Hi. We are Hank and John Green. We run the vlogbrothers channel on YouTube, which has more than 600,000 subscribers, as well as the new projects crashcourse and scishow. We also created YouTube's largest charity project, the Project for Awesome, and the online video conference VidCon.

Hank is an owner and founder of DFTBA Records, an artist-driven record label, as well as a Billboard-charting musician.

John is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the newly published novel The Fault in Our Stars, as well as Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, and other books.

We are currently on tour in support of John's new book (this is John's account) in a ridiculous sprinter van.

Ask us almost anything!


EDIT: We are posting from two different computers on the same account. We will sign our posts when it isn't clear which is answering. Also, we are between SF and Portland, so there may be some 3G blind spots when we will disappear.

EDIT 2: We have arrived at the beautiful Holiday Inn Express where we will be sleeping tonight. Reddit, thank you for your many and fascinating questions. We'll try to answer more tonight after dinner. Thanks again, and as we say in our hometown: Don't forget to be awesome.

Comments: 2131 • Responses: 75  • Date: 

kamada363 karma

I just finish TFIOS yesterday. I read it for a day and a half straight, even was reading while i had sex with my boyfriend. Best sex ever....

thesoundandthefury394 karma





EDIT: kamada, it has been 21 minutes since I replied to you. WHERE ARE MY ANSWERS? -John

kamada234 karma

wow. my first contact with John Green and it went down like this! i don't know if I'm embarrassed or ecstatic. But yes, really! I didn't want to put down the book!

thesoundandthefury571 karma

Guys, do you remember that time someone on reddit confessed to having sex while reading my book?

barnesandnobles98 karma

She's now tagged in my RES as having had sex while reading TFIOS. This will not be forgotten

thesoundandthefury169 karma

Ditto, friend. Ditto.

btw, I hope to God this is the corporate Barnes and Noble's account. -John

KoreanTerran149 karma

Both: How often do you guys get recognized on the streets?

John: Have you overcome your fear of heights?

Hank: Best microwaveable corn dogs?

Best Wishes!

thesoundandthefury247 karma

From Hank: I'll get recognized once every month or two. It's always been a really pleasant experience and I generally want to talk to them more than they want to talk to me. Here's how it usually goes:

"Hey! Are you Hank Green!"

"Yeah! Hey!"

"Awesome, I used to watch your vidoes!"

"Used to?"

"Well, I've been really busy since (Excuse)."

"When did you start watching? / Who else do you watch? / Do you go to school around here?"

"I gotta go....I was actually on my way to (Excuse)."

I am apparently terrible at that. But it makes me feel awesome every time anyway.

Best microwaveable corndogs? I may be a purist, but I only eat corndogs fried.

losertalk55 karma

Ah, this begins to answer my question. I, too, "used" to watch your videos. But I quit very suddenly and I'm not sure why, which bothers me alot. Got any ideas on what it is with people who quit you guys? A bit more color here would be awesome.

Side note to Reddit: I use "alot" in a playful spirit. Both my parents were English teachers.

thesoundandthefury173 karma

People stop watching our videos for the same reason people stop doing anything. They don't think about it, have other stuff to do, get busy, have a kid, get really into My Little Pony or whatever.

Very few people stop watching because they don't like the videos anymore or something. Our like to dislike ratio is higher than pretty much anyone else on YouTube.

I always forget that there are way more people who know who I am than who are currently watching the videos (even though our view counts are higher than ever) because we're always getting new viewers and losing old ones.

It's fine and doesn't bother me at all and I still think you're awesome. Except the playful use of "alot" there's just no need!


nerdfighterelle46 karma

Well, I still love you guys a lot. Like, FOR REAL. So don't take this the wrong way, but I stopped watching the videos consistently because they got too... moral fibery... Like watching ToS. You know, it's a great show and I love it, but it's not complete without its daily dose of "racism is wrong," or other truisms. I started watching you guys from the very start, when it was just two brothers being silly and singing songs and making each other laugh, and sure, on occasion you would have something profound to say about one thing or another, but it didn't used to be preachy. Now, I watch a video where Hank talks about SOPA and he says, "good morning John," and all... but I don't really feel like he's talking to John. I feel like I'm being told why SOPA is bad. Which is great! SOPA IS bad, but I miss Harry Potter songs.

