Does anyone really need more crap in their lives? Probably not. But perhaps you can make an exception for DC Pierson’s Crap Kingdom (out March 7). In Kingdom, Pierson tells the tale of Tom, whose fate is sealed with a mysterious, yet oddly ordinary-looking prophecy. Tom finds himself in a magical kingdom to be its Chosen One. Unfortunately, things don’t quite meet his expectations: The kingdom is mostly made of garbage from Earth.
Pierson is a stand-up comedian who’s got a huge following thanks to his appearances on NBC’s Community and his popular sketch comedy group, Derrick (with fellow comedian and Community star, Donald Glover). In fact, Glover has already given the book some high praise: “A hilarious and surreally honest book. Crap Kingdom is anything but the first half of its title.” Check out our funny chat with Pierson about Crap Kingdom, and then click through to read an exclusive excerpt from the novel.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s say I’ve never heard of you, and I don’t know anything about your book. How would you pitch it to convince me to read it?
DC PIERSON: Crap Kingdom is a comedic fantasy adventure about a kid who loves Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia—basically, anything where a kid is taken from the real world into a magical fantasy realm where he’s told he’s The Chosen One. But it turns out, the fantasy realm he’s the Chosen One in is…really, really crappy. Crap Kingdom is a funny, exciting book about our wildest dreams and our boring everyday lives, and how sometimes they’re very different, and sometimes they’re way too similar. It has dragon-dogs, magic, kissing, and fake mustaches. You will like it whether you’re a YA or an A. (And no, I will not tell you what A stands for.)
Where did you come up with the idea for Crap Kingdom?
It really happened to me, except all the specifics were different. I was dating a young lady. I decided I no longer wanted us to date. Shortly thereafter, Facebook informed me she was dating someone else. Suddenly I wanted to be dating her again so badly! (An authorial pro-tip is: take something that really happened to you. Sub out a member of the opposite sex for a magical fantasy realm. Write it down. Before you know it, they’ll be interviewing you on EW.com.)
But seriously, that feeling of having something, taking it for granted, and then wanting it again so badly when you see someone else with it was the emotion that initially motivated the book’s creation.
Is Tom at all based on you or anyone you know?
Tom is based on me, straight up and down. Many specifics are different. Tom wears a black T-shirt all the time. I wore an oversized blue Dragonball-Z T-shirt. See? Very different.) But it terms of having lots of expectations for things based on books and movies and songs you like, and then being bummed out when real life turns out different from the books and movies and songs promised—or you thought they were promising—that’s definitely me.
A significant portion of the YA market is tailored to girls, but Crap Kingdom is definitely for the boys. Were you trying to appeal to the boys’ market, or did it just work out that way?
I just happened to write a book about boys because I was (and have been accused by some people as still being) one. That said, I didn’t set out to make a thing for guys, per se. I don’t think, as a culture, we need to try to make more things for dudes. Dudes have a lot of stuff to enjoy as it is. If I’d wanted to try and make a book to appeal exclusively to dudes, I would have written a book called Videogame McBaconBoobs. Actually, wait… is it too late to change the name of my book? But in all seriousness, I think guys will find a lot to like in my book just the same way I’m sure ladies will find a lot to like.
UP NEXT: More with Pierson and an exclusive excerpt from Crap Kingdom!
You have a fun promotional campaign: Pre-order Crap Kingdom, and you’ll write the person’s name in a custom rap song. Where did that idea come from. It’s pretty cool, and even Lena Dunham tweeted about it recently.
I’ve rapped about a hundred people so far, with lots and lots more to go, and you—the person reading this—can join them by pre-ordering and achieve immortality in the hallowed halls of rap-dom.
Pre-orders are very, very important for a new book. I wanted a way to motivate people to pre-order beyond just, “You’ll get the book when it comes out.” I think the idea came out of needing something fun. Something that I could do for every person, and they’d still feel special. And once I realized that “custom rap” could be abbreviated to “C. RAP,” as in “CRAP,” as in “CRAP KINGDOM,” I felt like destiny was calling me, telling me to rap a bunch of strangers’ names on YouTube.
What can you do with “Breia?”
I’d probably say something like, “I can’t stop spittin’, I got logorrhea,” which sounds gross, but is in fact just another term for using a lot of, maybe too many, words. Or maybe I’d rhyme it with “carpintería,” which is Spanish for “carpentry.” Why? I have no idea. And we’ll never know, either. Unless you pre-order. Oh sure, you’ve read it already. But you have lived until you’ve been immortalized in a custom rap. Don’t you want to live, Breia Carpintería?!
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