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INTERVIEW: Emma Koenig on boys, blogs and being in her 20s

We can’t wait to co-host the London launch for Emma Koenig’s F*CK! I’M IN MY TWENTIES with her publisher Chronicle Books at Drink, Shop and Dance on Thursday. She was kind enough to answer some questions for us over the internet from the USA about her blog, her friends and her twenties. Obviously!

You mentioned in an interview that you originally thought about making a zine – are zines an area of interest and if so which ones are your favourites/have you read?
I actually am not a zine expert by any means, which is part of the reason it never became a zine! However, I am fascinated by them and want to do more exploring in the zine world.

In one of our early issues of Pamflet we inserted an advertisement asking for 30-something mentors to guide us through our various career woes and general existential questions as confused 20-somethings. Have you had any mentors on- or off-line who’ve helped you out?
My main mentors have been my parents and my brother, as well as my friends. Their support and advice has helped me immensely.

Which has been your most popular post on the Tumblr?
I’m not sure which is the most popular, but I think one of the earlier ones that got a lot of reblogs was about my favorite time of day being between 12am and 4am.

How did you find working with an editor and the book-making process? The blog has an appealing, chaotic feel, but in the book it all fits together into helpful categories
Working with an editor was great! It was nice to transition from personal deadlines to professional deadlines. There is a deliberate order to the pages in the book, but no explicit structure so it stays pretty true to the feel of the blog.

We’d love to know the story of how you met your boyfriend too… please share!
My boyfriend Dave was part of the first wave of FIIMT followers on Tumblr. I was very vigilant about who was following at that point and he stood out to me. Months later, I saw a viral video of him and thought he was a kindred spirit. We ended up following each other on twitter and agreed to meet up when I got to LA. We hung out the first day I got here and we really hit it off! The whole thing is still pretty unbelievable to me.

Do you still think ‘FUCK. I’m in my 20s’ or have things got a bit better now/are you used to it?
My situation has definitely improved since I began the blog, but I still have a lot to figure out. As wonderful as having a book out is, it doesn’t serve as a tool to bypass the usual frustrations, fears, and self-loathing.

A lot of your scenarios focus on the humour that arises when situations are really not what you expected them to be or when your expectations are too high – rubbish parties, being friends with people on Facebook who you don’t really know or like – do you think that social media makes things difficult for us as it’s all about how you present yourself? because equally I suppose you could have done ‘AWESOME! I’m in My 20s’ and been like YES my job rules etc. Which perhaps would have been dishonest but… you know what I mean!
Aah I’m not sure if I do know what you mean! This is a complex issue so I’m not going to do it justice, but let me attempt to sum it up in a few sentences: I think social media and the internet have had a profound effect on how we see ourselves. Often, it can make it seem like everyone is having an amazing time except for us. The idea of ‘AWESOME! I’m in my Twenties’ would only support the proliferation of that ‘Everyone’s life is better than mine’ anxiety.  In any case, I was motivated to create FIIMT because I was very unhappy with myself and my life. This was my way of coping. I wouldn’t want to present something as autobiographical if it wasn’t.

How much time did you spend on the blog when you first started/i.e. how did you make it fit in around your money-job
When I first started it, I posted almost daily. I would work during the day as a cashier and then do the drawings at night. If it was slow at work, I would write out ideas and draw some sketches, there, as well.

Did it start as a notebook/how did you actually make it?
I started out drawing them in my notebook, but from the beginning this was a project with an end goal and I always knew the work had to leave the notebook at some point. [See the FIIMT book trailer for a proper demo of Emma and her notebook]

What’s the best thing about being in your twenties?
The best thing about being in your twenties is experiment with what makes you happy. That’s not unique to being in your twenties, but it’s the first time you have to do so without any kind of structure.

And the worst?
One of the worst things is the self-doubt.

Who are your favourite 20-somethings famous or not-so-famous?
All my favorite twenty-somethings are my close friends!

