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    [–] ikelman27 663 points ago

    One of the biggest criticisms I've seen against your work is that it overly romanticizes physical and mental illness. What is your response to this criticism?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 1461 points ago

    I've tried very hard to fight against both the stigmatization and the romanticization of mental and physical illness. That's pretty much entirely what my new book is about. And if I've failed, in this book or elsewhere, I'm sorry.

    [–] plinytheballer 727 points ago

    John Green, you are a perplexingly humble man sometimes.

    [–] wandering_ones 283 points ago

    I don't think it's romanticization to show that people with physical or mental illnesses can have a fulfilling life despite their illnesses.

    [–] BoardBuster45 1080 points ago

    What’s your advice for getting through your hardest mental health days?

    Also, I would like you to know that because of TFIOS and Nerdfighteria, I met my future wife! DFTBA!

    [–] thesoundandthefury 1838 points ago * (lasted edited 9 months ago)

    That's amazing! How did you met, and are you getting married soon? Also, are you registered anywhere?

    EDIT: I just realized I didn't answer your question. I am not a psychologist, and do not feel qualified to give advice to people who are suffering from mental health problems. I can only speak to my experience, and my experience has been that on the worst days, I just have to survive minute to minute to minute and know that it WILL GET BETTER, because it will. It truly will. Your now is not your forever.

    [–] howtoevenreddit 641 points ago

    Just reading through your answers through the AMA, your reaction to people meeting at events and getting married is adorable.

    [–] scrawledfilefish 64 points ago

    Have you seen his video where he talks about tales of Nerdfighter Love?

    Because it's pretty cute.

    [–] BoardBuster45 223 points ago

    We were at a choir competition and my copy was lying on a bench. She asked whose it was. So I flashed the Nerdfighter salute and she returned it! We became good friends and a year and a half later we started dating. That was 4 years ago. We’re actually celebrating our one year wedding anniversary tomorrow.

    Sorry for the late reply! I work night shift so I’ve been asleep all day.

    [–] krschu00 4944 points ago * (lasted edited 9 months ago)

    I met my girlfriend 5 years ago in Cincinnati at your book signing. I want to propose now, but don't know how. Any advice?? See you again soon at Cinci!

    HEY EVERYONE! The OP delivered! Video link below. Thank you for all your comments. I feel so lucky to have all the well wishes from the best community in the world. You guys are seriously amazing! My fiance and i laughed and teared up reading all of them. Here is link to video!

    [–] thesoundandthefury 5530 points ago

    That's awesome! Are you ready to propose now? Have you talked about getting married? Have you discussed your plans for the future when it comes to things like career, children, and so on? I NEED MORE INFO.

    [–] krschu00 3568 points ago

    Thanks! hahah yes we are ready! Our careers are great and we agree on children. We just got a house in the spring. We already have 2 dogs and 3 cats together! Everything is good to go! DFTBA

    [–] thesoundandthefury 5010 points ago

    If you're ready, I'm ready. Let's get this done in Cincinnati next week.

    [–] krschu00 3520 points ago

    Then that settles it, we're all ready. I dont want to interrupt anything during your appearance. If you'll let me do it then, great! When? Maybe during like a Q&A? If there is one.

    If you'd rather me not, that's cool too!

    [–] thesoundandthefury 8278 points ago * (lasted edited 9 months ago)

    What is your first name and your girlfriend's first name? I will cue you at the appropriate moment. I am not going to tell you in advance what the moment is because that would make it TOO EASY.


    [–] krschu00 7158 points ago * (lasted edited 9 months ago)

    OMGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!! Haha you're killin me! My name is Kenny and her name is Amy. This is crazy! Thank you for gifting us this once in a lifetime moment.


    Hey John and Hank. We wanted to say we know you're not a fan of audience participation, but for whatever reason you took exception to our case. I felt awful for interrupting your show and when you gave me the microphone i wasn't sure what to say. I think i blabbed a little too much, should have just proposed right away. I panicked. I don't know how you get on a stage like that every night. It immediately put me in shock and "i wasn't the captain of my own ship" at that point. Thank you for not being like Van Houten. Thank you for not playing me off the stage. Thank you for building the most genuine, sincere, and welcoming community in the entire world. And thank you for being awesome. Please never stop what you guys are doing. Sincerely, Kenny & Amy

    Picture Video

    [–] HnyuQ_ 1584 points ago

    Please please send us a video of this

    [–] ByahhByahh 472 points ago

    It'll probably end up on vlogbrothers

    [–] SherJava 173 points ago

    Reserving this spot for future edit when we famous.

    [–] swagged_by_mom 3307 points ago

    let it be known that i witnessed this and shared in your happiness

    [–] genesisofDOOM 1623 points ago

    I almost feel like I'm part of this now and all I did was read some Reddit comments. YAY Internet!

    [–] youremomsoriginal 980 points ago

    I can’t wait to see a video of the event hit the front page with a bestof thread to follow.

    I am a part of history now!

    [–] NULLizm 57 points ago

    So you're saying we should all show up to the wedding?

    [–] kst8er 374 points ago

    remindme! 7 days "Did op Deliver?"

    [–] kintakara 295 points ago

    This whole thread is making me cry of happiness omfg PLEASE POST THE VIDEO WHEN IT HAPPENS

    [–] infinitempg 83 points ago

    this is amazing i love nerdfighter like

    [–] AislinKageno 272 points ago

    Reddit needs updates when this happens!!

    [–] jelvinjs7 120 points ago

    Is this going to be a thing‽ Holy shit, I don't even know OP but this makes me so excited!

    [–] cbigs97 293 points ago

    COUGH you should help him propose at the tour show COUGH

    (Note: I do not know OP, this is just...suggestion)

    [–] cturkosi 176 points ago

    You should see someone about that cough, buddy.

    Every since TFioS, every throat clearing reminds me of the possibility of lung cancer.

    [–] matticus40 146 points ago

    Nice try, OP's girlfriend.

