Alt Trademarks: Episode 15 - Anne Gilson LaLonde
Alt Legal Team | November 15, 2017
Hannah speaks with Anne Gilson LaLonde. Anne is the author of the trademark treatise Gilson on Trademarks. She took over authorship of the book from her father, Jerome Gilson, in 2006. Anne has also written articles on a variety of trademark-related topics, many co-authored with her father.
You can find some of the materials referenced during our interview below:
Anne’s Twitter account
Trademark Reporter article “Adios! To the Irreparable Harm Presumption in Trademark Law” by Anne Gilson LaLonde and Jerome Gilson
Resolution of the INTA Board of Directors, “Amendment of the Lanham Act to Include a Rebuttable Presumption of Irreparable Harm”
Office of Law Revision Counsel codification of Lanham Act
Erik Brunetti Oral Arguments
ADLON surname decision from the TTAB
National Novel Writing Month
John Welch’s TTABlog
Ron Coleman’s Likelihood of Confusion Blog
The IPKat Blog
Rebecca Tushnet’s 43(B)log
If you’d like to read or follow along, you can find our transcript below..
Hannah: This podcast is sponsored by Alt Legal. Alt Legal, easy-to-use IP docketing with powerful automation, deadline calculation, and reporting.
Hello, and welcome to the all trademarks podcast. I’m your host Hannah Samendinger. On this episode, I was joined by Anne Gilson LaLonde. Anne is the author of the trademark treatise, Gilson on Trademarks. She took over authorship of the book from her father, Jerome Gilson, in 2006. Anne has also written articles on a variety of trademark-related topics many co-authored with her father.
You can find an on Twitter @GilsonOnTMs. You can also find out more about Alt Legal on Twitter @AltLegalHQ and at AltLegal.com. Thank you for joining us and enjoy.
Hannah: Hi, Anne. Thanks for joining me.
Anne: Hi. Thanks so much for asking me, Hannah.
Hannah: Absolutely. I was so excited when [00:01:00] we started communicating on Twitter because you have such an interesting and non-traditional career, and that’s because you are the Gilson of Gilson on Trademarks, which is a well-known treatise and has been cited by the Supreme Court, and I looked into the publication a little bit before our call, and I noticed it was started by your father, and you actually took over authorship in 2006. So by way of background, can you just tell us a little bit more about how you got involved with that publication, and if it’s something that you always intended on working on or at some point contributing to?
Anne: Sure. Well, the first edition of the Treatise my dad wrote when I was six years old so it had always been around in the background, but I didn’t go to law school thinking, “I’m going to work on the book” much less thinking I would ever take it over. I went to law school because I had taken a great constitutional law class in college. So it was totally unrelated to trademark law. After law [00:02:00] school, I worked in the litigation group at Sidley Austin in DC, and then I clerked for a district court judge for two years and at the end of my clerkship. I was pregnant with my first child, didn’t have another job lined up, and my dad said, “hey, can you rewrite this section on false advertising for me?” and I got hooked on the whole topic of trademark law and the idea of writing for a living, and I just kept working for my dad. About seven years later, I took over the Treatise from him entirely. It really turned out to be the family business.
Hannah: Yeah, how and how is it working with your father on that Treatise is it?
Anne: I yeah, I think we work really well together. We do a little bit of work still on the book together. We write an article together every year, which has been terrific. The nice thing is I know whatever [00:03:00] I write, he’s going to make sure it’s not only correct legally and grammatically, but also fun to read. They’re not very formal articles. They can they can be a lot of fun to write and to read and also I have to say there’s nobody who loves being a trademark lawyer more than my dad. When my brothers and I were little, he would tell us bedtime stories about the furry little trademark. I’m not making it up. And he fought crime with Batman. He was a good guy. And my dad is always loved his job. And it’s great to be able to work with somebody who has that kind of enthusiasm and passion for the subject.
Hannah: Yeah, absolutely. And can you just speak a little bit, I know I’m at least a little bit unfamiliar with how it works, but how do you go about writing and maintaining a treatise? What kind of you know, how does that process work?
Anne: Yeah. Well, I send [00:04:00] in updates for the books three times a year. Most people look at it electronically, but the books are looseleaf so they’re just they just get updated, but what I do is keep up with the case law from the federal courts and the TTAB, any developments at the PTO with their rule changes, domain name developments, whatever there is in trademark law, and I incorporate all of that into each release so I make changes throughout the book and all the different chapters. I also have this ongoing very long list of long-term projects they’re sections I’d love to update or add. Like I just rewrote the section on
evidence of distinctiveness, for example, and I added a little section on emojis. So I try to stay current. I look at bigger picture issues too to see when I need to rewrite sections or chapters. So it’s mainly me at my computer a lot of the time, but [00:05:00] I do go to conferences and talk to people and I come back with a lot of notes to incorporate.
