MEGAN AMRAM'S career path is so inspiring creative types should whisper it to one another before bedtime: She woke up at 4 am, and decided to be a comedy writer and move to LA. She started a Twitter account and was so funny they asked her to write for Parks and Recreation. Portland native Amram has been blasting across the internet like some sort of fire-object from a popular song, promoting her Cosmo-style humor textbook, Science... for Her! So I doggedly pursued Amram like a crazed freelancer who responds to emails in all caps saying: "WHEN? WHEN?" Then she called me on the phone and we talked in a stairwell.
MERCURY: I want to ask about your special guest for your Portland reading: Dr. Carol Lee, medical doctor, 36 years of experience. What do you hope to achieve by having your mother as a special guest?
MEGAN AMRAM: Well, as a doctor, she's in there for science, but also I think we make a good comedy team. I'll be riffing on her outfits and she'll be exposing personal things about my childhood.
That seems very anti-celebrity. That's the opposite of trying to keep your private life hidden.
Yes, I hope to continue this approach as I become even more famous!
Speaking of famous people, one of my all-time favorite famous people has to be Lisa Nowak, who—
Are you talking about Diaper Lady? I love Diaper Lady!
As I was reading Science... for Her! I wondered if it was written from the perspective of Diaper Lady. [Editor's note: Lisa Nowak is the former NASA astronaut who became famous in 2007 after allegedly stalking her ex-boyfriend's new partner while wearing adult diapers.]
We're all thinking about Diaper Lady.
When [the Diaper Lady situation] was happening I couldn't keep my eyes off it. Like Science... for Her!'s narrator, I was trapped by how surreal and hilarious the story was, but I also kind of weirdly respected her preparedness.
Yeah, with her—and with this book's narrator—you realize they're total psychos, but also there's a sense of respect for all that they've done.
What kind of relationship did you have with the narrator when you were writing in her voice?
I totally hated her because she's so mean, but I also felt badly for her because so much terrible stuff happens to her as the book progresses.
How did you approach the structure of writing a humor textbook?
I wanted there to be lots of breakouts and charts, but then the narrative I wrote in sequence. I wanted to see how crazy I could get!