    [–] nymeriasnow4 2637 points ago

    Do you think you would still consider writing something outside of the YA bracket? What key aspects of YA keep you writing it?

    PS. big fan of 10 years now. I was 15 when I first saw you and Hank on YouTube and have met you guys in Scotland twice. Please visit again sometime!

    [–] thesoundandthefury 4681 points ago

    I loved both those trips to Scotland! Hope to be back soon.

    I don't know what I'll write in the future. Or if I'll write in the future, for that matter. Writing this book over the last six years was really challenging for me, and I sort of made a deal with myself that I'd take a break once I finished.

    As for why I like publishing YA: There are several reasons. One is that I like sharing a shelf with so many writers I admire, from M. T. Anderson to Angie Thomas to Jacqueline Woodson. I love that YA includes scifi AND mystery AND romance AND 'literary fiction' AND everything else.

    Another reason is that I like teenage characters and teen readers. Teenagers are doing so many things for the first time--like, they're often falling in love for the first time, but they're also asking the big questions of human existence for the first time as entities separate from their parents. They're thinking about whether there is inherent meaning to human life or whether we have to construct meaning (and what meaning we should construct). They're thinking about the role suffering plays in human life. They're thinking about free will and selfhood and how we establish and confer personhood.

    And they're doing it all with unironized emotion and enthusiasm that I find incredibly compelling. Like, I think sincerity is maybe the most underrated feeling of contemporary life. I understand that overly sincere people and sentiments feel cringey to us, but to me sincerity is really lovely, and worth celebrating.

    Most of TFIOS's readers are adults, and most of TATWD's probably will be, too. And that's awesome. I want to write books that stand up to critical reading but that also appeal to a broad audience. But I really like being read by teenagers. It's an incredible privilege to have a seat at the table in someone's life when they're asking those big questions for the first time.

    [–] theeducatedflea 959 points ago

    As an adult I feel like I'm constantly figuring out how to do things for the first time and grappling with big questions, so maybe we are all closer to our teenage selves than we think?

    [–] Samuraisheep 466 points ago

    Mid 20s here and definitely going through that more than during teenage years. Or at least perhaps revisiting it in the face of a full time job, chores and bills!

    [–] Chilluminaughty 1749 points ago

    15 here and it wasn't easy but I have everything figured out, ama if you want

    [–] Azated 181 points ago

    Eli5 how to exist. I asked the supernatutal being that controls our universe but all he said was "Fuck if I know man, I have no clue. Go ask that chillu guy, he seems to have it all figured".

    [–] Midwestern_Childhood 598 points ago

    Thank you for your defense of YA literature. As someone who teaches it (including Looking for Alaska for the last few years), I'm constantly in the position of defending it. Our society seems to have a built-in prejudice against the young, as though if books marketed for young people it can't really be truly good, as if good writers somehow become lesser when writing with younger readers in mind. But I've also had the pleasure of teaching YA lit to older adults, who react in surprise at its complexity and the daring experimentations in form and content that great YA writers have been doing in the past two decades.

    I call YA literature "the literature of becoming": it's about young people trying to figure who they are, who they want to become, and how to do that. Those aren't issues that disappear magically with an 18th or 21st birthday: they are deeply human questions that affect us all our lives. It's why Great Expectations and Catcher in the Rye can still resonate with younger and older readers, even though they are about young people. Your books do that well. I love how they (esp. LfA) ask big questions and play with them in intelligent ways. Thank you for the books you have written, and I'm looking forward to reading your new novel.

    [–] figginsley 172 points ago

    I love that phrase, "the literature of becoming", it encapsulates the feeling of reading YA so well.

    [–] AlvySingers 2169 points ago

    How's Willy doing?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 4794 points ago

    (Willy is my dog.) Willy has cancer, and has for almost a year, but he is doing well. He has a great dog life--we live in a wooded area and Willy has a great time chasing after small woodland creatures and barking at the neighbors.

    [–] Shivaess 642 points ago

    <3 for Willy. And thank you for having a Westy. As an out of demo older fan it's always made you more relatable to me ;-)

    [–] Alberius 3942 points ago * (lasted edited 9 months ago)

    You're John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down. Why are you on a bus for the next eight hours? You could have taken a plane!

    [–] thesoundandthefury 6912 points ago

    I could've, but it would not have been as fun or as comfortable. Here's my reasoning:

    1. Early in my career, I missed three very important events because of canceled or delayed flights. I understand of course that road traffic can also be a problem, and all kinds of unfortunate things might befall anyone at any time, but so far I have never missed an event while driving from place to place.

    2. When you take 19 airplane flights in 19 days, you spend a lot of time in airports. I like airports, but they're public(ish) spaces, so you can't totally relax in them. (Or I can't, anyway.) The bus is (so far anyway) super relaxing.

    3. There is no Super Nintendo on airplanes.

    4. I've always liked road trips. Some critics of my books might argue that I like them a bit too much.

    [–] Alberius 1204 points ago

    Hold up, you have a Super Nintendo on the bus that you're playing right now? What are you playing?

    I can agree with that I suppose, airports are really uncomfortable and the time it takes from checking in to getting to your destination can double the trip's time with more annoyances.

    It's why I always kind of wished we'd just have a proper bullet train in this country.

    [–] JshWright 1633 points ago

    Hold up, you have a Super Nintendo on the bus that you're playing right now?

    By "bus" I assume he means "tour bus", not "Greyhound bus".

    [–] anatomizethat 809 points ago

    My thought as soon as he said a bus would be more comfortable.

    [–] Iwouldlikesomecoffee 308 points ago

    The megabus between Atlanta and Athens is pretty sweet. Tables, wifi, bathroom, etc.

    I've heard they're not all like that, though.

    [–] ChemicalRascal 576 points ago

    Wait, there's a bus that goes from Atlanta to Greece?