Hannah: Yeah, that’s fascinating and Beyond Gilson on Trademarks, you write other articles and speak, but you mentioned to me that you don’t actually advise clients anymore, or do any kind of client-facing work. So how did you decide to go that route and just sort of focus on the writing and speaking, but not any client-facing work?
Anne: Right. So having two kids, it’s been great to have this very flexible job. When I worked at the firm, I vividly remember those Friday nights at 6 p.m. phone calls saying, “oh, can you work this weekend?”, and it wasn’t a question as a statement and so with the Treatise and without the client-kind of pressures, I know what I need to get done. And I can do it when it works best for me. I mean I have to be pretty [00:06:00] disciplined about it, but I think it helped that I was working directly for my father for the first few years. You can’t miss deadlines when you’re working for your dad. And you know I enjoy working by myself most of the time. I do always try to say yes to speaking invitations if I can partly because it’s a different skill set than the one I use every day, but also because it requires me to interact with actual people even if they’re not clients. So so I try to push myself to do that wherever I can.
Hannah: Right. And some of these topics that you’re preparing research on when I was trying to prep for the interview, I found so many articles. I was like “oh, what are we going to talk about?” There’s so many choices. So I asked you if you had any topic in particular that you would like to discuss and you are a model guest. You gave me several great ideas. So ultimately I couldn’t pick. So I’m just going to ask you [00:07:00] about a couple of them, so let’s just jump right in because we have a couple here to cover so.
This is the topic proposed updates the Lanham Act that I’m most excited to pick your brain about, because as you mentioned to me and our correspondents for the interview some people may not know about this proposed update, and it has the potential to have a really big impact. So my understanding is the federal government has proposed to update the Lanham Act and move it to the patent section of the US code. So first, I guess can you just speak a little bit about why that has been proposed and what exactly they’re considering?
Anne: Sure. I still find this to be a very strange thing that’s happening, but it turns out that the Lanham Act isn’t what’s called positive law It’s a combination of different laws that were separately enacted like the Dilution Act and the Anticybersquatting Act that were just put together in [00:08:00] Title 15.
So non-positive law, like the Lanham Act, it’s only prima facie evidence of what the law actually is. So in theory, it’s less authoritative than positive law because it’s subject to challenge so a party could come in and say the language of the statute is different from what was passed by Congress and the statute my opponent is relying on is wrong.
So, this issue has never actually come up in a published court decision this problem that the Lanham Act isn’t positive law. And there’s no suggestion from anyone that anything in the Lanham Act is actually, in fact, different from what was passed by Congress, but there’s a government office that thinks that this is a problem and wants to do something about it. So it’s [00:09:00] called the Office of Law Revision Counsel and it works for the US House of Representatives one of its Jobs is codifying statues to make them positive law. So, it the OLRC, I’ll call it and it wants to update the language of the Lanham Act and reorganize it and put it into the US code as positive law. So it isn’t just the Lanham Act. The OLRC has already done this with some other laws. It has some others on a list on its website. But it says it reorganizes the laws, it eliminates obsolete Provisions, it clarifies ambiguous provisions, and it corrects technical errors, which is sort of frightening imagining people who have no background in trademark law trying to go through and edit the Lanham Act to somehow make it better [00:10:00] and not only do they want to make changes to the language, but it would renumber the statute and as you said they would move it to a different title of the US code, Title 35, which is where the patent law is. So we wouldn’t be able to refer to say, the Section 2D refusal or a claim under Section 43A because that wouldn’t be right anymore.
And in terms of moving the statute as an example Section 43A, which is now 15 USC 1127 A, it would become 35 USC Section 664A. And we’d all have to get used to that. The PTO would definitely be affected. They’d have to redo the TMEP the TBMP, I mean the whole trademark part of the website and all of their forms.
Doing [00:11:00] legal research would be really complicated because there’d be two totally different citations that you’d have to search. Explaining the changes to judges will also be difficult especially if they’re even little changes in the statutory language saying to a court will this new language is supposed to mean the same thing as the old language might not do any good, and you know the court could interpret the new language differently so the latest status of this is on October 18th, this year, the OLRC submitted a draft bill to the house committee on the Judiciary for it to introduce to Congress.