If I were in your guys' position, I would probably do the same thing. It's not very often regular joe's like us get a platform that so many people watch to be able to say what we think is important. So more power to you! I just thought I would share why I don't watch as frequently.

But you are still awesome and I wrote my 400 level writing class paper on the Evil Baby Orphanage, so Nerdfighters FTW.

Also, I hugged Hank once at W00tstock in Portland.

thesoundandthefury99 karma

You should watch my recent goat sex video. Not a hint of moral fiber to be found in it, I assure you. -John

vitalitron118 karma


thesoundandthefury344 karma

As we are traveling with young ladies, the rules are: 1. Be discrete. 2. Be discrete, and 3. If discretion is impossible, blame Hank. -John

karmicbias193 karma

So each fart must be individually separate and distinct? ;)

thesoundandthefury187 karma


(Not editing because if I did you would be deprived of well-deserved upvotes.) -John

CasiDozi118 karma

A couple weeks ago in my AP Euro. History class, my teacher showed us your videos on the French Revolution. He had no idea who you were (I later tried to explain nerdfighteria), and immediately assumed you were a college professor. As a result, he called you "Professor Green."

Now that SciShow and CrashCourse are around, could I/we call you Professors?

(Also, you once actually visited my high school once on one of your books tours three years ago. I won't say the name, but it's in the suburbs of Chicago. They made you sit next to an English teacher, because you both looked so much alike.)

thesoundandthefury116 karma

Don't call us professors. But if you think the work we're doing on scishow and crashcourse is interesting, do share it with your teachers and professors, because we are really excited about the idea of creating free and useful curriculum supplements. -John

theinfinitemonkey38 karma

Was scishow/crash course at all inspired by Khan Academy? Or did it come about completely on its own?

thesoundandthefury90 karma

We love Khan Academy and think very highly of what they're doing over there. We're trying to make videos that are really fun to watch and that will engage less-motivated students, whereas Khan Academy is trying to make a great education available free to the world. Hopefully these are both noble goals.

emdan105 karma

John, be honest, you called the Yeti right after discovering the Picasso, right?

thesoundandthefury156 karma

I did, yes, and to be TOTALLY honest she did some research and found out that it wasn't in fact very valuable. (This is in re this video.)

[deleted]104 karma


thesoundandthefury393 karma

From John: I have a two-year-old son, and I've been gone for almost three weeks on tour, and every time I call him, he says, "Daddy! I HOLD YOU!" And then after a second, he says, "I can't."

This is why it is difficult for me to come to the UK. I will, however, come to the UK if Liverpool make it to the FA Cup final. (And thanks for the kind words about the new projects!)

thegrammarunicorn39 karma

I wouldn't be too hopeful about Liverpool making the FA Cup final...

thesoundandthefury77 karma

We've got a better chance than Manchester United. :)

L-Lin95 karma

Hey John, what was the thing you pulled out of the burger?

EDIT: Grammar.

thesoundandthefury183 karma

Onions. I like onions; there were just too many of them. Also I knew I was going to be breathing into the faces of several hundred people in a couple hours.

[deleted]100 karma

You can breathe all over me any time of the day

thesoundandthefury301 karma

Thank you, Captain_LargePoop.

spinman1788 karma

Are you planning on doing any Crash Course videos about subjects other than history? Like English, Philosophy, etc?

thesoundandthefury239 karma

Yes. We're launching with 40 videos about history from me and 40 videos about biology from Hank. But after that, we hope to continue to discuss many more topics, including English, Philosophy, and perhaps even etc. -John

kelseypolo86 karma

I was at the Tour de Nerdfighting in Austin. Thank you again for an awesome show. DFTBA!