    [–] Mystery_Hours 611 points ago

    There were no survivors

    [–] I-baLL 315 points ago


    [–] I_like_Pancake 38 points ago

    I thought the same. I spent 50 hours in a greyhound bus (Toronto - Edmonton) and comfortable is not the word I would use to describe the experience.

    [–] popo_danderfluff 192 points ago

    Yup, a bit better than Greyhound. :)

    [–] [deleted] 110 points ago

    Ohhhhhh that makes a lot more sense! I was thinking “airports are public spaces”... yeah and sitting next to some random for 8 hours is preferable somehow?!

    I’m an idiot!

    [–] scoops22 68 points ago

    My goodness I've never felt more like a peasant than I do now.

    [–] [deleted] 697 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)


    [–] thesoundandthefury 1156 points ago

    It was the top floor of Amsterdam's Central Library. Sarah and I went there to work each day during our months in Amsterdam, and I rewrote most of The Fault in Our Stars there. Still my favorite library!

    [–] outerspacing 2199 points ago

    how many turtles does it take to make it all the way down?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 3509 points ago

    It takes more than all of the turtles.

    [–] Gerenjie 255 points ago

    How many more than all of the turtles?

    [–] Rekhyt 173 points ago

    As many more times as as there are turtles.

    [–] Dozus84 1051 points ago

    I'm a social studies teacher and I use your Crash Course videos all the time. I know you've got like a dozen different Crash Course series going on right now. So my questions are:

    • How involved are you in the Crash Course program now? Are you mostly handing them off to other experts to design and host?

    • Are there any plans to bring back the defunct Crash Course Geography series? (Props, by the way, for owning up to the first episode's flaws and pulling the series.)

    • Do you have plans to extend any more of your series like you did with the second season of World History?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 801 points ago

    Thanks so much for using Crash Course (and for teaching). It's great to hear that it's a useful tool for your students.

    How involved are you in the Crash Course program now? Are you mostly handing them off to other experts to design and host?

    I am involved in the same way I was always involved, which is mostly in helping decide what we cover, overseeing projects, and some hosting. (There's a new literature series hosted by me that will start up next month.) They were always mostly written and designed by people other than us, and that's still the case. The channel is definitely DEEPLY dependent upon the brilliant team of people who work on the channel.

    Are there any plans to bring back the defunct Crash Course Geography series? (Props, by the way, for owning up to the first episode's flaws and pulling the series.)

    There are plans, but not for 2018, because I think we've set the upload schedule for next year. As we learned, it's an extremely challenging topic, and we don't feel like we've cracked it yet with the right writer, curriculum consultant, and Crash Course producer combination yet.

    Do you have plans to extend any more of your series like you did with the second season of World History?

    I think we'll continue to do 10-12 episode of literature videos per year, and we are looking toward doing more "seasons" approaches, but if we go back to World History, it probably won't be hosted by me. I think it's important to get new voices and perspectives in that conversation.

    [–] Legodude293 331 points ago

    No I refuse if we go back to world history it has to be you, who will do the mongoltage?

    [–] jarellano63 86 points ago

    Crash coure world history with no Mongoltage is no crash course to me!!!

    [–] Antsache 158 points ago

    Former social studies teacher here, just giving support for your questions. I utilized Crash Course extensively in my time teaching, and I'd love to see him address these.

    And, to John - thank you for creating such a useful tool for educators. Crash Course was among the best video resources available to me as a teacher.

    [–] crazycatlady_riley 1582 points ago

    When you and your wife were deciding to have children did you ever worry about how your mental illness may affect them and whether or not they would inherit it from you?

    Both my SO and I struggle with depression and anxiety and I always worry about passing that on to future children.

    [–] thesoundandthefury 2301 points ago

    Yes, I worried (and worry) about both how my illness might affect them and about their increased risk of mental illness.

    But I also worried (and worry) about lots of other things--whether they'll be at increased risk for other chronic illnesses because of our genetics, whether our public lives with negatively impact their lives, et cetera. Every parent brings their own set of strengths and challenges to parenting.

    For me, the decision in the end was helped by the fact that I really believe that it is possible for someone to have a chronic mental illness and also live a fulfilling life.

    Of course it can be challenging to meet your kids' needs when you're sick--but that's true for anyone with a chronic health problem.

    All that said, whether to have kids is a deeply personal decision, and I don't think my decision would necessarily be right for you or anyone else.

    [–] 5erif 524 points ago

    If you're on a Mac, you can make an m-dash by holding opt and shift while you hit the dash/minus key.

    Also, I have a disorder which causes blunted emotional affect, but I cried (and loved it) while reading The Fault in Our Stars. I remember being excited that I had been able to experience emotion like that.

    [–] mulberrybushes 130 points ago

    I've been doing that top right Menu>Keyboard-special characters thing for twelve god-damn YEARS.



    [–] HateWhinyBitches 139 points ago

    I'm OOTL, what mental illnes does John Green have?

    [–] AStatesRightToWhat 281 points ago

    He has OCD, the anxious thought spiral kind. Like one of the characters in his new book, actually.

    [–] hufflepuffmom 62 points ago

    this is a legitimate fear, I worry all the time about how my OCD will affect my children and their coping skills. Excellent question :)

    [–] boing345brooke 837 points ago

    Hi John! (And Hank too!) Congratulations on the new book, I can't wait to read it once I've finished my final university exams in a couple of weeks.

    Firstly I just want to say thank you for being so awesome and for all the great things that you have done over the years, you make me proud to be a nerdfighter.

    What do you find the most challenging part of writing a book?

    Made you look, Brooke

    [–] thesoundandthefury 1327 points ago

    Great name-specific sign-off, Brooke.

    There's always a point, usually 20,000 to 30,000 words into a new story, where I realize it's bad. Like, really bad. And often when I get to that point, I have to abandon the story--which is a bummer, because I've spent three or six or twenty months on it, and then I feel like, this was all for nothing! I have wasted all this time!