Hannah: And so you’re part of an INTA group too, the International Trademark Association, that’s working on this so what does that work look like what you guys doing to, so I guess work against I would presume, against [00:12:00] that bill?
Anne: Right. INTA has officially opposed this idea of codification and the OLRC, they actually tried to do this exact same thing ten years ago and INTA opposed it then too, and I’m not sure why the idea got dropped again, but sadly it’s back, but right now INTA’s lobbyists and its Director of Government Relations, they’ve been talkin to the the Staff of the House Judiciary Committee and trying to convince them that really they’re no benefits to rewriting and moving the trademark law and as I mentioned there are plenty of down sides and into has been reaching out to two other organizations like AIPLA and the ABA to try to get some support.
So right now the INTA group is it’s primarily the US legislation and regulations subcommittee and what they’re [00:13:00] doing and we’re doing is going through the proposed bill and comparing it line by line to the current trademark law just to see really to make sure there aren’t any sort of unintended consequences to their little tweaks. So I’m trying to help out with that effort.
Hannah: And what do you think the outcome will be? I mean, I don’t know how-how easy it is for you to predict, but basically the work you’ve done so far, do you have any sort of inclination as to what might have happened?
Anne: The people that, one of the folks at INTA’s suggesting that, who has more experience in the government the government area that I do, they’re hoping that the Senate Judiciary Committee is going to be too busy to deal with this issue. So that even if it’s introduced and it gets out of the house. It won’t go any further, but I don’t know it the OLRC seems determined to get this done. I mean coming back after 10 years, it’s and also it’s one of the [00:14:00] mandates of this office is to make everything into positive law. One possibility is that they might make fewer of these technical changes to the language.
I mean that might reduce the confusion a little bit later on but I don’t think t
hat’s going to stop them from trying to get this through. So I would not be surprised if it actually became law.
Hannah: Wow. And so how could people track updates to the proposal?
Anne: There are updates on the OLRC’s website and that’s called its uscode.house.gov. And also there’s a on the their page, on the Lanham act codification there’s contact information if anybody wants to complain about this as a concept, but I guess really we all just have to keep our fingers crossed with this one yeah.
Hannah: And I’ll link only to that site as well, so if you can access it easily. That’s a fascinating, I [00:15:00] hadn’t before you mentioned it, I hadn’t even heard anything about that. And it would have such a huge impact. Okay, so I’m going to switch gears just a little bit to touch on another topic that you had sent along which is talking about the first amendment in Viewpoint discrimination. And so the Supreme Court recently handed down the decision of the Slants case, Matal v. Tam, which we’ve talked about some on this podcast with some other guests. So people are probably familiar with the basic case, but the court basically paved the way for registration of disparaging trademarks so in the wake of that case have you noticed that there’s been a lot of application filed for those types of trademarks?
Anne: There haven’t been as many as people assume there would be so if you take the word that most people are probably concerned about when it comes to disparaging marks, and I’ll just call it the N word there been 17 applications for that word or variations of it and some [00:16:00] of those have even been from the same applicant for different classes, so maybe a dozen. I think the fact that I’m reluctant to even say the word here, that probably suggest why there haven’t been that many applications. I mean it seems like a great edgy trademark to some people, but it cost money to apply for the registration. I think not many people really have the stomach to use it as an actual trademark, and they’re also the all these particular applications are intent-to-use, except one. So again, I’m not sure people really want to use that word in a business. They, I’m guessing, there’s some misunderstanding to have how trademark law works, and they think that they can just gain rights to this word by applying for it. So there may be some of that going on.
Hannah: Right. There does seem to be a flurry just after the case of people just sort of declaring that they [00:17:00] could and would but as you mentioned it does cost a significant amount of money to actually follow through with that. And you had mentioned to me that you could see how the court thought the ban on disparaging marks was or could have been Viewpoint discrimination. So can you speak just a little bit on that idea, and why you can see that being the case?
Anne: Yeah, so the plurality opinion in that the case said giving offense is a viewpoint. So what the Disparagement Clause let the PTO do was deny registration to marks that offended people, but not to mark that didn’t offend people. So I came up with a couple examples. In one case, the PTO had said that the mark, ‘porno Jesus’ was disparaging to Christians, but in a separate application the mark, ‘thank you, Jesus’ had been registered. So this so-called negative [00:18:00] viewpoint was banned, but the positive viewpoint was fine. And in another case, the federal circuit held that ‘stop the Islamization of America’ was disparaging to Muslims, but in another, after another application, the PTO registered the mark, ‘jewels of Islam’, so so one viewpoint it didn’t get the benefit of registration, but the other one did. So I think in that way the Viewpoint Discrimination holding makes some sense.