  1. How do both of you feel now that the Tour de Nerdfighting is coming to a close? Sad? Happy? Relieved?

  2. From a Whovian, do either of you have a favorite Doctor Who episode?

  3. John, how did you come up with the title The Fault in Our Stars?

thesoundandthefury212 karma

  1. All of the Above. I am also quite scared to go home because I have not done any of the work that I usually do for the last three weeks, so I am extremely backlogged. Probably I should be doing work instead of an AMA but...meh.
  2. Probably Vincent and the Doctor.
  3. This is Hank, but I can answer, it's from Julius Caesar. John may answer you more specifically at a later time. I'm sure he has some highfalutin fancy-pants answer.

thesoundandthefury231 karma

My more specific answer will be neither high-falutin' nor fancy-pants. In Julius Caesar, there's a famous line in which Cassius says to Brutus, "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves." Easy enough to say if you're a Roman nobelman--or Shakespeare--but it seems to me that many people's stars are riddled with faults. I wanted to write a funny book about two such people.

thesoundandthefury297 karma

That actually does seem pretty highfalutin and fancy-pants. I mean

  1. It's a Shakespeare quote and only highfalutin people read Shakespeare.
  2. It's all symbolic and stuff
  3. You're basically saying "Shakespeare / Caesar, had it wrong." Which, y'know, they did, but your pants have to be at least a little bit fancy to do that.

    -- Hank

thesoundandthefury328 karma

Shut up, dummy.


musicnerdfighter94 karma

Are you logged into John's account on two different computers? Or just passing one laptop back-and-forth during this exchange? Because that is a hilarious visual.

thesoundandthefury171 karma

We are typing from separate computers. We keep fighting over who gets to answer which question. -John

filll557184 karma

John - Now that your 'go-to' book has been published, do you have any idea of what you're going to write next?

thesoundandthefury182 karma

No. I've been trying to write The Fault in Our Stars for almost 12 years, and it's hard to think about ever writing anything else. I have some ideas, but who knows what will turn into a book.

mallorypoppet79 karma

Would either of you ever share the experience of losing your virginity? No hard details or anything just the general anecdote. I understand it's a touchy subject.

thesoundandthefury281 karma

Oh it's a TOUCHY subject, allright.




I'll just take my coat and leave. -John

krankz65 karma

Did you two talk on a regular basis before starting the Vlogbrothers channel?

thesoundandthefury209 karma

I left home for boarding school when Hank was only 11, so we never knew each other well as anything other than children. I always admired Hank--he is an uncommonly driven and successful person and always has been--but we didn't talk very often.

The initial idea behind Brotherhood 2.0 was that a shared project might bring us closer together (for those unfamiliar, in 2007 Hank and I made videos back and forth every weekday instead of textually communicating). I certainly never could have foreseen that I would one day spend three weeks sitting next to him in a van, but I feel very lucky to be so close to my brother as an adult.

JamRad59 karma

Do you stand up or sit down to wipe after you poop?

thesoundandthefury250 karma

From Hank: Stand up...unless it's a public bathroom and I'm taller than the stall. Then i wuss out and stay sitting. I am willing to bet that John will not answer this question because he's all "THERE HAVE TO BE BOUNDARIES!" while I'm like "LET'S CUDDLE!!!"

OK...I don't actually want to cuddle...there should be at least that one boundary.

MrNicolasRienzo54 karma

What is going to happen to the van after the tour?

thesoundandthefury145 karma

From John: The van will be returned to the company from which it was rented, and it will be painted with a different book, and it will drive around a different author. (Or, more likely, a band.)

thesoundandthefury397 karma

What John means to say is that we will steal the van in the middle of the night in Vancouver, tie 400,000 helium balloons to it, and then fly to south America where we will discover talking dogs while attempting to rekindle the memory of our dead wife but, all the while, discovering that we can still love....a cub scout.


chettpease52 karma

Is there even a remote possibility of a Tour de Nerdfighting happening in the summer months for us mid-westerners?

thesoundandthefury81 karma

Scroll up to see the heartbreaking things that my son says to me on the phone when I call him up each day. We'll do our best to see as many places as possible in the coming months and years, but I really like A. hanging out with my family, and B. sitting in my basement all day writing and making youtube videos. -John

Stanage51 karma


thesoundandthefury121 karma

From John: We have a driver. Her name is Juli. She is astonishingly good at driving this large and terrifying thing, and we are endlessly grateful to her. We do not listen to music in the van usually except on our separate laptops, but we do listen to each other play Xbox quite a lot. (I also listen to a lot of the Mountain Goats while working from the van.)

As for my favorite species of bacteria: acidophilus.

EDIT: John doesn't know how to spell Xbox, apparently.

