David Wong's Blog
October 6, 2013
So, what’s new? A lot, actually.
First of all, I should point out that I don’t update this site so much because I quite frankly have too many sites to update. Day to day stuff goes on the Facebook page and Twitter. My non-book writing goes up every month at Cracked, and I’m always hanging around the forum there. If you want to hear my voice, I’ve started showing up in the Cracked podcast.
But if you only rely on this page for updates, let me catch you up.
I am writing (well, revising mostly) the next book, titled Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits. It’s a non-John and Dave book but it’s not like it’s a romance set in Nazi-occupied Paris or anything. If you liked the last two books, you’ll almost certainly like this one. The opening line of the novel is:
If Zoey Ashe had known she was being stalked by a man who intended to kill her and then slowly eat her bones, she would have worried more about that and less about getting her cat off the roof.
Unrelated photo of our bunny
It’s not due in to the publisher until the end of next year, because I write slow. BUT to tide you over, we’ve included the first FIVE chapters (about 50 pages) in the paperback edition of This Book is Full of Spiders, which is on shelves as of October 8th:
Oh, also Cracked’s new full-color book is coming out at the end of October. That’s been keeping us all busy the last few months. Oh and Cracked launched a merchandise store, so I’m helping with that, picking out designs and such. And I helped put together this new video series, hosted by my boss, Jack O’Brien. Also, I recently moved to a new city. And then I had my wisdom teeth surgically removed. I think that’s about it. So that’s been my life recently, just writing on the new novel, writing monthly columns at Cracked, writing occasional QuickFix articles like this one, recording podcasts, helping manage the merchandise store, helping create the new video series, acting as administrator of Cracked message boards, editing Cracked feature articles, updating the JDATE social media pages, supervising the six employees I now have under me and answering a few hundred emails a week from Cracked fans, book fans, the publisher, my agent and my bosses. And moving into the new place and getting the old place ready to sell. I think that’s it.
It actually sounds like a lot when I put it all into one paragraph like that.
Oh and JDATE came out in China at some point
“So, what’s an average week like for David Wong?” asks no one, ever, not even my family. Good question! Let’s run through one:
Monday: Since I work from home, everything with Cracked is done via conference call and a massive swarm of emails. So I wake up at around 8 or 9 am and start sifting through email and private messages, doing triage to figure out which ones are emergencies, which are important but not time sensitive, and which can be put on the back burner. After two or three hours of this, I start prepping for the 1 pm call where we go over article pitches. This call lasts about an hour. At 2 pm I have a second call with my superiors, to discuss all of the many things I probably did wrong the previous week. Then at around 4 pm I start editing feature articles, stop to eat at around 7 pm, and then come back and edit until around midnight.
Tuesday: Wake up at 8 or 9, answer emails, again prep for the 1 pm conference call. Then I do a different 2 pm conference call. Then there’s a 5 pm conference call that can last between 30 minutes and 3 hours, depending on what my duties are for that meeting. After that’s over, I do the final edit on the four Cracked Photoplasty contests and usually finish them around midnight. If I’m not too sleepy I might try to squeeze in an article edit, in which case I’ll get to bed at 2 or 3 am.
Wednesday: Wake up at 8 or 9, answer emails, prep for the 1 pm conference call, etc. Once more there’s another 2 pm conference call after that. If I’m part of the upcoming Friday editorial conference call (the big call where we decide what feature articles we want to run – this is different from the 1 pm call I do every day) then I begin going over the dozens and dozens of article pitches. This usually takes about 15 hours, usually split up between Wednesday/Thursday.
Thursday: Wake up at 8 or 9, answer emails, prep for 1 pm conference call. Finish prepping for the Friday editorial meeting. I HAVE to get article editing done on this day, so this is usually a late night depending on when the article pitches are finished. It’s not unheard of for this day to end at around 4 or 5 am – it depends on how many article pitches have come in. I’ve seen as few as 50 and as many as 125.
Friday: Wake up at 8 or 9, answer emails, prep for either the 1 pm conference call or the editorial meeting (there’s a rotation to determine which one I have). The latter typically goes two hours, but it has gone as long as four. Once that’s over, it’s now late Friday afternoon and I try to get as much editing done as I can before getting too sleepy.
Saturday/Sunday: If this is a week when I have a column due, this is when it gets written – it usually takes me about 20 to 25 hours to write a column (usually around 12 hours each day of the weekend, then I revise it at some point during the following week). If I don’t have a column due, I devote the weekend to article editing, on those weekends I try to leave about an 8-hour window on Saturday to do something fun.