Hannah: Right and there’s some categories of marks that are sort of similarly positioned, but with less clear guidance on their validity after this case and mainly I’m thinking of scandalous marks. So what do you think is next for those marks?
Anne: I assume people know about this case, but Eric Brunetti applied to register the wordmark FUCT for athletic apparel and also kind of oddly for children’s and infants apparel. [00:19:00] He’s been using this, the mark, for years, but the registration was refused under the scandalousness provision, and he appealed and the federal circuit on August 29, they had oral argument on whether the Supreme Court’s opinion on disparaging marks means that the scandalousness bar is also unconstitutional and the PTO argued that scandalous marks are different from disparaging marks and Matal shouldn’t apply and it said well barring scandalous marks from registration isn’t Viewpoint Discrimination because refusing to register lewd material isn’t viewpoint neutral. I listen to the oral argument of this online. It’s really interesting and the panel almost I would say, mocked the government attorney during this so I don’t [00:20:00] know that that bodes really well for their chances of success here, but I think it’s not immediately obvious that sexual reference or a swear word shows a viewpoint, but I think the argument is that putting a burden on the use of those words, it can make speech less effective. I mean I think back to the F the Draft case. I won’t say the word because we want explicit rating, but I’m Cohen V, California. I remember from law school where somebody wore a jacket that you know that had the full expletive on it, and he was arrested and Supreme Court said that violates the First Amendment. The state doesn’t have any right to they said, to cleanse public debate and his statement about this, it wouldn’t have been as effective if he was only allowed to say the draft is bad, and it doesn’t really show his the full the full you know feeling behind the statement, [00:21:00] and I mean, I don’t know how the USPTO is going to get beyond the court saying, giving offense is a viewpoint.
Hannah: Right and do you think that the idea of impermissible viewpoint discrimination could also apply to other trademark claims like dilution by tarnish men.
Anne: Yeah, I think this is a really interesting question after the Supreme Court opinion came out a lot of commentators said I’ll tarnishment looks quite a bit like disparagement. So this provision is likely to go away after Matal. The claimant tarnishment case is that the defendant is harming the reputation of the plaintiff’s famous trademark by using the same mark or a similar mark. So I think there’s some initial appeal to that. Somebody tarnishing a trademark seems a lot like somebody disparaging a person or a group, but I went and looked back at actual tarnishment [00:22:00] cases, and I don’t think the comparison really works. There are two typical categories of tarnishment cases. There’s associating the famous mark with products that are bad quality and then there are also cases where the famous mark is put into what cases call it an unwholesome context, but I don’t see how these are really viewpoint discrimination. I think what these are mostly about is stopping people from more free-riding on the reputation of this famous mark. So there’s a case that from several years ago. There was a pornographic website at Candyland.com. And the court said well this tarnishes the trademark for the board game. People aren’t likely to be confused that they’re associated, but the reputation of Candyland is going to be reduced in some people’s minds, and I [00:23:00] just I don’t really see how its viewpoint discrimination to stop a use like that or you know even on the other side if you’re showing the famous mark in a positive light that still could be dilution by blurring. I think it both kind of viewpoints if you’re using somebody else’s famous mark both of those would be prohibited. I’m sure somebody’s going to make this argument in litigation at some point. So I think we’ll probably have an answer to it. We’ll have to wait and see what the court
s say about it.
Hannah: Yeah, it’s interesting. It’s so it’s so close, but just a little bit. It’s slightly different.
Anne: Right yeah.
Hannah: It’s an interesting distinction. Okay, so switching gears one more time to new topic. So this is I want to ask you about an article, which would actually just came out yesterday. It will be a couple days ago, but I’m this podcast is released, but you wrote an article with your dad on the [00:24:00] presumption of irreparable harm in the trademark preliminary injunction cases. So could you speak a little bit about what the articles about and I’ll link to it? It came out in the Trademark Reporter. So I’ll link to it as well, but just sort of, from your point of view what’s article was that article about?
Anne: Sure so for years courts had just assumed that plaintiff in trademark cases were facing irreparable harm if they were likely to succeed with their infringement claims. If a plaintiff could show a likelihood of success show that consumers were likely to be confused, then it could generally get a preliminary injunction.