[deleted]51 karma

Did Esther know that you were working on a book about cancer, did you show her any excerpts?

thesoundandthefury95 karma

(Esther is the young woman to whom the book is dedicated. She was a friend and reader of my books and viewer of our videos who died of a cancer in 2010.)

Esther knew I'd been working for many years off and on about a story set in a children's hospital; she did not know how the story changed because of her. The focus didn't come to the story until after her death. (I should say that while I could never have written this story without knowing Esther, Hazel is not Esther.) -John

sourcows47 karma

Can you describe the first book event you ever did? How many people were there, where it was, etc.

thesoundandthefury175 karma

A couple days after Looking for Alaska came out in March of 2005, I did a signing at Anderson's Books in the Chicago suburbs. (I lived in Chicago at the time.) They had a hundred books ready for sale and sold exactly 0, because two people came to the signing, one of whom was my boss--although, charitably, she pretended not to know who I was.

DrRubdy77 karma

Ah! I bought my copy of Looking for Alaska from there... 6 years later.

thesoundandthefury123 karma

Yeah, the craziest part of that story is that Anderson's had me sign every copy they'd bought and they held onto them, and it turned out to be pretty valuable to have a huge trove of signed first editions of Looking for Alaska. They showed tremendous faith in my book, and like so many independent bookstores, are still huge backers of my books. -John

emaily1314 karma

I bought Looking for Alaska at Anderson's in 2007 and it was signed. Was that probably still left from 2005 or did you come back at a time before the first Nerdfighter tour? I can't imagine they would still have signed copies after all that time!

thesoundandthefury23 karma

Almost definitely from 2005. That's probably one of the first couple hundred books I ever signed.

picklesforever2247 karma

John, what other bands are you a fan of besides The Mountain Goats?

thesoundandthefury225 karma

My brother is reasonably good.

thesoundandthefury253 karma


getinthetardis40 karma

This is going to get lost in the mound of comments but my chances of ever meeting either of you is very slim (hooray for living in the middle of nowhere!) so I feel I need to at least try to get this out.

The Fault in Our Stars changed my life. Since reading the book in one day (Tuesday. I couldn't stop. I even sacrificed tumblr!) I haven't felt the same. I feel... there is not a word for this feeling. How unhelpful. Whenever I tell people it changed my life they say I'm being dramatic. Because how can a book aimed at teenagers do that to a 23 year old? I don't even know anyone with cancer! And yet... just the sight of seeing the book makes my heart squeeze and my eyes tear up. It wasn't just that the book was sad (which it was), it's that it moved me. I read a lot (a looottttttttt.) so it's not like I've never come across emotional books.

Funny thing is, it was like a part of me knew this book would be special. I work at a bookstore (Side note: Someone used to slip notes into our John Green books mentioning Nerdfighters and including their email address.) and we apparently had trouble getting the book the first week so I ended up going across town to get it at another store full price. (And signed!) I couldn't wait. And once I started I couldn't stop.

When I started reading the book I told myself I wouldn't cry because, as someone who reads a lot, I could pretty much assume that SOMETHING terrible was going to happen. And yet... knowing still didn't stop it. From the moment Hazel arrived at Augustus's house and heard the screaming I broke down. I knew. I cried from that moment on till the very end of the book. A few times I had to stop reading because it was soo bad. Like gross crying. With snot and shoulders shaking. But every time I put the book down I would pick it up five minutes later and think "I need to be strong for Hazel." In my mind she was living through this so I certainly needed to be strong enough to read through it. Three hours after I finished the book I was still crying.

No book has ever done that to me. The last book that touched me strongly was Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami but not even then did I feel how I do now. I see things, people, the world, love, differently. The last 10 or so months I've told myself love isn't worth it all you do is get hurt. Relationships aren't worth it. People hurt you. The world is ugly.

TFIOS taught me that that is true and not true. Even though you will get hurt love can be worth it. The world is not so dull as it may seem. A park statue may really be an entire new world. A swing set is more than a swing set.

I guess the whole point of this is thank you, John. For writing it and giving me (and many others) that story, that world, that adventure. For giving us Hazel and Gus.

