Words With Author FriendsPUBLISHED OCT 4, 2019

Ali Wong on "Dear Girls," Learning to Say No, and Serena Williams

Ali Wong

Ali Wong hive assemble. First she had the comedy special “Baby Cobra.” Then came “Hard Knock Wife,” and “Always Be My Maybe.” Now comes...her first book. To celebrate her publishing debut, “Dear Girls,” Wong is talking writing hacks, learning to say no, Serena Williams, and more. Check out her Words With Author Friends below.

Skimm your book for us.

Ali Wong’s heartfelt and hilarious letters to her daughters (the two she put to work while they were still in utero) that cover everything they need to know in life, like the unpleasant details of dating, how to be a working mom in a male-dominated profession, and how she trapped their dad.

What does your business card say?

Stand-up comic, Mother of Dragons.

 Where do you write and when?

I write in my office at night right after putting my kids to bed.

Tell us something readers don’t know about publishing a book…

However hard you think it is, it's 10x harder when you have two kids under the age of 4.

You're hosting a book club: who's invited, what are you reading, and what are you drinking?

I'm inviting all my best 7 girlfriends from UCLA. We're reading "Little Fires Everywhere" and drinking Don Julio 1942.

When you're looking for inspiration, you...

Talk to my husband, Justin Hakuta, who actually wrote the afterword to "Dear Girls". He's the smartest, funniest and most articulate and interesting person I know.

Favorite word? 

Reveal!

Least favorite word?

Juxtaposition. It's so pretentious!

How do you deal with writer's block?

I just keep sending shitty drafts to my editor.

What does success mean to you...

Being deeply engaged in something that's difficult but worthwhile, and having quality time with family and friends.

Hardest career decision you’ve had to make…

Learning to say no after so many years of saying yes to everything.

If you weren’t an author, you’d be…

I hardly feel comfortable calling myself an author yet. Let's see how people feel about this book!

Best advice for an aspiring author... 

Practice writing everyday without the expectation of any of it turning into anything worth publishing.

Worst advice for an aspiring author...

Read as much as possible. You'll get intimidated real fast and that can be so crippling.

What would you die on a hill for?

The chance to talk to Serena Williams about being a working mom.

What story can you not stop thinking about?

Serena Williams's birth. She is one tough queen.

One thing you’d tell your younger self...

Don't slather your body in baby oil and then bake in the sun. 

Favorite book from your childhood?

Roald Dahl's "Matilda."

Book on your nightstand right now?

"Permanent Record" by Mary H.K. Choi.

Who’s your favorite author to follow on insta?

Jenny Han.

PS: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. All opinions expressed by the interviewee are their own.

PPS: "Dear Girls," is editorially selected, but if you purchase it, theSkimm may get something in return. Thanks.

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