I have been following Ginny Hogan’s work for little less than a year and her standup pieces crack me up big time. I hadn’t known about her book then, but when I did, reading it made me laugh, cry and rage all at the same time. As wonderfully witty as she is, she is also accessible and kind to take some time out to do this interview for us.
Have you read her book? If you haven’t, read this interview. You are in for a treat!
What is your one-line introduction of yourself?
I’m an LA-based stand up comic and writer.
What is your most recently published or almost published book and how long did it take you to write it?
My most recently published book is Toxic Femininity in the Workplace, and it took me about 5 months to write. I’m also working on pitching a book about drunk texting, and I’ve drafted a novel about my time in the mayonnaise industry.
What inspired you to write ‘Toxic Femininity in the Workplace: Office Gender Politics Are a Battlefield’?
I worked in tech for three years, mostly on teams of all men. I wrote an initial article making fun of men in the workplace, and then that turned into a whole book. It took me about five months.
Could you talk about the style you have used in this book? It is not a regular prosaic book, but a list of witty comebacks that every woman can relate to. Did it seem like a risk while deciding to publish it?
It seemed like a risk in the way that most of my comedy does — trolls do attack me on Twitter, but that hasn’t stopped me. I think most people can tell it’s humor, although I’m now followed by multiple Twitter accounts entitled, “Feminism is Cancer.” It’s hard to be a woman on the internet anyway, so I might as well write the stuff I want to write.
How long have you been doing standup? Does your experience as a comedian aid in your life as a writer?
I’ve been doing stand up almost four years, and yes, definitely! Stand up is all about getting the most jokes out of the fewest words, so I try to apply that to my writing, too.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I’m really into Nora Ephron right now. The last book I was obsessed with was The Recovering by Leslie Jamison. I quit drinking recently and read maybe 20 sobriety memoirs — hers is my favorite. Paul Rudnick’s satire makes me laugh out loud. My all-time favorite might be Laura Hillenbrand — I’m just so in love with Seabiscuit.
What’s the best criticism you’ve received? Aside from being selected as Vulture’s 10 Best Comedy Books of 2019.
I was so grateful for the press we got around the time of the book’s launch! We were featured in the New Yorker and Refinery29 and PopSugar and a few other places. It’s also just really nice when someone I haven’t heard from in years reaches out to say they liked it.
What’s the worst criticism you’ve received and how did you take it?
I’m not sure. I have a lot of Twitter trolls. I usually react by blocking them. I made a point to not read Amazon reviews. If you hated it, don’t tell me!
What effect do you wish to have on people when they read your book?
I hope they laugh. Above all, I want it to be funny.
Any other book coming up in 2020?
I’m working on some new projects! Too new to say, though.
Ginny’s first book, Toxic Femininity in the Workplace: Office Gender Politics Are a Battlefield, came out on September 10th, 2019. The book is based on Ginny’s viral New Yorker article, Examples of Toxic Femininity in the Workplace.
Vaishnavi is a writer, self-taught filmmaker among other things. You can read all of her work by signing up for her newsletter.