This will probably make no sense once I hit send but oh well.

thesoundandthefury34 karma

Thanks. I'm very grateful to have readers like you. -John

groverjefferson37 karma

John, have you and John Darnielle ever met in person? As he is listed in the acknowledgements, did y'all correspond while you were writing TFIOS?

thesoundandthefury69 karma

We corresponded a little bit while I was writing The Fault in Our Stars, and he said some things that were very helpful to me when it came to figuring out how to finish the novel, but no, I have never met him in person. (I mean, I have been to shows, but I get nervous in signing lines so I've never hung around afterwards to meet him.)

flightwithtools36 karma

John, my teacher is the woman whose wedding you went to in an elephant. I don't know if you want to know how she is but she is now pregnant and is a librarian and a teacher.

thesoundandthefury48 karma

Do I know who she is? OF COURSE I KNOW WHO SHE IS. She's one of my best friends from college. -John

darkandmetric36 karma

How long did it take for Hank to get used to second billing on the van under the giant "JOHN GREEN" print? Or was it hilarious from the start?

thesoundandthefury91 karma

From John: We're both aware of the fact that Penguin paid for the van and that Penguin is in the business of selling books, not in the business of supporting artist-driven record labels. We had a good laugh about it.

Hank and I really aren't ever jealous of each other. I don't think. Are we?

moose_man105 karma

I would like to point out the stony silence.

thesoundandthefury97 karma

hahahahahahahhahahahahaha the entire tour I've been referring to Hank as "my special guest, Hank Green." -John

moonjellies36 karma

Why do you think its (almost) always Hank who gets shocked on the tour?

thesoundandthefury261 karma

So during our show, Hank and I answer questions and whomever is speaking when this timer goes off gets shocked with this terrible shocking device. I think there are two reasons I get shocked less often:

  1. I am much more afraid of the shocking device than Hank is.

  2. I pay a lot of attention to the audience and try to notice when they start to look intently toward the timer. I can't see the timer, but I can see them seeing the timer, and when they begin to look nervous, I try to ask Hank an open-ended question about science, like, "Can you tell us about dark matter?" because I know he'll spend like four minutes talking about it.

UniqueConformity34 karma

Who's winning in Cows/Dead People? What happened to the Nerdcaches? Tell us a story from your childhoods involving each other!

I went to the Santa Monica show, and I just want to thank you guys for giving each of us a brief moment of your focus and time!


thesoundandthefury61 karma

NerdCaches have gone down in almost every state we've been in. If you go through my tweet stream you should see them (this is Hank.) We may be doing a second NerdCache in California today, the buttons are in my pocket right now.

Katherine is currently winning at Cows...of course.

awwer34 karma

Hey guys! I'm really excited to see you guys tomorrow in Portland!

I was just wondering, during all of the tours and meeting people, what are your real reactions to all these people who will want you to remember them, but because of sheer number, you never really will? How much time do you really spend talking to each person?

Also, I just wrote a short play for my theatre class and it may be performed for our winter show. I put a lot of allusions to literature, and mention "The Price of Dawn" in it. Aw yeah.

thesoundandthefury115 karma

From John: I'll answer this as honestly as possible. Last night in San Francisco, there were 1,300 people at our tour stop. If you spend 20 seconds with each person, that's more than seven hours. (I think. I'm bad at math.) It's completely unreasonable to ask someone to wait seven hours to get his or her books and/or CDs signed.

This means the line must move with some expedience, which is unfortunate, but the whole signing line phenomenon is inherently weird and not as personal as it should be, and I can't say what I want to say because I don't know how to say thank you in a way that you will believe, and you can't say what you want to say because you and I are both conscious that there are several hundred people behind you, etc.

My real reaction is this, over and over again: I cannot believe that these nice and funny and intelligent people came to see us tonight, and I hope to god they had a good time because I am so grateful to them for being part of this community with us, and I want them to keep being with us.

Thank you for including my book within a book in your play. That was very meta of you. :)

[deleted]32 karma

To be fair, when I met you the line wasn't very long, but I spent the entire time trying to figure out a way to articulate how very much your writing means to me. Socially Awkward Penguin got the best of me, and I stayed quiet.

thesoundandthefury74 karma

And I spend the entire time trying to figure out a way to articulate how grateful I am to you for reading my work and responding to it so generously.

