December 18, 2014

If I Wrote "Adult Books"

Was asked last night whether I'd ever consider writing "adult" books. My inclination, as usual, is to dispute the premise of the question, as I don't see the same unbridgeable chasm between "adult" and "teen" fiction that others seem so committed to. I'd approach and execute a novel narrated by a 40 year old exactly the same way I'd a. and e. one narrated by a 15 year old, mutatis mutandis. A demographcially-tailored "feature set" in a novel seems to me a terrible idea when you're trying to present an authentic character from the inside, whatever his or her age might be.

But it does occur to me that if I keep writing about these guys and I do it for awhile, as I plan to do, they're going to reach adult-hood (or as close to it as any of get in our society) fairly quickly. In fact, Sam Hellerman is already twenty-one when he pops briefly into Andromeda Klein, and both Tom and Sam would be in their early thirties at the current date if I'm doing the math right. So, there's your "adult novel" right there. All it has to do is get itself written.

As for how an adult novel might differ from a teen novel, I'd guess that an adult novel might be less dark, less cynical, less morally ambiguous and complex, less "meta", with a more conventional, traditional narration and plotline, a simpler vocabulary, and would be far more likely to resolve cleanly and tritely with an edifying lesson that makes the reader feel good about him or herself and his or her assumptions about how good people ought to think and feel. That's just a guess though. Stay tuned.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 08:33 PM

Art by Kozik


Posted by Dr. Frank at 04:18 PM

December 16, 2014



Posted by Dr. Frank at 06:32 PM

plus ça change

Beth pointed out this paragraph that closes Dickens's "preface to the first cheap edition" of Nicholas Nickleby:

There is only one other point, on which I would desire to offer a remark. If Nicholas be not always found to be blameless or agreeable, he is not always intended to appear so. He is a young man of an impetuous temper and little or no experience; and I saw no reason why such a hero should be lifted out of nature.
It is really quite something that this is still a thing you find yourself having to say in the 21st century. Or perhaps it's not so surprising, given our slow and steady transmogrification into pseudo-meta-neo-Victorians (or whatever the hell we are these days.) It's NOT OKAY!

Posted by Dr. Frank at 06:07 PM

December 15, 2014

It Was a Pretty Good Week


-- Check out Nathan Pensky's review of King Dork Approximately over at the AV Club. (It got an A!)

-- Alex Scordelis interviewed me for Vice/Noisey and this cool piece was the result.

-- I did two songs on the Chris Gethard Show last week, and you can watch the show here:

And, well... a whole lot has happened in the last week, probably too much to aggregate here at the moment. If you're interested, you can scroll back to the beginning (Sun. Dec 7 in Oakland) through the middle (12/9 in NYC) to the cliffhanger ending (Seattle) on the facebook, twitter, tumblr, and instagram. That's way more rock and roll than I usually cram into a week, I can tell you that. But there's more to come if things work out like they're supposed to...

In the meantime, come see me at Book Passage tonight (Mon. 12/15, 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco, 6PM.)

Posted by Dr. Frank at 05:26 PM

December 06, 2014



Posted by Dr. Frank at 05:22 PM

This would go in the scrapbook, if we still had scrapbooks

Hey, so I made the Reason Holiday Book Guide. Or, my book did, rather.

...The narrator, Tom Henderson, is simply one of the greatest voices of adolescent angst ever. I was turned on to King Dork by my then-teenaged son, who devoured the new book like a starving man devours his first meal in weeks. Whether you're male or female, old or young, these two books will put into words feelings that you've always struggled first to express and then to repress...

Now, that's a blurb!

Posted by Dr. Frank at 04:04 PM


Got a box of the KDA audiobooks yesterday. The reader is Lincoln Hoppe, who did such a great job on the first book. I'm still working my way up to listening to it myself, though, because hearing someone else "perform" your words like that can be quite unsettling, even when you're grateful that they're out there doing it (as of course I am.)

