Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How do you pronounce "Shaffer"?
Has President Obama or Joe Biden read Hope Never Dies: An Obama/Biden Mystery?
I signed a copy for Joe Biden and spoke to him during an appearance in Kentucky. I don’t know if he’s read it, though!
Will there be a sequel to Hope Never Dies: An Obama/Biden Mystery?
Yes. Hope Rides Again: An Obama Biden Mystery will be published in July 2019 by Quirk Books and Audible.
Your novel-in-progress Tapped was optioned by Freeform TV. What’s going on with that?
A television drama based on my Young Adult novel-in-progress Tapped is currently in development at Freeform, with The Pretty Little Liars' I. Marlene King and The Vampire Diaries' Paul Wesley producing. The latest status update I have is as of October 2017, and it’s still stuck in development as far as I know.
Has Donald Trump sued you over The Day of the Donald: Trump Trumps America! yet?
No. Stay tuned, though!
What's the story behind your Fifty Shames of Earl Grey pen name, "Fanny Merkin"?
When my agent was shopping Fifty Shames of Earl Grey to publishers, we decided to use a pseudonym so as not to tarnish the intellectual image I'd painstakingly cultivated as a nonfiction author. I found the name "Fanny Merkin" in a book of funny, real names from the 18th century (Morecock, Fartwell, & Hoare: A Collection of Unfortunate but True Names).
What's a merkin?
A merkin is a pubic wig. From Wikipedia: "Usually made of fur, beaver pelts, linen or some soft version of cloth. The Oxford Companion to the Body dates the origin of the pubic wig to the 1450s. According to the publication, women would shave their pubic hair for personal hygiene and to combat pubic lice. They would then don a merkin. Also, prostitutes would wear a merkin to cover up signs of disease, such as syphilis."
When is Fifty Shames In Space coming out?
The short answer is "never." The long answer is also "never." Fifty Shames of Earl Grey contains an "excerpt" from Fifty Shames In Space, a fictional sequel that promises "twice the sex, twice the excitement, and twice the sex." I didn't have any intentions of writing a sequel—I'd read a bit of the second Fifty Shades book, and it seemed to be more of the same. There wasn't much there to parody. However, there are two Fifty Shames short stories that continue from the end of the first book: "An Earl Grey Christmas" and "Gone Grey: A Parody."
How did the sharknado book come about?
The idea originated with Crown Publishing and Syfy. I hear they wanted an author who could handle a chainsaw. When they couldn't find one, they asked me.