The weird thing about books is that they really are a co-creation between reader and writer. I put the scratches on a page, but you bring them to narrative life by translating those scratches into a story that (hoepfully) has meaning for you. So if it works, we've both given each other a gift, and we both have reason to be grateful to the other.

But that's a very hard thing to express at all, let alone in a weird signing line. Regardless, it means a lot to me. -John

themiragechild31 karma

Favorite Disney animated film?

thesoundandthefury148 karma

I will remind you that we are both men in our thirties and so...ah screw it...Aladdin.

frankinabox30 karma

Do you ever just watch the first vlog brothers video? Or even "Accio Deathly Hallows" and just consider how strange it is that these things launched your life onto its current path?

thesoundandthefury94 karma

Yes. Honestly, I can't watch the first vlogbrothers video without crying because there are always great new comments from people discovering the project and becoming part of the community.

But I'm a pansy. -John

thesoundandthefury97 karma

God damn, you are a pansy, I don't cry for anything less than a TV commercial about teleconferencing to the birth of your child from an oil rig.


janiakj30 karma

John, when revising The Fault in Our Stars, did you make any drastic changes to get to the finished product or did the storyline start out exactly as it appears in the book? And thanks for coming to Boston!

thesoundandthefury87 karma

Well, I spent more than ten years writing The Fault in Our Stars, so a lot of drastic changes happened over that time. I started writing this story after spending a few months working as a student chaplain at a children's hospital, and for many years there was this 22-year-old dashingly handsome hospital chaplain character at the center of the novel, although I was finally able to part with him.

All of my books end up very different from how they start: I generally delete more than half of my first drafts, often as much as 90%.

rottenjohnny29 karma

To either: I'm sorry, but I've never heard of either of you… What would be the fastest way to become familiar w/ your works while exerting the least amount of effort? Best Regards - Lazy Beginner, but Would-Be Passionate Follower..

thesoundandthefury37 karma

hahahaha welcome would-be passionate follower. Go to our youtube channel, watch some videos, and you'll start to get it. (We're the vlogbrothers.)

PoolKattt29 karma

Did you two have any other pets besides Red Green when you were growing up together??

thesoundandthefury115 karma

We had a hamster named Willy who once disappeared and the two weeks later we found him and he only had one eye so then he got to be One-Eyed Willy, which was pretty great.

One-Eyed Willy was then murdered by Red Green after escaping a second time. Damn that Dog!

John had moved out by the time we got Maggie, the golden retriever, and I think we also had some finches in there somewhere.

thesoundandthefury103 karma

We also had Blue Green, the garter snake! How could you forget Blue Green!

Also remember that tortoise?

thesoundandthefury69 karma

I do not remember that tortoise...we had a tortoise?

TheBakedPotato29 karma

John, I remember somewhere you saying that you felt anxious around large numbers of fans, and that you're not the 'hug a stranger' kind of guy. Unless I made that up, how are you doing on this tour?

Second question, you always talk about how you wouldn't be where you are in writing without the help of the woman whose name slips my mind that assisted greatly with Alaska. Do you think people meet that kind of guide naturally, or is it something that a 15 year-old aspiring writer should eventually seek out?

And Hank, because I feel bad for not asking you anything, would you ever consider taking up music as anything other than the side-project it is currently? Do you think that DFTBA artists aren't getting the mainstream attention they deserve? Aside from Alex Day, I've not heard any of them on the radio, and he was only there thanks to a big push from fans.

Thanks for any answers, you two are literally amazing, correctly using literality.

thesoundandthefury52 karma

Re. my social anxiety and how I am doing this tour: therapy and medication and also not hugging people.

As for mentoring: I do think it's important to have mentors, but when you're fifteen, you are (hopefully) surrounded by good mentors in the form of teachers. For many writers, their high school and college teachers remain mentors--and in fact I still reach out to some of my old teachers for help and advice.

alexisaperson28 karma

Do you guys know if there's any fanfiction written about you? (And if there is, do you have any good examples?)

thesoundandthefury153 karma

I saw some stuff once that was extremely upsetting and I don't want to talk about it. -John

gobsayscomeon28 karma

For John, does knowing you have a built-in audience (and knowing who your built-in audience is, what they like, etc.) change the way you try to write? How different was it writing a book like Alaska before you knew whether or not ANYONE would read it, to writing TFioS, with its guaranteed wide audience?