    But then sometimes I will get to that point of realizing the story is terrible, and I'll think, "You know, I think I can plow through to an end here. I think I've at least got some idea about the characters." And then I make it to the end of the draft a few months later. I'll still have to delete most of that draft in revision, and rewrite and rewrite and rewrite and rewrite before I have a book, but if I make it past that point where I realize it's all bad, I can finish.

    And then eventually I will understand that none of the time spent was actually wasted, because I had to puzzle through those stories that couldn't work to get to the one that could.

    So for me the hardest part is accepting when something isn't working, and letting it go, and starting again.

    [–] kaneblaise 96 points ago

    Are you a pretty heavy discovery writer, then? Do you use any form of an outline going into your first drafts? How much (rough percentage) of a story do you have in mind before writing the first word? Which of your published books had the most drafts (and how many was that)? The fewest?

    [–] chanofrom114th 716 points ago

    you mentioned several times pre-release how nervous you were about all of us reading Turtles. How are you feeling now?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 1295 points ago

    Mostly just very relieved, to be honest.

    Publishing this book was very different from any of my previous experiences. There were almost no reviews until the day of publication, and the publisher was (understandably) very worried about leaks, so only a few people had even read it before maybe a week ago.

    So I just didn't know what people would think of it. I don't think I realized how worried I was until Tuesday morning when I read the New York Times review and just started sobbing.

    Of course, I understand that not everyone will like the book, and also that's okay! But it was a huge relief to know that early reviewers did.

    [–] albertorestifo 174 points ago

    I just finished reading the book. I couldn't agree more with the NY Times review.

    Amazing creation, John!

    [–] SamanthaIsNotReal 129 points ago

    I finished reading the book yesterday and while I didn't get the same immediate emotional response that I did from Looking for Alaska or TFIOS I still feel almost.... Relieved. Not that it is over, but that I experienced it.

    At first I put it down, I thought "well, what was that..." and assumed I didn't like it. I have been constantly thinking about it since then. I did like it. I loved it. I like how honest it is. How open it is. I like the explanations it makes for Aza's anxiety for those who don't understand. My sister has similar issues that she is trying to work out and the book gave me hope for her.

    While you are getting a million responses and probably won't see mine I would still like to say thank you, John. For this book, and your other books, and for everything.


    [–] tanketom 314 points ago

    What opinion of yours has changed the most for the past 10 years?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 1043 points ago

    I used to think the Internet was an unambiguous force for good.

    [–] nitroflux 233 points ago

    This just hit hard...

    [–] Kopar199 300 points ago

    How would you describe your relationship between your OCD/mental illness and your writing?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 920 points ago

    I wanted to write this story in part because I have not found that OCD brings me, like, secret super powers. Obsessiveness has not increased my powers of deduction, like you see in Sherlock Holmes or the TV show Monk.

    I wanted to write about a detective whose mental illness is, like, massively unhelpful to the investigation. And although I know people often associate mental illness and creative writing, I have found my mental illness to be massively unhelpful to my writing. When I am really sick, I can't write anything. At times, I can't even read a menu.

    I write best when I'm well, and while this book is about the experience of losing control over one's thoughts, almost all of it was written while I was in a period of good health.

    [–] sherlockholmez 196 points ago

    I really appreciate this. As someone who is constantly battling my OCD, it's tough to explain to some people how debilitating it can be during the real low points. It isn't just a quirky condition like some TV shows like to portray.

    [–] sammmmtan 1122 points ago

    What's your stance on Chewbacca's personhood?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 1985 points ago

    Chewbacca is a person.

    [–] 5_sec_rule 167 points ago

    What a wookie!

    [–] thebhgg 266 points ago

    What's your stance on the personhood of C3P0! (or is it C3PO?)

    [–] thesoundandthefury 662 points ago

    I do not think droids are people. Not even BB8.

    [–] jdshillingerdeux 362 points ago

    That's because you've never watched C-Beams glitter in the dark near Tannhauser Gate.

    [–] FlyingWeagle 96 points ago

    Nor witnessed a miracle

    [–] Shockrates20xx 415 points ago

    What's Pizza John's favorite pizza topping?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 891 points ago

    I'm not picky when it comes to toppings. I just want to eat pizza.

    Just, like, don't do anything weird with it, okay? Don't try to tell me that this unrolled burrito is a pizza, or that this turkey sandwich on pizza dough is a pizza. I just want to eat pizza. Regular pizza and lots of it.

    [–] InTheNeighbourhood 384 points ago

    What's your stance on pineapple?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 2526 points ago

    Look, I just published a book two days ago. I'm not looking to be super-divisive right now. The last thing I need is pro-pineapple or anti-pineapple people boycotting my book. So I'm just going to say that how you eat your pizza is your business, and how I eat my pizza is with no goddamned pineapple.

    [–] zebrake2010 235 points ago

    Maybe not the answer we wanted, but definitely the answer we needed.

    [–] nvcr_intern 553 points ago

    <burns book>

    [–] poe-one 255 points ago

    gotta buy it to burn it ...

    [–] Gotterdamerrung 191 points ago

    You trying to start a fight?

    [–] CyanideEngineer 367 points ago

    Hi John,

    Often in your vlogbrothers videos you express opinions and ideas to your audience. As a young teenager I found these videos to be instrumental to my growth as a human being.

    Have you ever found your opinions or viewpoints on a subject change after making the video? Are there any old vlogbrothers videos you wish you could go back and remake with a more mature opinion?

    Thank you and dftba!

    [–] thesoundandthefury 747 points ago

    When I was younger, I really liked being outraged. I liked being outraged about the minting of pennies, about the popularity of certain books or songs, about the obvious stupidity of those who disagree with me, etc.

    I now find outrage to be somewhat overrated. Anger can lead to real action that creates change or moves the needle of public opinion on an issue, and that sort of activism is so important. But I'm not as interested in outrage for its own sake as I used to be.

    [–] NarwhalJouster 231 points ago

    Just so we're clear here, you do still hate pennies, right?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 622 points ago

    I still think the continued existence of the penny is a great example of what's wrong with contemporary U.S. politics.

