Rick Rubin: It seemed like when most of the kids I knew started taking drugs—and pretty much everyone I knew took drugs—it was out of boredom.
Jessica Anya Blau: Not for me. And I don’t think that’s as much fun as making up the details and heightening the tension.
Rubin: Pretty much. Then it’s about presenting it all up, with a nice bow tied around it.
Blau: I suppose I’m sort of relentless.
Rubin: I didn’t want to have surgery.
Blau: Everybody can see a phony.
Rubin: Eventually I found one that seemed like it would be more fun than the hotel I was living in, so I bought it.
Blau: I write at the dining room table, everybody talks to me, they come by and ask me questions.
Rubin: Then I met Laird Hamilton, arguably the best athlete in the world, and a guy named Don Wildman.
Blau: And you’re like, “There is no dog!” And they say, “But, I think we need a dog.”
Rubin: The music might speed up, slow down, be out of time, or be out of tune.
Blau: The novel starts with the truth, which was that when I was living in Berkeley, I was working at this clothing store that turned out to be a front for a major cocaine dealer.
Rubin: Sure. I feel like things happen perfectly to get you where you are and to make you who you are.
Blau: And because that was what I was doing, we both sort of gave up.
Rubin: So I pulled back and switched modalities.