Additionally, how different do you think your writing would have been today had you never started doing "vlogbrothers?"

thesoundandthefury42 karma

Re. the vlogbrothers: I don't know if my writing would be different, but my audience would certainly be different. Specifically, it would be smaller.

It doesn't feel very different not to write than it did when I was writing Alaska. I still don't feel like I know what I'm doing. Each book still feels very private to me and excruciatingly slow and I always feel like a failure while writing it. The major difference now is that I can look back and remember having felt those things before and having written anyway.

ThatsSplendid27 karma

Been following you guys since before I had pubic hair. You commented on one of my YouTube videos. I thought I was badass. LOVE YOU.

thesoundandthefury109 karma

Congrats on the pubes!

fuckthatvincekid27 karma

To John: Have you had any success with having your books written into movies yet? I've read a lot about you having creative differences with the people who own the rights to make the movies.

thesoundandthefury87 karma

That depends on how you define "success." If you define success as having a movie made out of your book, then no, I have had no success. But if you define success as "having some people in Hollywood give you some money that allows you to keep writing novels without having to worry too much about how unfathomably expensive diapers are," then I have had some success.

While I'd love to see a good movie made from one of my books, the truth is that it's hard in today's Hollywood to adapt the kind of books I write, because they do not feature zombies or vampires or explosions. And I'm totally okay with that.

zhonathanreiss26 karma

You don't know how long I've been waiting for this.

Hank: How hard does piracy affect DFTBA Records? John: What's your writing process like? What puts you into a creative mood? Both: What's your favorite album from 2011?

thesoundandthefury65 karma

I'm interested to see what Hank says about piracy and DFTBA Records.

My writing process: I get up very early in the morning. I try to write until noon. Then in the afternoon I make videos and read reddit and scroll through tumblr and do other things that I tell my wife constitute "work."

thesoundandthefury58 karma

There is some grumbling when I see one of our artist's CDs on bittorrent or something. And I recently saw downloads of my tour-only CD FOR SALE on some Russian website, which pissed me off.

But it doesn't really affect the label at all. Our artists have a different sort of relationship with their fans than most musicians. In fact, I'd hesitate to even use the word 'fan.' It's a new sort of relationship, much more similar to the way I feel about bands in my home town. I know them, I like them, I like their music, I would feel like a big monster wanker if I nicked one of their CDs.

I think that's how most folks feel about DFTBA artists, and we are very lucky to be in that situation.

HegPeg25 karma

Hey Green Brothers! Just wanted to thank you guys for accidently introducing me to Death Cab for Cutie (via your original vlogbrothers theme). DFTBA!!

thesoundandthefury44 karma

Wow...I never thought it would go that direction! I am still petrified that one day their label will call YouTube and get all of our old videos taken down because of that 10 second clip.

BlooregaurdQKazoo23 karma

What has been the weirdest and/or most random encounter you've had with a Nerdfighter at an unexpected place?

thesoundandthefury110 karma

Also, the day that I humped 45 landmarks in my home town I ran into like three Nerdfighters. After talking to one of them, I was like "Hey, would it be OK if I humped your car?" Hank

thesoundandthefury80 karma

One time I was getting a sandwich at the grocery store deli and the guy was like "HANK!" because my sandwich was ready, but I was like, "Hey...I don't think I actually told you my name," and he was like "I didn't have to ask, I watch you on YouTube."

If I wasn't paying attention, I never would've known. That's NYC class in Missoula Montana, people!


CalumWeir21 karma

John, do you play minecraft?

thesoundandthefury77 karma

No, but Hank does.


SGCaraway20 karma

Whats the weirdest thing someone has said or given to you on tour so far?

thesoundandthefury82 karma

Last night we received a giant knitted Dalek, which is far too large to fit in either of our houses without it being, like, the central feature of the living room. So tomorrow night we're going to throw it into the crowd.

filll557119 karma

Hank - Do you spend a lot of time writing songs and will we ever see song Wednesday again?

thesoundandthefury54 karma

I was actually just writing a song when John distracted me to do this AMA. I love writing songs and will never be able to stop, I don't think. I can't express how grateful I am that people besides me enjoy them. But if it was just me, I'd still do it (and I did do it back when it was just me.)