Pre-ordering it will make the Listening Library people, and me, a bit happier today, which is, I trust, quite high on your list of priorities.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 03:21 PM

December 05, 2014

Come to my shows

Posted by Dr. Frank at 08:43 PM

The Bay Area's Least Angry Punk Band


Here are things that happened:

-- I feel like I've been listening to KQED's Cy Musiker and Dave Wiegand talk about where to go and what to do for years and years but this is, I'm pretty sure, the first time they've ever mentioned me. "T. B. A.'s L. A. P. B." Sounds about right...

-- Also under the auspices of KQED, if auspices means what I think it does, here's a very nice piece about me and stuff from former bandmate Gabel Meline.

-- Here's Tony DuShane's profile of me and my book in the SF Chronicle.

-- Five Literary Events to Attend this Week that Don't Include James Franco.

-- East Bay Express previews the 1234Go 12/7 book launch and my guitar, named for my alter ego.

-- John Corey Whaley (author of the Printz winning novel Where Things Come Back and this year's NogginNoggin generously includes King Dork on his list of top ten coming of age stories Nogginin the Guardian.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 08:18 PM

King Dork Approximately

Posted by Dr. Frank at 05:45 PM

December 04, 2014

King Dork Approximately: the shirt


Interpunk has KDA shirts now.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 07:46 PM

As catchphrases go...


More here.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 07:27 PM



(Come see him play etc at the KDA book release show, 1234 Go! Records, 420 40th St, Oakland, Sunday 12/7, 7PM, free.)

Posted by Dr. Frank at 03:12 AM

December 03, 2014

Give the Gift of Angst


Here are some links to consider when working on your Christmas list. Suggestion: keep it simple. KDA for everybody.

-- Hiya Swanhuyser wrote this piece about me and my bloodshot eye for SF Weekly.

-- Posh Deluxe of Forever YA reunites with Tom Henderson under the aegis of Kirkus. It could only happen on the internet.

-- Sara of Novel Novice video-interviewed me at a Portland Barnes & Noble and you can watch it here. And here's her review of the book. Thanks, Sara!

-- King Dork gets a shout-out (if "shout-out" means what I think it does) from the romance fiction site Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. Much appreciated, ladies.

-- recommends buying King Dork Approximately for everyone on your Christmas list. And who am I to argue with

-- Yet another Christmas list recommendation from Emma Silvers at SF Weekly.

-- The Scottish Book Trust sounds important (or possibly like a slang term for some sort of con game involving posing as a Scotsman selling some rare book other -- not sure how it works, and if anyone knows please tell me.) In any case, King Dork rates a mention in this list of eight novels about adolescence for adults from the musician-novelist Lewis Gordon.

-- Entering the King Dork Approximately Contest the Daily Fig (from entails writing a 250 word story based on your favorite song to listen to while writing. Ten winners will receive a "prize package of Figment swag" and get their stories featured in their newsletter. You have till Dec. 19 to get in on this.

-- Some complex thoughts and feelings on King Dork Approximately.

-- I am interviewed Publishers Weekly.

-- King Dork Approximately receives the Central Rappahannock Regional Library seal of approval.

--Graphic novelist Mariko Tamaki credits King Dork as the book that made her comfortable with her place in YA literature. Sometimes all it takes is a really gritty book. Thanks for the plug, Mariko!

-- "King Dork Approximately," the song, is on i-Tunes. See the video at the AV Club. Pre-order the cassingle from Mooster Records here.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 08:04 PM

Hey Hey Hey Little Rock and Roll


So the theme song to the new book "King Dork Approximately" is now out as a digital thing and the song and video are being hosted by the AV Club today. You can get it on iTunes, too, and on pretty much all the other places where people get things like that.

The forthcoming cassingle from Mooster Records can be pre-ordered here.

More as this story develops.

Posted by Dr. Frank at 06:44 PM

December 01, 2014



Posted by Dr. Frank at 05:04 PM

November 29, 2014



Posted by Dr. Frank at 04:52 PM

November 21, 2014

Includes Common Core State Standards Correlations


Posted by Dr. Frank at 09:38 PM

November 20, 2014




She's going to be appearing at the King Dork Approximately event thing in NYC on December 9.


Posted by Dr. Frank at 03:49 PM