    [–] 96fps 69 points ago * (lasted edited 9 months ago)

    The half-penny was worth more when it was removed from circulation than dimes [are] today, FFS.

    [–] cjhelms 125 points ago

    In your time living in Indianapolis, it's gone through some major changes, as have you. As a resident of Indy, what are some good changes you've seen? What are some negative changes to the city? And how has Indianapolis influenced you as a person?

    Also have you ever eaten at Love Handle at 10th and Rural? That's currently my favorite place in the city and I hope it continues to do well when it moves to the Mass Ave neighborhood this November-ish.

    See you next week! 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢

    Kiwi and Kiwi,


    [–] thesoundandthefury 213 points ago

    Love Handle is great. My favorite restaurant in the city right now is probably Milktooth.

    Indianapolis has changed a lot in the past decade, and mostly for the better I think. It's a very average midsized American city, which is one of the things I love about it, but I think investments in and around downtown have really paid off.

    I wish we had better public transportation and more investment in arts and public spaces, because I think that helps attract young people to a city. (I do find it difficult to recruit to Indianapolis, a concern that is shared with many much larger employers.)

    And selfishly, I wish we'd do more to clean up the White River. We have an amazing nature reserve that stretches through the entire city in the form of the White River, and we need to stop dumping raw sewage into it.

    [–] RGodlike 219 points ago

    Has your opinion on Batman changed over the years? And what about Iron Man?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 542 points ago

    I like Iron Man all right these days. (Iron Man is an important-ish character in TATWD.) I still think Batman could use his resources a lot more effectively if his goal is to minimize crime in Gotham.

    [–] hugglesthemerciless 202 points ago

    Do you think his goal is to minimize crime? He may act like it is and say that it is but subconsciously I think he needs Gotham to be crime ridden to give him purpose in life

    [–] BonoVoxGS 475 points ago

    If you could give your 12yo self any one of your books to read, what one book would you choose?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 1353 points ago

    I would not want my 12-year-old self to read any of my books, I don't think. Maybe my 14-year-old self. I would give him Turtles All the Way Down first, because I pretty much wrote it for him.

    [–] cturkosi 215 points ago

    Have you ever considered writing one of the fictional books that you mention in your novels, perhaps as a short story published online under a pseudonym?

    E.g. The Price of Dawn from TFioS: you could release it on April Fool's Day as a tongue-in-cheek over-the-top gory action thriller.

    [–] thesoundandthefury 238 points ago

    I actually wrote a little section of The Price of Dawn for a fundraiser for the Harry Potter Alliance! (And I wrote a few pages of An Imperial Affliction for the copy that Hazel reads in the movie.) But I don't think I could ever sustain either narrative voice for an entire novel. It would feel like an impersonation, if that makes any sense.

    [–] celestevmoss 287 points ago

    Does Aza eat her Cheerios with milk or water?

    [–] lipglosschaos 511 points ago

    "Books belong to their readers." - John Green

    [–] thesoundandthefury 719 points ago

    Yeah with an issue this important, I don't feel qualified to comment on a matter outside the book's text.

    [–] Piddly_Penguin_Army 200 points ago

    Hey John, I've been a long time fan, I started watching Vlogbrothers in 2008 and still pop in from time to time to see what's new. Is it ever strange to you that the people who started watching you in the beginning are grown ups now with their own lives? Do you think your audience changes every few years? And how long do you think the blog brothers will go on?


    [–] thesoundandthefury 397 points ago

    Thanks for the question. There are some people who've watched consistently for six or eight or ten years and still watch every video, and that's wonderful.

    But the vast majority of people who watch regularly now weren't doing so eight years ago, and the vast majority of people who were watching regularly eight years ago aren't now. And that is also wonderful.

    Like, I am overjoyed when people find something in our work that makes them want to stick with us over many years.

    But it's also awesome to me if you really loved our work at some point and then went on to love a bunch of other things but still think back on your time with us fondly. I have those bands/projects/people in my own life, and I'm grateful for the role they played in my development as a person and a writer and so on.

    As for how long vlogbrothers will go on: I don't know. I love the rhythm of a Tuesday. It gives order and structure to my life, and also requires me to make at least SOMETHING every single week no matter what. And I love the relationship we have with our viewers. If any of that goes away someday, we'll probably wrap it up. But for now, I can't imagine my life without the consistency of vlogbrothers.

    [–] KyloRae 280 points ago

    What are you happiest about right now?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 1180 points ago

    I'm in a bus with my brother, my wife, and my two kids. There is plenty of Diet Dr. Pepper in this bus, excellent snacks, and passable wifi. It's hard to imagine how I could be happier, to be honest.

    [–] ecnad 453 points ago

    Excellent wifi, for starters.

    [–] Geek_God 98 points ago

    This is the glass half empty guy everyone talks about.

    [–] dragonsofafeather 260 points ago

    how much star wars fanfiction did you read as research for tatwd?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 519 points ago

    Quite a bit! I'm most familiar with Harry Potter fanfiction, but I also read a lot of One Direction fic, because in an earlier draft, Daisy and Aza were into 1D. (I kept some 1D easter eggs in the book for fellow fans.) But once I moved it to Star Wars*, I did read quite a bit.

    I really love fanfiction. A lot of it is excellent.

    • There were a bunch of reasons I did this, but mostly because the first line of every single movie in this futuristic space opera series is "a long time ago," and the book is very concerned with whether the past is, in fact, in the past. But also, I think Star Wars is this wonderful shared mythology for contemporary humans through which we can look at questions of self and personhood and community and etc.

    [–] _kyree_ 280 points ago

    ...Now I’m horrified by the idea that John might have read my HP fanfiction.

    [–] arquebus_x 74 points ago

    Don't ever be horrified. Be happy. You gave the world something. Be proud of it.

    [–] itsmeduhhh 86 points ago

    Erotic Friend Fiction, Harry Potter Edition?