1000timesinmyhead19 karma

John, how much of your visit to Amsterdam affected the plot of the book? Did you already know what that part of the book was going to contain before your visit? I've always wanted to visit, sounds like a magical city.

thesoundandthefury43 karma

(The Fault in Our Stars is partly concerned with a reclusive novelist who lives in Amsterdam.) I'd been to Amsterdam several times before (my wife and I spent our first anniversary there), and I wanted the city to be connected to Hazel (who is, like Amsterdam, both dependent upon water and drowning in it).

But it wasn't until I lived there with my family for two months that I began to see the city beyond the way it's been romanticized by Americans and other tourists (pot, hookers, canal houses, etc.) It was definitely very important to the book that I finish it there, and I'm grateful to the Dutch Literature Foundation for the opportunity.

zarmel19 karma

John, if the P4A sharpies were used, why does mine still write?

thesoundandthefury56 karma

During the signing of 150,000 copies of The Fault in Our Stars, John became obsessed with efficiency. He noticed that as sharpies aged, he would sign more slowly. So he'd use them until they dulled and slowed him down, not until they ran out of ink. I mean...he was (still is, really) obsessed with signing efficiency.

johnthebioengineer17 karma

What do your parents think of Vlogbrothers? Has their opinion changed from when it first started to what it is now?

thesoundandthefury52 karma

It began as amused but supportive. It is now amazed but supportive. -John

thesoundandthefury42 karma

Our parents have been outlandishly supportive the whole time, actually. Our dad worked in documentary film for years and so I think from the beginning he realized that it was interesting and useful, even if it was not exactly a very normal way to spend your evenings.

CrazeyJack17 karma

Favorite city you've visited?

thesoundandthefury44 karma

Playing for 1,300 nerdfighters last night in the historic Fox Theater in Redwood City, California was pretty magical. But honestly every city has been fun, and I'm not just saying that. That said, we don't, like, see the city on tour. We mostly see A. the venue, and B. the inside of a Holiday Inn Express.

TheUrsaMajor16 karma

I was planning on asking John this question tomorrow in Portland; however, the chances of there actually being enough time to pose it seem very slim. I've had this weird theory since the summer when I became a nerdfigther and spent a few weeks delving into your and Hank's video oeuvre and reading through all of your books that the teenagers you write are in some way, if not heavily influenced by the kids at the Enfield Tennis Academy in Infinite Jest. Am I crazy or is there a grain of truth in this?

Also thank you so much John and Hank for doing this AUAA and for being such spectacular people!

thesoundandthefury36 karma

Well, I think DFW is probably very influential in the way I think about teenagers, particularly intellectually engaged teenagers, but that connection probably also has a lot to do with us borrowing from the same ideas about smart teens. Like, I suspect we read a lot of the same development psychology books, and also that we were both pretty heavily influenced by Salinger's Glass kids.

I do really like Infinite Jest, though, and have since I first read it as a freshman in college. -John

DucksGoQuark15 karma

What will be the one memory you will take away from this tour?

thesoundandthefury70 karma

Seeing my brother onstage singing a song about quarks while 1,300 people shout the lyrics along with him so loud that I can hardly even hear his guitar, and feeling the astonishing gift of getting to be related to someone who has used song to teach so many people about one of the fundamental constituents of matter. -John

BritainRitten12 karma

Why is it that nerdfighters have a great tendency to be female rather than male (judging from nerdfighter meetups)? I was told that there are only men on the internet.

thesoundandthefury50 karma

I assume it's because we're so incredibly sexy?

Rakarei10 karma

If you go to your YouTube channel and look for January 2nd 2007 (What would have been John's first video) it's not there. Why isn't it there?

thesoundandthefury28 karma

It's posted to the sparksflyup channel. We initially thought we'd upload on two different channels. I should really post it to vlogbrothers at some point. -John

Risotto8610 karma

What is your general opinion about the state of the Republican primaries?

thesoundandthefury91 karma

We actually planned the tour specifically to distract us from the uninteresting, bizarre, and idiotic mess of the Republican primaries. So, happily, my answer is that we have no frikkin' idea.

-- Hank