2001. I had no idea. And it wasn't a goal for any of this to happen. I was a very happy homemaker with two kids and eventually three, and I was just so satisfied having an audience and, to me, having just under 10,000 people interested in me online and pre-Facebook was just such a huge success. ... If I was [still] in that position, [I] would just be sailing right along at home, making pasta and picking up my husband at the train station every day."