E! host Chelsea Handler on reading, writing, drinking, and her collection of travel essays, ''Uganda Be Kidding Me''

By Stephan Lee
March 07, 2014 at 05:00 AM EST

Since you’re famous, was it hard to have the kinds of spontaneous experiences you like to write about?
The problem with E! is that it’s on in so many different countries, so just when you think you’re being anonymous and dancing on a table at 4 a.m. in Barcelona, someone recognizes you and comes up to you with a Spanish accent and you’re like, “Oh, no. F—.” Africa was the best place because I don’t think they have TVs on that continent.

When do you write?
There’s a great book called Daily Rituals that takes you from Tolstoy to Bukowski to Maya Angelou. Everybody gets the most creative work done in the morning, as many will tell you. I sometimes write in bed, early in the morning for an hour or two. For this book I wrote a lot in the Hotel Bel-Air, which is around the corner from my house. And yeah, I’ll have a margarita. There’s a great quote from Hemingway: “Write drunk, edit sober.” I did that a lot.

What have you read and loved recently?
A.M. Homes’ May We Be Forgiven. The first third is so serious and dark, and everyone’s lives are in such disrepair. And then for it to get as funny as it got, I couldn’t believe it. I love laughing alone — to know you can achieve that joy by yourself is always fun.