LATFOB: blogger, TV writer and novelist Pamela Ribon


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As a preview for the L.A. Times Festival of Books, coming up April 24-25, Jacket Copy is talking to some of the authors who will be there. On Monday, we get the scoop from blogger, TV writer, novelist and roller derby maven Pamela Ribon, aka Pamie from You can catch her on the Fiction: Forging Ahead panel on April 24 at 1:30 p.m. She answered Carolyn Kellogg’s questions via e-mail.

Jacket Copy: You’ve written TV shows (most recently, ‘Romantically Challenged’), your blog, plays and novels. Which is the most fun? (Our bloggy feelings won’t be hurt if you say something else.)


Pamela Ribon: I wouldn’t do any of them if they weren’t fun in their own way. What keeps me engaged is the level of collaboration with each. Writing novels is extremely solitary, and I get too into my own head when I’m thinking about them or working on them. Luckily, television requires too many people in order to make them, so it balances out. The blog is the only place where I don’t get notes. (This isn’t entirely true. I get hate mail, of course. But those aren’t notes as much as they are confessions from anonymous humans with boundary issues.)

JC: Those of us who follow you on Twitter know that you play roller derby, like the narrator in your new novel ‘Going in Circles.’ Have you broken anything? Recently?

PR: I broke my tailbone early on when I was learning how not to fall. That was 18 months ago. Most days hurt, with whiplash and bruises and some nasty hematomas. But most recently, I am currently in a knee brace waiting for a follow-up appointment with an orthopedic surgeon to find out what I’ve done to myself. During my last bout I fell hard onto my knees and felt something pop. I finished the game, but woke up unable to fully bend or extend my left leg. We won, so it was worth it.

JC: What are you currently reading?

PR: I was out of town with nothing but a bum knee and a bikini, so I read a stack of books. I read ‘Normal People Don’t Live Like This,’ by Dylan Landis, which made me remember just how uncool I was in high school. These girls would never have hung out with me. I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s ‘Committed,’ which was good and reminded me how much I enjoyed Anne Kingston’s ‘The Meaning of Wife.’ I read Phil Rosenthal’s, ‘You’re Lucky You’re Funny: How Life Becomes a Sitcom,’ which was good and reminded me how much I enjoyed Gary David Goldberg’s ‘Sit Ubu Sit: How I Went from Brooklyn to Hollywood with the Same Woman, the Same Dog, and a Lot Less Hair.’ I also recently read and highly recommend Rebecca Skloot’s ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,’ which constantly made me feel like cancer was spreading inside of my body. I have yet to answer your question. I am currently about to start reading ‘Blind Spots: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things.’

JC: Do you have a favorite book or movie about Los Angeles?


PR: I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that before. For a movie, I think it’s ‘True Romance.’ Is that OK? For a book: ‘The Bones’ by Seth Greenland.

CK: What do you plan to see or do at the festival this year?

PR: This is sad, but I think it’s true. Over the weekend, wherever you see Cecil Castellucci (and it’s a few places, she’s got some panels and stuff. Whatever, I hear things...) somewhere, in some corner or against some wall, awkward and awestruck, afraid to approach, chest-clutching her weathered copies of ‘The Plain Janes’ and ‘Boy Proof,’ will be me.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Left photo: Pamela Ribon as an author. Credit: Simon and Schuster

Right photo: Ribon tearing it up with the L.A. Derby Dolls. Credit: Marc Campos