Monday, May 26, 2014

Everybody Dies: A Children's Book for Grown-Ups

I am super excited to welcome David Ury to my blog.  Last week I read a post about his soon to be released book, Everybody Dies: A Children's Book for Grown-Ups, and thought it was brilliant.  I can't wait to pick up my copy later today!  So, who is David Ury?

Author, actor, and stand-up comic David Ury has a long history with death. While he is best known for getting crushed by an ATM as the character Spooge in AMC's "Breaking Bad," he has been shot, bitten, impaled, and stabbed to death countless times in American films and television programs. David's first acting role was in a high school production of "Riders to the Sea." He played the role of Bartley, an Irish fisherman who spent most of the play lying dead onstage, which made his mother cry. He has written nearly one hundred English language adaptations of foreign comics including "Me and the Devil Blues," which won a Glyph Award in 2009.

DW:  So, what made you want to write a book about death?
DU:  It has always seemed odd to me that death is such a taboo subject, especially considering that it's one of the few things in life that every single one of us will experience. It seems that sex and death are the great taboos....you can't talk about the creation of life and you can't talk about the end of it...but all that stuff in between is fair game. I, personally, am quite terrified of death. This book helps frightened grown ups like myself come to grips with the inevitable fate that awaits us all.



DW:  Have you had a lot of personal experience with death in your life?
DU:  I have certainly lost people close to me. There wasn't a particular loss that motivated this book.

DW:  What are your hopes for this book, besides domination on the NY Times bestseller list?
DU:  Domination of the Amazon Best sellers list and.... My ultimate goal in my work is always to create something that is funny but with an underlying poignancy so that the reaction is something like "Hah, that's funny....wait, what?"

If this book could start a conversation about death and how we approach it in Western Society I think that would be nice.

DW:  Why do you think our culture is so reluctant to talk about death? (From my own experience, I felt like I might somehow attract it into my life if I paid attention to it.)

DU:  I know what you mean about attracting death. Having made this book, I think all the time of the ironic death that could be waiting for me. I've had a bit of anxiety leading up to the release of this book just because it would be so fitting to die just as the book is being released....it would probably be great for sales....luckily my PR guy at Harper Collins isn't that extreme and hasn't really suggested that as an option for getting the book to take off.

I think death scares the crap out of us all. And in the modern Western world death is very sanitized. It's generally something that we only encounter at a hospital, or a funeral parlor. We don't see death in our everyday lives like people might have hundreds of years ago. I think that makes it easy to avoid the subject. Death is something that happens to other people.

DW:  I read that you have translated a ton of Manga books. Do you have any desire to write your own?
DU:  Yes, I think I've done about 150 graphic novels...which means about 30,000 translated pages. I would love to write my own manga.

DW:  Will you be doing any book signings?
DU:  Tuesday May 27th is the release date and I will be reading at Book Soup in West Hollywood at 7pm.

June 8th (Sunday 3pm) co-author/artist Ken Tanaka will be having a book release party at Pasadena Museum of California Art. His art exhibit will be up through the end of June. You can see some pages from the book on Ken Tanaka's website.

Thank you so much for answering my questions and good luck with the book!  You can check out Everybody Dies: A Children's Book for Grown-Ups here. 

You can follow David on Twitter @isthisdavidury






4 comments:

  1. Brian Martin Pamela Skjolsvik, I believe the stigma attached to discussing death serves no one. We have strong innate defenses that allow us to go on through life but I fear many are I'll prepared for the greatest waking moment since birth. Don't get me wrong, I ain't rushing nothin! But if we simply push the subject under the carpet instead of shining a light on it how else can we learn to deal with it? From pet to family member and friend to stranger encounters be it plague or motorcycle wreck. How else are we to learn if, and we are orally based learners, if we don't talk it out.

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  2. Brian, I have an extensive library of death related books, but I am actually really excited about this one because not only will it be a great conversation starter, but I think it will be a great book to give as a gift.

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  3. I liked this very much, I'm anxious to get the book, I'm wondering if it deals with discussing death with children, (like the "Everybody Poops" series)

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    1. I bought two copies, but I had to order them online as the local Barnes and Noble didn't have them in stock. I think it's in the same style as Everybody Poops. It's just lays it out there and leaves it open for discussion.

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Comments are welcome and appreciated!