And then in 2006, the Supreme Court said that plaintiffs in a patent case had to show irreparable harm as a separate element. That was that the eBay case. It didn’t mention trademark law at all. But judges and a lot of trademarks [00:25:00] cases saw this as this is a message on high from the Supreme Court, so surely.
We have to apply it universally and as of now the 3rd, 9th, and 11th Circuits say that the presumption is gone in trademark cases and a lot of district courts around the country have said the same thing. So that’s the change in the law that really prompted us to write the article.
Hannah: And I mean so ultimately do you think that that eBay case you mentioned ended up causing some problems like isn’t it just addresses patents are not trademarks that it creates some confusions and problems? Do you think the presumption should have been changed based on that case at all?
Anne: Well, I think the presumption still makes a lot of sense in the trademark context. It’s a rebuttable presumption too. So it doesn’t say that in all cases a plaintiff we’ll get a preliminary injunction if even if they can show success, but if you [00:26:00] think about sort of the facts of a trademark infringement case if a plaintiff’s reputation is harmed because of trademark infringement, you’re not going to find any amount of money that’s going to make the plaintiff whole because it you can’t erase consumers’ minds. You can’t go in and delete the way they see the plaintiff it if there’s been infringement. So if there’s a trademark case that has merit, then likelihood of confusion is just going to irreparably damage the goodwill that’s a plaintiff has built up. You know you could take any kind of infringement example a defendant makes a perfume that infringes on the plaintiff’s perfume. They call it channel number five, and it looks just like Chanel number five and people buy it thinking, ‘oh, this is a real thing’, but it turns out to smell terrible or burns your skin or the bottle explodes or something so if a court lets the defendant just keeps selling the perfume, pending [00:27:00] trial, its consumers are going to think badly of Chanel, think they make a bad product. So we argue in the article that the presumption shouldn’t have been changed and in a in kind of a great stroke of luck, when it when you write something. After we wrote the article the INTA board of directors issued a resolution saying that the Lanham Act should be amended to keep the presumption of irreparable harm, which was just pretty good. Yeah, so I mean I don’t know what the likelihood of any kind of amendment really is, but it would be a great idea. I mean, maybe we can split that into the codification bill and make something good come out of that. I don’t know. I hope so.
Hannah: Yeah and I’ll link to your article as well, so people can read up on that and the INTA release as well and then hopping one last time to the last topic I wanted to talk about with you. This topic is a surname refusal. So when we were emailing before, this trying [00:28:00] to pick some topics, you mentioned that surname refusals is one of your latest soapbox issues. So basically that surnames even if they belong to only a few people cannot be registered as a trademark even when the surname is combined with other words. So I guess why is this a soapbox? I can’t say soapbox, soapbox issue for you, and why do you think the USPTO does this? Are they getting it wrong? Give me your spiel on surname refusals.
Anne: Yeah, I know this is what this is what you get for talking to somebody who works at home. It’s I but every time I see a surname case, I get really annoyed. So I think what’s happened is easy USPTO and the TTAB, they are going way overboard on rejecting applications on the ground that they’re surnames. Right now in the case law, the board is essentially holding that if anybody in the US has that surname it really can’t be registered as a [00:29:00] trademark. They’re not coming out and saying this is the standard, but that’s effectively what it is and one case there were five people in the US the evidence showed had that surname, and it was denied registration on the surname ground.
It doesn’t matter how rare the name is. So I mean I took a look in the past year. The board rejected applications for Kepler. Hundred people had that surname. Hofkie H-o-f-k-i-e sounds like a good trademark. 376 people had the surname. Luxford sounds like a classic trademark to me. 212 people had the surname and the board said, “Oh can’t can’t register it.” Oh, there’s another one, Hayek. Less than 200 people with that last name.
And not only that, but the board cites evidence of completely random people with that last name as evidence that the American public is going to [00:30:00] recognize. It as a surname so for Hayek. Yes. I get that Salma Hayek is a famous actress but the board has an opinion on this case it and it mentions Nicolas Hayek who was apparently the former CEO of Swatch from 1985 to 2003 and another one Friedrich August Hayek who is an economist who has been dead since 1992, but he won the Nobel prize in economics in 1974. So maybe we’ve all heard of him.