FIIMT (Chronicle Books) is out now priced £6.99.

The launch is this Thursday from 8.30pm at Drink, Shop and Dance. Facebook event here. There will be something called a ‘quarter-life crisis cocktail’ available at the bar…


Special announcement: PAMFLET PORT ELIOT FESTIVAL LINE-UP

IT’S READY!

If you’re coming to the summer’s chicest, funnest, floral-garlanded, cider-fuelled festival, please pay us a visit in the Sipsmith Tent in the Wardrobe Department this Saturday! Here’s our programme of afternoon salons around the theme of GREAT BRITISH PARTY STYLE (for obvious reasons):

PAMFLET PRESENTS

If you didn’t come to party then why did you come here?

Yep we’re returning to the Wardrobe Department after invading Barbara Hulanicki’s tent with our cosy pink bedroom last year. Join us on the cushions in our gin den for an afternoon of salons about Great British Party style. Get inspired by stories around hostesses, nightowls and share your party memories. With the help of some very special guests, we’ll explore the importance of the special occasion in women’s wardrobes, histories and literature.

Anna-Marie + Phoebe

Pamflet Editors/Hostesses

12noon

Introduction to the salon

1-1.30pm

Take Me Out: Proms, house parties & coming-of-age in books & the movies with guest speaker Rose Gardner*, editor of young adult fiction at Penguin Books.
2-2.30pm

Having a Ball: hostesses, society dos and ‘the season’ >> with guest speaker the writer and filmmaker Hannah Rothschild*. She’ll be discussing her fascinating new book The Baroness.
3-3.30pm

Missbehaviour: bad girl icons from flappers to IT girls & the moral ups & downs of dressing up

4-4.30pm

The Great Outdoors: festivals, garden parties & flower shows>> how roofless entertaining has changed & challenged our wardrobes

*PAMFLET SALONETTES:

Rose Gardner is a young adult fiction editor at Penguin Books, and a teen culture devotee. She moved into publishing by way of fashion, with stints as an Agent Provocateur girl, a Vivienne Westwood Gold Label girl, and a costume designer. She loves clothes and books equally. Other interests include heavy eyebrows, nail art and Judy Blume.

Hannah Rothschild is a writer and director. Her documentary features have appeared on the BBC, HBO and at film festivals including Telluride, the London Film Festival and Sheffield.

Working Title and Ridley Scott optioned her original screenplays. Her features and interviews appear in newspapers and magazines including W, Vanity Fair, the Telegraph, Times, New York Times, Spectator and British and American Vogue. The Baroness, her biography of her great-aunt, the notorious society gal Pannonica Rothschild, was published by Virago in May.

Book publicist Anna-Marie and freelance journalist Phoebe have been making Pamflet, a photocopied-zine and online magazine covering feminism, fashion and books since 2005. They also run the Pamflet salons in London, intimate literary nights with guest speakers, wine, cake and book chat.


Crazy Lady Fun this week with FBS & Ladyfest

Pamflet friends For Books’ Sake are launching their first fabulous and filthy short story anthology in London tonight. Short Stack contains ten girl-penned tales and showcases the best in new female pulp fiction. They’ll be celebrating publication with imprint Pulp Press from 7pm at the Tamesis Dock tonight (and what a glorious day for a party on the Thames!). If you can’t make it along this evening,  the Kindle version is available now on Amazon and keep an eye on the FBS website for updates on how to buy the paperback edition. Full party details are on Facebook.

 Katie Allen, books journalist and editor of Fat Quarter magazine  is co-organising Ladyfest East London which is happening this Saturday. Regrettably neither Phoebe nor I can attend because we will be at another ladyfest (of sorts) this weekend (our friend’s hen extravaganza at a secret location). Ladyfest East London is offering an impressive line-up of crafty workshops, book readings, standup and cute bands plus DJs til late, all for only a fiver (or £6 on the door) from 2pm at the Hoxton Bar and Kitchen. They’ve already had to upgrade due to popular demand from their original venue and knowing Katie, it should be a busy and fun LFest. Get your tickets here.


