UIndy, 2010

I read at UIndy a few weeks after John Green. Holy cow, that’s a hard act to follow.

In the audience, I see two Indianapolis friends of mine: Erik Deckers and Bryan Furuness.

I met Bryan back in 2005 or 2006. He sent me an email and asked if I’d do an interview with him for Hobart. I was so flattered. All the cool young kids were reading Hobart. I couldn’t believe he was interested in my old-fashioned book. Now that I’m back in Indiana, I run into him from time to time at literary things, and it makes me happy to remember that email I got from him all those years ago, how much of a boost it gave me at a bad time in my writing life.

I met Erik back in 2007 or 2008 when I was working on Comeback Season. I joined a Ning community called Smaller Indiana. I was just starting to think seriously about moving home to Indiana, but all I could remember was growing up and feeling isolated, like there weren’t any people who liked the things I liked and were smart and cool and not conservative and angry all the time. Then I joined Smaller Indiana and discovered there were LOTS of cool, positive, forward thinking people back home. Erik was one of them. He was one of the first people to greet me on Smaller Indiana, and he came to my Comeback Season reading in Carmel. We’ve been friends ever since–like Bryan, first online, then IRL.