On Saturday, former Office co-stars B.J. Novak and Mindy Kaling reunited on stage to kick off the second annual BookCon in front of a packed and boisterous crowd. The pair discussed Kaling’s second book, Why Not Me? (Crown, Sept.), which follows her 2011 bestseller, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns).
Off-screen, the two actors are good friends, and Kaling told the audience she felt lucky to spend time with Novak at the event. “I actually asked to hang out with you, and you said you needed two microphones, and 2,200 people,” said Novak, also an author himself, of One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories (Knopf), and the bestselling children’s title, The Book With No Pictures (Dial/Penguin).
Kaling described the book title as having dual meaning, referring to both the current stage of her life, where her friends are getting married and starting families, and also fitting into a Hollywood standard where, as she said, not many women look like her. In her first book, Kaling said she felt that she was introducing herself to the world, and “wanted people to like [her].” Now, Kaling said, "I know people know me and like me. I'm incredibly honest and vulnerable in this book. It's a little scary, but I think it makes the book funnier."
Speaking to the tone of the book, Novak complimented Kaling, saying "[It] feels like we're just listening to a friend, and we are." He then lauded her "ability to be slightly different, and see things slightly different, and not just speak slightly louder."
The event then opened up to a Q&A session, and one audience member asked the question on the minds of fans and media alike: What are some details of the book the Kaling and Novak are writing together? Word broke last week that the friends would be joining forces, for a rumored $7.5 million advance from a Penguin Random House imprint, and on May 26, Kaling took to Twitter to confirm that the book is happening, but that it wouldn’t be a sexy tell-all about their relationship. "It's very early in the creative process" said Novak, adding that the book would not be out for quite awhile. “We'll go through many directions and conversations on the way there." Kaling added, "It's gonna be awesome...[It's] super exciting."