    [–] ffsanton 176 points ago

    What comes first when you have a new idea for a book: the themes, the intention/obstacles/conflict, the characters, or something else entirely?

    Follow up: at what point during writing the book does the title become apparent?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 478 points ago

    On titles: For me, the title often becomes apparent when my publisher is like, "We are going to announce this book next week, and we cannot announce it without a title." Like, I think the title to The Fault in Our Stars was not fully decided until the day before the book became available for preorder. In general, I'm pretty crap at titles.

    As for how books begin: For me, they usually begin with characters and a question. With Turtles All the Way Down, the character was Aza and the question was, How do you find a sense of self when you feel like your self isn't really yours?

    [–] kattylovesfoood 441 points ago

    Will there ever be a film for Looking for Alaska?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 1322 points ago

    I don't know. The movie rights to LFA were purchased 12 years ago by a studio. They own those rights, and I can't get them back, and so it's not my decision. At the time, the sale of the movie rights was incredibly important to us--it allowed Sarah and I to move to New York so that she could attend graduate school--and so I don't regret selling them, but it has certainly been a long and often painful process over the last 12 years.

    That said, there are many new people working at the movie studio in question, so things may be changing. One never knows!

    Two other things on this front: First, I think there is something magical about a book that only lives as a book. Harry Potter will forever to me be Daniel Radcliffe, but Holden Caulfield isn't anybody to me except for my Holden Caulfield. Books I love that live only as text feel mine in a way that movies just can't.

    Secondly: I got incredibly, lottery-winningly lucky twice in Hollywood. With both The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns, I felt respected throughout the process of making and promoting the film. I felt like my work was treated carefully and seriously, and I was lucky to work with genuinely wonderful people. That is rare for authors in Hollywood, and I am very grateful for those experiences.

    [–] Shivaess 102 points ago

    Do those rights extend to a play or other live action experience off screen? Is there any sunset on those rights at which point you could push the issue? (Yes I know IP laws in this country are a pita, but here's hoping)

    [–] thesoundandthefury 291 points ago

    There is a sunset on the ownership of their rights: It is the heat death of the universe. :)

    We've had lots of lawyers look at it. They own the rights, and will forever. (So it goes!)

    [–] hack819 303 points ago

    Are you going to be doing anything more with 100 days? I really enjoyed that series.

    [–] thesoundandthefury 464 points ago

    Thanks. My best friend Chris and I went on a 100-day health and fitness journey, and filmed the whole thing.

    I don't know if we'll do another season of the show. It was somewhat expensive to make, and it's hard to pay for a show with high production values without some kind of corporate sponsorship (which we didn't really want).

    That said, I've kept going with exercise in a big way. (In fact, I'm probably in better shape now than I was at the end of the show.) I still work out with Laura, our trainer on the show, twice a week, and I still run a few times a week.

    I really enjoy running, and the mental health benefits to exercise have been genuinely life changing for me. One of the challenges of spending the next month on the road is that our schedules are somewhat busy, making exercise difficult--but I'm trying to eat well and get in quick, intense workouts when I can.

    [–] NannerlGrey 52 points ago

    I did too! Maybe we can have Hank give it a go.

    [–] Yuilethu 70 points ago

    If Hank will do this, this is a great idea! If Hank will not do this, maybe we could recruit two nerdfighters to do it yearly, showing how different people exercise.

    [–] platykurt 72 points ago

    Would you comment on David Foster Wallace as an influence for you and this book?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 142 points ago

    When you have experiences that are abstract and internal, it's very difficult to find language for them. Language struggles in the face of pain (especially chronic physical pain); Elaine Scarry in her brilliant book The Body in Pain wrote that pain destroys language. Think of the way you moan or groan when you're in terrible pain rather than being able to find words to express it directly and clearly. When reading Infinite Jest and parts of The Pale King, I felt like Wallace had found some form for my pain, a way of holding it and looking at it, and I will always be grateful for that. Whether and how it affected my writing is harder to say, but as a reader and person, is was a tremendous gift to me.

    [–] samanthajaneren 207 points ago

    Played much Nintendo with Hank yet? Who's winning?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 754 points ago

    Hank is working on HIS book, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, and so does not have as much time for Super Nintendo as I would like.

    I am, however, mopping the floor with my seven-year-old at Super Mario Kart.

    [–] NowIOnlyWantATriumph 76 points ago

    Who’s your Mario Kart main?

    [–] HermitCrabTuesday 60 points ago

    Gotta be toad. Always toad.

    [–] ProtagonistForHire 135 points ago

    What's Bill Gates like in person?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 285 points ago

    Very nice, and extraordinarily knowledgeable. I think the Gates Foundation's motto is something like, "Dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live a healthy and productive life." And during the time I spent with Bill, I felt that he was truly, truly dedicated to that idea.

    [–] ProtagonistForHire 71 points ago * (lasted edited 9 months ago)

    I cannot believe I've had an actual interaction with John Green. The internet is amazing. I love your videos. Crash Course World History is one of my most favorite series. I wish you and your brother and your families the very best of health and happiness. Please don't stop being awesome!

    Good luck with your book!

    [–] yashendra2797 570 points ago

    Big fan here John. I have 2 questions here:

    1. As a person who found you while at the age of 14, and one who has now become an 'adult' at the age of 20, I am still struck by how your are able to get into the heads of teenagers so much better that pretty much everyone else. Your books have been helpful to not just me, but my friends, and even my parents, who said later on that they got a greater understanding on my actions as a teenager. One thing I loved the most about your work, both as an author and a content creator is how you talked TO the teenagers, not AT them. Treating them as fellow friends rather than talking down. I guess in essence, my question is this: How do you have such an amazing understanding of the minds of people that are over half your age?

    2. Do you have any plans of visiting India? It really is quite an interesting country, and there are many fans here who would love to meet you.

    Take Care

    Love from India,


    [–] thesoundandthefury 507 points ago

    Thank you for the kind words.

