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My Interview With Facebook Fairytales Author Emily Liebert!

Click the picture to read the full interview @

JH = Joseph Huber

EL = Emily Liebert

Here is a sampling of the interview –

JH – I know this is one of those standard questions but I have to ask, what inspired you to write a book about Facebook? For those who haven’t read Facebook Fairytales, can you tell the fans how you went about gathering some of the 25 different real-life tales of people and how Facebook changed their lives?

EL – I joined Facebook in the summer of 2008 because a friend of mine kept pestering me about it. Every time I asked for photos of her kids she told me if I wanted to see them, they were posted on Facebook. At first, my intentions were purely voyeuristic. I read other people’s posts but never updated my own status. Then, like everyone else, I got sucked in and really started thinking about the cultural impact of social networking. And, in doing so, it occurred to me that there had to be some amazing stories evolving from these hundreds of millions of connections. So, one night, I went on to see if there had been any books already written along these lines. I found books on Facebook etiquette, how to use the site, and the history of its incarnation, but there was nothing on the effect that Facebook was having on our society. As far as finding the stories, I started by posting a query to my Facebook wall saying that I was looking to write this book and asking my friends to repost the query to their walls. I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be fitting if I could find all the stories through my own web of Facebookconnections?’ I did end up getting a few via this method, but not all of them. My next steps were to reach out to Facebook’s press department and to see if Facebook would be willing to support the book. As you can imagine, they get thousands of book proposals and, of all of these requests, they’d only ever supported two books. I submitted my proposal and, to my surprise, got a call a few weeks later giving me the green light! They said they would supportthe book by feeding me user stories and granting an interview with Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The other stories I found through my own online research. As a longtime journalist who’s had to track down many sources through the years, the beauty of this process was that all of these sources were on Facebook and were, therefore, relativelyeasy to find.

JH – The Social Network screenwriter reportedly said that he preferred not to be accurate “for accuracy’s sake” and that it is based on “storytelling” rather than the truth, according toWikipedia. What is your take on writers being able to take real-life people and basically make them look bad, as the movie reportedly does to Mark Zuckerberg? As any writer, I believe infreedom of the press, but doesn’t it go too far when it attacks a person’s character?

EL – I believe in freedom of the press as well, but The Social Network is fiction. And many people don’t realize this. I think it’s wrong to make a movie that’s relatively inaccurate and let people think it’s true-to-life. I know the producers have offered disclaimers, but most ofthe world doesn’t pay attention to that. It’s unfortunate that in our society people build things up and then tear them down. It’s not something I’d involve myself in as a writer or producer, no matter the paycheck.

JH – Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and Founder of Facebook, did the foreword for your book. What are your impressions of him and how did you go about getting him to do the foreword?

EL – My impression of Mark is that he’s a brilliant, articulate, hard-working young man who’s taking the world by storm and revolutionizing the way people communicate—both professionally and personally—around the world. He was absolutely gracious and forthcoming when I spoke with him. I got him to do the foreword by simply asking the folks at Facebook. Mark is press shy—it isn’t important to him to have his name and face splashed all over the media—but he loved the concept for Facebook Fairytales, so agreed to contribute.

JH – I’m not going to ask which story was the most inspirational for you since that’s too tough to choose, but which story made you emotional the most? I’d have to go with Heaven Sent. That story was like a bunch of Lifetime movies rolled into one. I really felt for that mother. Hard to believe but a story about losing a daughter was able to be inspirational, did that surprise you?

EL – “Heaven Sent” was definitely the most emotionally charged story for me. The Elkins family is amazing. I actually traveled to Athens, Alabama, where they live—after the book published—to attend the Jessica Elkins Memorial beauty pageant. They set up media appearances and book signings for me and were the most gracious hosts. The loss of their daughter was profound and they hold her in their hearts every minute of every day, as do I. It’s hard to believe that this story could inspire, but The Elkins Family made the most of a tragic situation by helping others.

JH – The love story in Summer Love did you think the couple would make it, given all the obstacles in their way?

EL – Well, I knew the ending before I even heard the story, so yes! And I guess they have “made it” because they’re getting married on Sunday!

Click the picture to read the full interview @

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