Funny Novels and Narrative Jokes: Q&A with Erin Judge

Erin Judge is a standup comic and writer out of LA, or, in her words, "a plus-sized bisexual nightclub entertainer who also writes literay fiction." She just released her debut novel, Vow of Celibacyan intimate and au courant story about sexuality, relationships, fashion, blogging and the titular oath of abstinence, published by Rare Bird Books

We last heard from Judge back in April in this webcam interview we conducted with her and her tourmates on the Pink Collar Comedy Tour. This Saturday she returns to Seattle for a reading/comedy show at Elliott Bay. I asked Judge a few questions about writing and comedy.

City Arts: You write jokes and novels. How do the two writing processes differ? What do you get from each? 
Erin Judge: I wrote my novel when I was first working as a full-time standup comedian, so I was either catching time to write in cities I didn't know that well or working on it when I was at home between gigs. Also, my novel is pretty funny, and my jokes are pretty narrative. So the two really complement each other.

With stand-up, I get to talk about myself, my perspective and my own life. With novels I get to make stuff up. After so many years of telling the truth as a comedian, making stuff up as a novelist feels extra fun.

Are there things about yourself you'd disclose in a book that you'd never talk about onstage? 
My book is totally fiction, so it's not about disclosure for me so much as what I'm interested in exploring with a narrative structure. In the book I get to delve deep into issues of sexuality, body acceptance, high school, the fashion industry, anonymous bloggers and all kinds of other topics that don't get much air time when I'm on stage, mostly because they're not about my own experience. I'm totally honest about myself and the events of my life when I'm telling jokes, so with writing fiction, I get to explore a whole separate realm of creativity.

What can people expect to see at the Elliott Bay event?
I'm so excited about Saturday night at Elliott Bay. I co-host a monthly stand-up show in LA with the comedian Jenny Chalikian, and she's traveling around the country with me to host the comedy book tour shows. In Seattle we'll be joined by hilarious comics Val Nigro and Sarah Skilling and Twitter phenom and hilarious essayist Mike Primavera. I'll do some stand-up and read from the book, and at the end Jenny leads our unique take on bookstore Q&A. Audience members should be ready to laugh and also to feel shocked and amazed that they get to see so much quality entertainment for free. 

See Judge this Saturday at Elliott Bay Book Company.

See more in Books & Talks, Comedy