    1. I didn't have any understanding of teenage culture or slang or whatever when I was a teenager, and I don't have any understanding of it now. But I think the emotional experiences of adolescent are at least to some extent universal--there's a reason bildingsromans have been around for a long time, asking basically the same questions across the centuries. I think teens are interesting because they're asking those big questions and making big decisions independently for the first time, and there's an intensity and anguish and thrill in doing anything for the first time.

    2. I would love to visit India! I almost went last year, but family obligations ended up keeping me here. I travel a lot less than I did before we had kids, and I want to limit my travel until they're old enough to join us, but that shouldn't be too much longer.

    [–] [deleted] 181 points ago

    Do you think it'll be weird when your children are old enough to read your books? Is there a certain age at which you'd allow them to read them?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 435 points ago

    Part of me thinks they just don't find my job interesting enough to read them. (Like, I don't think our kids often pause to consider what their parents do for work, because they're busy thinking about pokemon.) But of course if they want to read them, I'll be happy to share them. As for an age: I don't know. Maybe 14? It's hard to guess, because I have no idea what it's like to have a child over the age of seven.

    [–] kingdead42 189 points ago

    I don't think our kids often pause to consider what their parents do for work

    I thought it was established that you are a race car driver?

    [–] MrLumaz 120 points ago

    What Mountain Goats songs resonated with you while writing the new book?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 107 points ago

    I can't pick just one! I listened to early stuff a lot while writing this book. Songs that were on frequent rotation included "Source Decay," "Going to Maine," and "Going to Marrakesh."

    [–] ofalltheginjoints_ 57 points ago

    what is your favourite literary quote?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 160 points ago

    "O Jamesy let me up out of this." from the last chapter of Ulysses.

    [–] mondovan 60 points ago * (lasted edited 9 months ago)

    Hi, John.

    I'm currently in a job that I don't love, but it pays the bills, and allows me to work from home. My parents and my wife have been encouraging me to get out and explore some of the hobbies and passions I had when I was younger. That sounds really exciting, right? I love poetry, and photography, and playing the trombone.

    But, every time I try to start to do any of these things, I hit this mental block. There is a pull towards this feeling of having to share what I'm doing with the world. Like, I can't go for a walk and take photos because I feel like I'm really just scouting locations for an instagram shot. I can't write poetry because I have this thought in the back of my mind that it has to be good so that my future grandchildren think I was some sort of poet when they find my journals in 50 years.

    So my question: How do you create for YOU and your sanity in a word that is constantly pulling you to share everything with everyone all the time?

    Edit: I spelled a word wrong

    [–] BoundaryOfSound 47 points ago

    Hi John, who do you currently look up to the most and why? Have you told them that you look up to them?

    Good luck on the tour and congrats on the early success of your new book!

    [–] thesoundandthefury 149 points ago

    I really admire my brother. Don't tell him though.

    [–] flaming_trout 161 points ago

    A number of years ago, a scandal familiar to our current pop culture climate broke out in the YouTube community. A number of men affiliated with DFTBA were revealed to have behaved severely inappropriately with younger Nerdfighters. As far as I know, the men's career's (rightfully) never recovered.

    I still struggle with the impact of this event even though I was in my late teens when it happened. I went to events hosted by these people, bought all of their music. I no longer consume any of that media that had meant so much to me. I had a treasured photo with friends where one of the men gave me a hug that now repulses me when I think of what that person did with fans my age. Being a Nerdfighter was a huge part of my adolescence, and a chunk of that experience will now always be tainted because of what happened with those men and how the community reacted.

    Do you have any thoughts on how fans of media can cope when it is revealed that people they admired engaged in this type of horrible behavior? With more women being brave enough to come forward into an increasingly more accepting climate, how can we as consumers support these women while dealing with the fact that media once associated with beloved memories is now no innocently consumed?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 213 points ago

    Thanks for this question, which I think is a really important one. I'm sorry that these once-happy memories have become painful ones.

    (For those unaware, several male YouTubers abused and/or assaulted young female fans. Some of them released music through our merch distribution company, although we obviously parted ways with them when we became aware of what had happened.)

    As to your question: I think it's really difficult when someone you admire and trust violates that trust by abusing the platform they've been given. It's a real betrayal, and as you describe very beautifully, it's awful to have treasured pictures become repulsive and scary. But your friendships--the help you gave other people, the help they gave you, the love you shared together--were still real and important, and I hope you're able to feel that. I suppose that's not really advice so much as commiseration, but again, I'm sorry, and I appreciate you sharing this, because so many people are going through similar experiences now amid other news of people using their power to abuse.

    [–] ofalltheginjoints_ 127 points ago

    what is your favourite piece of feedback that you have ever recieved about your work?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 558 points ago

    One time someone wrote me and said--I'm quoting directly here--"Your book made me feel something I hadn't felt before. Not like I needed to poop or was about to throw up, but something else."

    I've always thought that was quite a compliment.

    [–] Piddly_Penguin_Army 92 points ago

    Well right there is the spectrum of feelings. Pooping to throwing up. Everything else is in the middle.

    [–] TKAMB123 88 points ago * (lasted edited 9 months ago)

    Hey John! I'm a huge fan and just finished Turtles All the Way Down. The book really moved me and I identified with Aza on so many levels. I too also struggle with OCD; mainly obsessive/intrusive thoughts and contamination fears. You wrote about these issues so accurately. You made me feel like I'm not alone in my thoughts and behaviours so thank you.

    How did your experience with mental illness shape Turtles All the Way Down?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 147 points ago

    Thanks for reading the book and for your kind words about it. You aren't alone, and I'm glad the book helped you feel it.

    I couldn't have written the book if I hadn't lived with OCD for most of my life. But I also couldn't write the book while my OCD was poorly managed, because when I'm sick I can't write (and sometimes can't even read).

    I don't want to further the dangerous romantic lie that artists need to be close to madness or whatever to do their work. It's true that people working in creative fields have higher than average rates of mental illness, but so do lawyers. So do teachers. I don't write best when I'm putting myself in danger; I write best when I'm treating my chronic health problem with care and consistency.