PAMFLET PARTYTIME! The Heartbreaker Ball at DSD

After the fun, excitement and hangovers of our Christmas party (winter daiquiris! sequins! etc), Drink, Shop and Dance are letting us back in their basement for a pre-Valentine’s Day party on Friday 10 February. Because everyone pretends to HATE this February luv-fest and because some of the best songs ever are written in blood and tears after serious heartbreak, we’ll be playing records about getting dumped, single-ladies and D.I.V.O.R.C.E. all sung in riotous anger (and ok, the odd fuzzy love song too). More details soon, please be our date. Click here for the Facebook invite x x x


There ain’t no party like a Pamflet party

Here at Pamflet we love to party. And not in an edgy, standing around posing and pouting way, no WAY jose! We’re talking jumping around on a sticky dancefloor, headbanging so hard you get whiplash, falling over, spilling drinks, doing elaborate dance routines and singing all the lyrics to Britney, Madonna, Gaga etc. and generally having lots of fun in a not-at-all-cool way. In this spirit we threw a festive bash last night at Drink, Shop & Dance, the chic new club space below our beloved Drink, Shop & Do in King’s Cross.

We enlisted the lovely Pamflettes George (aka The Glitterbird), Verity & her pal Georgie Okell and Kelly (What She Said blogmistress) to take turns on the decks and they all did a sterling job inspiring many a hands-in-the-air, singalong moment. Ah, memories! We’re feeling thoroughly sodden in Christmas spirit (and DSD’s luscious Winter Daiquiris) today and are so grateful to our ace DJs and everyone who made it down to the cosy basement on such a windswept, apocalyptic December night. Merry Christmas, everyone!xx

Songs we played:

Kelly: Deelite Groove is in the Heart, Beats International Dub Be Good to Me (& more on the way)

Verity/Georgie: Little Dragon Little Man, M.I.A XXXO, Sleigh Bells Infinity Guitars, Niki and the Dove The Fox, Willow Smith Whip My Hair

George: Sleigh Bells Treats, Robyn Dancing on my own, Destiny’s child jumpin’ jumpin’, TLC no scrubs, Nelly Furtado say it right, No doubt just a girl

Phoebe: Ludella Black I’ve Just Seen a Face, Hole Rock Star, Gwen Stefani What You Waiting For, 4 Non Blondes What’s Going On, Suzanne Vega Luca, Britney Gimme More, Elastica Connection, PJ Harvey This is Love, Lady Gaga Judas, Madonna La Isla Bonita, The Bangles Hazy Shade of Winter, The Shirelles, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, Eurythmics, Sweet Dreams, The Ronettes, Be My Baby.

Anna-Marie: Supremes Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Creep You & Days (Azari III remix), Austra Lose It & Beat and the Pulse, Kreayshawn Bumpin, Cerrone Supernature, Holy Ghost & Nancy Whang I Wanted to Tell Her, Lady Gaga Heavy Metal Lover, Madonna Lucky Star & Music, Abba Dancing Queen, Little Boots Shake, Grace Jones Warm Leatherette, Mark Ronson Record Collection, The Flirts Calling All Boys, Shampoo I Know What Boys Like, Beyonce Run the World (Girls).

 


Pamflovin’

"Vogue loves...Indie mags: Hogarthian graphics and modern feminism from Pamflet"

"It makes me feel less despair to know that somewhere deep inside the Jordanization of modern Britain there are still a few angry feminists out there." Zadie Smith

"Pamflet is the photocopy-quality soapbox for two young, sarky post-feminists from London who want women’s rights and the right to wear pretty things, and want it, like, yesterday." Sunday Times Style

"They’re funny and honest and write about fashion with feminism so I’m obviously all over it." Tavi

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