Wanda Lynne Young: Bookalicious


Q&A with Mindy Kaling

The Office's Kelly Kapoor


I've always been a fan of British comedies. Absolutely Fabulous was a big fave for me and of course the original version of The Office is still on the top of my sitcom list, along with anything involving Ricky Gervais. When The Office was adapted for a North American audience I was thrilled to bits to follow the new cast of characters and their workplace drama.

A particularly interesting character is office assitant Kelly Kapoor. She's an office joke of sorts but in a "Can you believe she said that?" but "Oh, I just love her style" kind of way. Kelly is a self absorbed, Beyonce-esque diva who unwittingly lightens the mood among the more serious office brood. Mindy Kaling plays Kelly Kapoor and she's also a writer for The Office. I've always wondered how that works when an actor does double duty in front and behind the tv screen. When it comes to these multi-talented Tina Fey types, I wonder how much of the writers personality goes into the character? Where does Kelly Kapoor end and Mindy Kaling begin? 

I was pleased to learn more about Mindy in her aptly titled book Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me? And Other Concerns. In her memoir Mindy shares stories from her past as a timid child of immigrant parents. She shares her early stints as an impersonator and an Off-Broadway performer and playright. Mindy gives tips on relationships and shares how she deals with fame in the Hollywood spotlight. Mindy Kaling is a gal who is molded by sugar and spice and everything nice. That might sound kind of trite but Mindy admits to being as girly as they come. She surfs Etsy for fab finds and blogs about having a thing for heart-shaped baking pans but adds that she's not much into baking. To look at her styling fashions and red carpet glamour poses, you wouldn't guess Mindy got her television start staring as an androgenous child. I know you will want to learn more about this talented and witty actress and author but before you head out to pick up her book Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me? And Other Concerns you should take a look at the Q&A below and enter the marvelous mind of Mindy. If you want more Mindy you can check out her website The Concerns of Mindy Kaling, follow her on Twitter @MindyKaling, and find her on Facbook and Tumblr.
Q&A with Mindy Kaling
 What is this book about?
 In this book I write a lot about romance, female friendships, unfair situations that now seem funny in retrospect, unfair situations that I still don’t think are funny, Hollywood, heartache, and my childhood. Just that really hard-core, masculine stuff men love to read about. I wrote this book in a way that reflects how I think. Sometimes it’s an essay or story, and sometimes it’s a pliest, which is a piece with a list- y quality, a term I’ve just made up.
 Is this one of those guide books celebrities write for girls?
 Oh, hell no. I’m only marginally qualified to be giving advice at all. My body mass index is certainly not ideal, I frequently use my debit card to buy things that cost less than three dollars, because I never have cash on me, and my bedroom is so untidy it looks like vandals ransacked the Anthropologie Sale section. I’m kind of a mess. I did, however, fulfill a childhood dream of writing and acting in television and movies. Armed with that confidence, alongside a lifelong love of the sound of my own voice, yes, I’ve put some advice in this book.
However, you should know I disagree with a lot of traditional advice. For instance, they say the best revenge is living well. I say it’s acid in the face—who will love them now? Another old saying is that revenge is a dish best served cold. But it feels best served piping hot, straight out of the oven of outrage. My opinion? Take care of revenge right away. Push, shove, scratch that person while they’re still within arm’s reach. Don’t let them get away! Who knows when you’ll get this opportunity again?
 Do you offer up a lot of opinions in this book?
 A little bit. I do lay in some opinions here and there. For example, I don’t think it should be socially acceptable for people to say they are “bad with names.” No one is bad with names. That is not a real thing. Not knowing people’s names isn’t a neurological condition; it’s a choice. You choose not to make learning people’s names a priority. It’s like saying, “Hey, a disclaimer about me: I’m rude.” For heaven’s sake, if you don’t know someone’s name, just pretend you do. Do that thing everyone else does, where you vaguely say, “Nice to see you!” and make weak eye contact.
 So, is this book like a women’s magazine?
 Not really, but if it reads like a really funny magazine, I’ll be psyched. I love magazines. You can’t walk by a magazine and not sit down and read it. You try to throw away a magazine and if you don’t push it down in the trash enough, it somehow resurfaces on the fl oor of your TV room. I know this because I swear my house has been haunted by the same December 2004 issue of Glamour magazine for the past seven years.
 What else should I know about you?
 (1) There is no sunrise so beautiful that it is worth waking me up to see it.
(2) I would like to be friends with Beyoncé Knowles.
Well, I think I’ve covered everything and have still maintained an air of sexy mystery about myself. I feel good about this.
Love, Mindy Kaling
Random House Canada has copies of Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me? And Other Concerns to give to two lucky Bookalicious readers who share their favorite moment from The Office.
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You must be a Yummy Mummy Club member to win. Click to sign up! It's free and filled with perks. One comment per member. Entries accepted until February 3rd, 2012. Contest open to Canadian residents. Winners will be picked using www.random.org. Please mark the email [email protected] as a "safe sender" when you enter a Bookalicious giveaway and respond within 1 week to claim your prize!
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Relish reading,
Excerpt from Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling © 2011 published with permission from Random House Canada.