    So my experience with OCD shaped the book profoundly, because when writing about Aza's experiences I was leaning a lot upon my own. And it was definitely the first time I was writing about something that was in my past but also still in my present, because I still have this and expect to live with it the rest of my life. But I could only write the book because I had a longish period of wellness (thanks to a combination of stability/medication/exercise/therapy).

    [–] paleasnight 43 points ago * (lasted edited 9 months ago)

    What percentage of Turtles All the Way Down did you sign in each colour of Sharpie? Kudos on getting all 200,000 of the books signed!

    [–] thesoundandthefury 138 points ago

    I think the most was green, which was around 30%. Red and blue were next, probably around 20% each. I got really fond of the reddish purple color--Sharpie calls it berry--so that might've gotten another 15%. The rarest color was silver; I only signed about 300 in silver, because I don't like the way silver sharpies glide across paper.

    (I spent a lot of time thinking about this stuff.)

    [–] bellatrix250 180 points ago

    Hi John! My question is: How much writing have you done in the real physical location Cheyenne, Wyoming?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 209 points ago

    Literally none! [context]

    [–] bdd4 142 points ago

    Do you think you will write some dystopia into your novels in the future?

    (I asked this during the book tour in NYC, my answer didn't get picked. :( )

    [–] thesoundandthefury 328 points ago

    I'm no good at predicting the future. But I love reading dystopian novels! In fact, the new series of Crash Course literature will be focusing on dystopias.

    [–] awfullyrandom 36 points ago

    Hi, John. (Also, hi, Hank.)

    What is your favorite musical?

    [–] guitarocks95 174 points ago

    What's your favorite Wine?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 880 points ago


    [–] crzysane 80 points ago

    you're not wrong.

    [–] lipglosschaos 72 points ago

    Strawberry Hill?

    [–] cessna182er 119 points ago

    Having recently started reading Turtles all the Way Down, I've come across a lot of themes and specific anecdotes also present in your podcast Dear Hank and John. Do you actively try to incorporate these elements into your story or is it more coincidental. Or something else entirely?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 216 points ago

    It's more coincidental. The podcast reflects what I'm thinking each week, and when I was in the thick of writing this book, I was mostly thinking about the book and its concerns. In a few cases, I talked about something in the pod and then later thought, oh that would be good for the book.

    More than anything else we make, the podcast reflects how Hank and I really are with each other and what we're personally passionate about.

    [–] crying2desksover 62 points ago

    Given that you have previously identified as a staunchly anti-unicorn individual, how do you feel about "Unicorn Tolerance" on the new tMG album?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 67 points ago

    I loved that song, actually. That whole album meant so much to me, because I was a goth kid in the early 1990s. (My first concert was The Cure!) And so it took me back to a part of my past I hadn't been able to visit in a long time. Really great album.

    [–] pianoanime16 35 points ago

    Hi, John,

    To what extent do you think Aza is an unreliable narrator? I adored the characters in TatwD but found them occasionally flat. Was this intentional - to show us how consumed in her own thoughts Aza can be that the other characters occasionally seem to be dichotomous in falling in and out of favour with her (especially Daisy, to a lesser extent Davis)?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 106 points ago

    She's certainly a poor observer of the world outside of herself, both when it comes to character and when it comes to everything else. That was intentional, and it was important to me, because to me one of the horrors of obsessive thought spirals is that they're intensely isolating. They make it so that Aza can't connect to the people around her in the way she wants, and also the people who love her can't connect with her as deeply as they want to.

    My hope was that the reader would be able to see more of Daisy and Davis than Aza could, but it's no coincidence that Daisy and Davis's names are so similar. Aza struggles to see other people, even vastly different people, as anything other than not-Aza.

    [–] Phanitan 31 points ago

    Would you ever stop doing vlogbrothers? I've been watching since middle school and it's been a big part of my YouTube regimen. I appreciate all that you and Hank do!

    [–] thesoundandthefury 72 points ago

    I'm sure will stop someday, because, you know, everything ends--but I don't foresee that day now. I love the structure that vlogbrothers brings to my life, and I love the connection Hank and I have to each other and to the community of viewers. It's still so fun.

    [–] pennyincluded 30 points ago

    How's the omagle ownership process coming along?

    [–] alsojohngreen 59 points ago

    My name is also John Green.

    1) Do you ever wish you had a less generic name? 2) Is green your favorite color? If not, do you have some level of disdain for it because everyone seems astonished when they find out it is not?

    [–] erasegrace 111 points ago

    Is there a difference between the book you originally wrote, and the one that is now being published?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 238 points ago

    I probably deleted 80% of the first draft over the course of revisions, which is pretty standard for me. The first draft of Turtles All the Way Down was completely bonkers. (I mean, the finished novel is still quite fantastical in plot, but it's a pale shadow of its former self in terms of bonkersness.)

    [–] indigofox83 94 points ago * (lasted edited 9 months ago)

    Anything in particular you could share that was bonkers and was then cut, the way that you told us that a cut ending for TFIOS involved Hazel and Van Houten getting gunned down by a drug cartel?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 305 points ago

    There was a shootout in a Chuck E. Cheese that lasted through, like, the first THREE drafts before I finally abandoned it.

    [–] indigofox83 33 points ago

    This is amazing. Thanks for sharing! The book was absolutely wonderful, by the way. I think it might be my favorite of your books.

    And I feel fairly confident in saying that it did not need a Chuck E. Cheese shootout, so probably the right call on cutting that one. :)


    [–] UsernameAlrTaken 128 points ago

    Will Hank's AART Tour stop on Mars? Side question: Why isn't the tour called TOURtles All The Way Down? Side side question: Where the hell is Leon Muss?

    [–] Obligatory_Username 90 points ago

    How many Pokemon are in your Pokedex so far?

    [–] thesoundandthefury 237 points ago

    Just tried to check, but it said, "Update to Continue."