Obviously this doesn’t leave much room for novel writing, so I use my vacation time to do that — once every 2-3 months I’ll take a week or part of a week of vacation from Cracked to write on the book. I can usually get 20,000 words or so done in a week if I work 16-hour days.
Some of the miscellaneous tasks that have to get worked in around the above include doing book promotion, for instance this post and the regular Facebook updates fall into that category. The occasional signed book, interviews, etc. It can be hard to work that in sometimes. For example, I had oral surgery a few days ago, so I’m typing this under the influence of Hydrocodone, typing with my right hand and holding this ice pack up to my jaw with the left:
So there’s a lot going on. All in all it’s easier than some jobs but harder than others. I mean I don’t have to leave the house or get dressed up, or commute anywhere, so that’s a big one right there.
Anyway, so there’s tons coming up. I’ll have a new column up at Cracked on Tuesday October 8th, same day the Spiders paperback with the free Suits preview comes out (not a coincidence). A new episode of the podcast with me in it comes out on Monday the 14th. New shirt designs hit the store this week, I think. Then we do Halloween Week, the big horror-themed blowout we do every year at Cracked with a bunch of special articles and scary decorations around the site. Then the Cracked book comes out. Then I’m scheduled to fly out to LA and see everybody. Then I’m going to do a complete redesign of this website. Then I’ll need to take a week off and write/revise the book some more. Got to do Christmas shopping at some point…
Anyway, I’m rambling, possibly due to the pain medication and the fact that even with the pills it still feels like the guy from Splinter Cell has dropped down from the ceiling and stabbed me in both sides of the face with a pair of bowie knives.
All in all, things are going well. I think they’re happy with the movie, it seemed to be a fairly big hit on the streaming side (it’s still among the top horror movies on iTunes and is approaching 400,000 ratings on Netflix), so somebody is watching it. Cracked served a billion pageviews from July to September. August was our best traffic month ever. John is doing well, he’s writing a book. Is it time for a pain pill yet? It is. Here, watch this entire video before you go:
April 2, 2013
February 22, 2013
I have signed a two-book deal with my current publisher (Thomas Dunne, a division of St. Martin’s Press). The first book, the one I’m writing now, is going under the working title Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits*, then the next will of course be the third and maybe final John and Dave book.
I’m proud to continue my partnership with the fine people at… you get the idea. Hopefully the new books aren’t terrible. Thanks to everybody for their support.
*We’ll see if this next book continues the trend of my wacky joke working title winding up being the final title. I’m two for two so far.
December 27, 2012
Finally, the moment I’ve been waiting six years for. Get the movie right now via pretty much any streaming service:
For others like the Playstation Network, just search for the title. I’ll add more links as they go live.
The film is also playing in select theaters starting January 25th, but you do not have to wait or worry if it isn’t playing in your city.
Thank you everyone for your support over the years.
If you haven’t friended us on Facebook, please do that now.
October 30, 2012
That’s right; for all of you who read the “in theaters” date and said, “there’s no way this is coming to my town, I’ll just get it off bittorrent!” you have no excuse: it’s going to be available for download right off the bat. Oh, and here’s a brand new trailer:
In my opinion every movie should be released this way, but I am not in charge of distributing movies.
Oh, and somehow I failed to mention here that the sequel, This Book is Full of Spiders, made the New York Times Bestseller list.
October 2, 2012
Many of you are already reading it (looks like it was delivered to ebook devices at midnight last night) and many more of you will receive it today. If you haven’t ordered it yet, theoretically you should be able to go to any decent book store. If you have already read it, I can’t overstate the importance of leaving a review. But you’re obviously not obligated to, the fact that you gave me some of your money is already a pretty big deal.
Anyway, this has been the culmination of five years of on again, off again writing and editing, and one solid year of promotion. I don’t know what else to say. I’m very tired.
So, thanks everybody, hope you like it. I have a shitload of interviews to do.
If you haven’t already, you can order it here. I know this isn’t the type of book that makes the New York Times bestseller list, and I’m not sure I would want to live in a world where that sort of thing happened, but still, if you could buy it this week that’d be great. The Associated Press has reviewed it and seems to like it, if you needed some convincing.
Either way, I hope everyone is well and thanks for hanging around.
September 18, 2012
Yes, books have trailers now:
Good God this publisher is awesome. Do you have any idea what it costs to do something like this, with the effects and all that? And how hard their thugs will beat me if book sales don’t pay them back?
The book is going to be out in two weeks, click here to order it now and get it over with. They can have it at your door on release day if you get the right shipping option.
July 2, 2012
Now go ahead and pre-order the whole thing by clicking these words. It’ll show up at your door on October 2nd (or earlier!) and if you don’t order now, you’re going to get distracted and forget. We both know it. Like ten years from now you’ll be all, “Oh, yeah, he did write another one of those, didn’t he? Whatever happened to that author? Huh, Google says he got eaten to death by bears at his bear ranch.”
By the way, some fans have read even more of the book than you’re about to — we’re giving away 40 or so pages as part of our Alternate Reality Game, which I explained here.
Hope everyone is having a good summer.
May 29, 2012
For those not keeping score, we started an alternate reality game last week, and so far the response has been overwhelmingly positive. If you haven’t been playing along, you’re missing out because players discovered on the very first day, the first few pages of the JDatE sequel, This Book is Full of Spiders. This week, a few more pages will be hidden somewhere. All told, we’re giving away the first 10% of the book, for free, for those who make the effort to find it over the next few months.
These are not fake pages we made up for the sake of this contest. Not some prank pages we just whipped up to fuck with the readers. Over the summer we’ll give out the actual first 40 or so pages of the sequel, that you will not be able to see anywhere else but in this ARG.
As we mentioned last week, on top of that, we will be giving away prizes. And quite a few of them at that — not just signed copies of the book, but much, much more. I’ve been asked by several people about how they’ll be able to win, and what the prizes actually are, and I’ll tell you what I told them: 1) If you’re playing the game, you’ll find out the “how” and “when” concerning the prizes. And 2) We’re not releasing a prize list just yet. I’ve seen what we’re giving away, and it’s goddamn awesome. But if we list the prizes here and then something happens to them before we physically have possession of them, it will let a lot of people down, and we don’t want that. Just trust me, there isn’t a single prize that you won’t punch your own mother to obtain.
Like we mentioned in the last update, this thing does have a difficulty curve. Last week, people found those three book pages in under an hour. That will not be the case as we get further into this thing. Work together. Have fun. And preorder this motherfucker the first chance you get. Preordering is the #1 thing you can do to help an author at this point.
May 21, 2012
Some of you know what an Alternate Reality Game is and some of you do not.
If you’re a member of that second group, the first thing you need to know is we’re going to be giving away some stuff. And I mean a lot of stuff. Stuff that you most definitely can’t get anywhere else. Stuff that you’ll most definitely want, if you’re a fan. If you’re not a fan, this stuff will be next to worthless to you. We are literally wasting your time right now.
But for the rest of you, we’re not just showing up, dressed in Santa costumes and throwing free shit at you — you’re gonna have to earn it. Listen up because shit’s about to get all kinds of real up in this bitch. That’s where the ARG comes in.
An Alternate Reality Game is basically a big, complicated internet scavenger hunt. It is a test of your skill, creativity, patience and spare time. We did one a few years ago before John Dies at the End hit shelves. If you played that one, forget everything you know about how we ran it because we’re taking this one up several levels.
And if you play your cards right, quite a few of you are going to walk away from this thing with some really cool shit that none of your friends will have. Obviously, we’ll be giving away signed copies of the sequel “This Book is Full of Spiders (Seriously, Dude, don’t Touch It),” but that’s expected — there is going to be so much more. Stuff that I can’t even tell you about yet. And I mean legally, because we don’t actually have some of the stuff yet and we don’t want to get sued.
October 2, 2012 — Preorder it here.
So how do you play? Where do you go? What are you looking for? We won’t tell you. Figure it out. Think of it like an Easter egg hunt, except with stupid instead of eggs, and instead of in the park, it’s being held in an abandoned mental hospital.
Want help? Hints? You only have each other to rely on — we have created a thread over at the Cracked boards for people to discuss what they have found, and surely you’ll also find people discussing it over at the Facebook fan page. But I urge you to participate because nobody ever got anywhere in life, just sitting on their ass.
Well, actually, Dave and I did, but we’re kind of the lucky exception to the rule. But you know what I mean. Don’t be a nit-picking asshole.
So anyway, how do you play the game? Figuring that out, is the game. The only note I’ll give you right now is that the clues will get more and more difficult as the weeks go on. This week, I’m sure that veteran ARG players will have their answers within hours of this post. It will get harder. You’ll need to cooperate, and rely on each other. But in the end, there will be only one winner. Well, there’ll be several winners because we have multiple prizes, but you knew what I meant. Fuck you.