It just seems sort of intellectually dishonest to bring up these people and fight this as evidence. There’s another one that I love that the mark is Adlon A-D-L-O-N. There are only 75 people who had that last name in the US, but the board thought consumers would see it as a surname because there’s an actress named Patricia Adlon, who the board said was most famously a voice actress for the cartoon show, King of the Hill. [00:31:00] So somehow the public has been exposed to this as a surname. So there’s a strong inference that that’s the meaning that it has to consumers, and there’s there’s even one more kind of layer of this to me in a lot of these recent surname cases, the board talks about what it calls negative dictionary evidence and that means the word isn’t in the dictionary and that’s being held against the applicant. I mean you think usually with a trademark you don’t necessarily want it to be a dictionary term, but the board is saying, “oh, it’s not in the dictionary, must be a surname.” So the board says a fact that like Luxford or Adlon, or Hofkie these come you know these arbitrary sounding words, the fact that they’re not in the dictionary has to be evidence that it’s a surname. They don’t say, “well it’s not in the dictionary. Maybe it’s fanciful,” ” [00:32:00] maybe it’s the strongest kind of mark” and we maybe we should give the applicant the benefit of the doubt, but they go the opposite direction. So it seems to go against this very basic idea in trademark law I think that’s why I’d that’s why I’m so stuck there. That’s why I think they’re they’re really kind of troubling opinions, and it would be great if the PTO could just sit back and rethi
nk the approach to surnames.
Hannah: It is into I mean, I’ve heard of surname refusals, but I had never really gone down the rabbit hole and thought of what happens when they get a little more obscure or you know how they cite those. I never heard of the dictionary the bit of that, but it’s really interesting I could see why it’s soapbox soap soapbox issue for you. Okay, so that’s it. We covered a lot of ground, but I think we hit on all of the topics, and I’ll provide a lot of links to the things that you were referencing, the cases and articles and to wrap up the [00:33:00] interview. I like to ask guests a series of rapid-fire questions just for fun. You ready?
Hannah: Okay. Where do you get your IP news?
Anne: Wow, I really like the kind of a longer form blogs and like the client updates. So I read I read a lot in a lot. I read John Walsh’s blog on the TTAB and Ron Coleman on Likelihood of Confusion and the IPKat and Rebecca Tushnet. I really like the updates from Lexology. I think there are a lot of client updates that law firm send in those are really interesting. I like Twitter for its links to longer pieces. I discover a lot there. I discovered you there. I love the Alt Legal Newsletter. I think it’s super fun to read, but with Twitter, all of a sudden it’s an hour and a half later and I’m reading about what books are coming out this week, the local politics. So I try to stay away from at [00:34:00] least wandering around Twitter if I don’t know exactly what I’m looking for
Hannah: And what’s your favorite IP conference?
Anne: I’ve been I’ve been going to the INTA conferences for about 17 years or so. So I’ve gotten the hang of them a little bit and how to navigate the big conference. There’s lots of different information presented there which is great but. I’ve spoken in a couple of times at the ABA IP Law Conference, which was it’s much smaller. You can really run into people and have actual full conversations with them, and and I really enjoyed that conference a lot.
Hannah: And if you weren’t in IP attorney, what would you be doing as a career?
Anne: I think I would still be a writer of some kind of think if you’re a trademark lawyer you have to love words, but I’d probably be writing some very strange novels. Today is a big day in our family. It’s the first day [00:35:00] of national novel writing month. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it.
Anne: This is this is going to be my 10th year participating. And the idea is that you write the first draft of a novel 50,000 words in one month, which is crazy stressful, but it’s it’s really a lot of fun. You get to be creative. You get to have full control over your character and in a way that you don’t have control over the rest of your life, but this one it’s nanowrimo.org and everyone should check it out.
Hannah: Yeah, that’s amazing, a booked in a month. That’s a lot of work.
Anne: A draft anyway.
Hannah: Yeah. A draft. Who’s a woman, professional or otherwise, that you look up to?
Anne: I guess to stay on the theme now that I’ve written my, we use air quotes at my house, “novels” with the reverent for November. I read other people’s good actual novels, and I’m just so impressed. So JK Rowling, Agatha Christie, women who can make [00:36:00] a living by telling great stories, and my mom has written 21 children’s books. She started when I was a kid and the last one was published a couple years ago, and those are terrific.
Hannah: And what’s the best piece of advice or just a good piece of advice that you’ve received?
Anne: I guess to keep with the theme, the first year I did the novel writing month, the people running the program sent around a pep talk email, and it said you can’t just wait around for inspiration to strike you. If you wait for something brilliant to come to you all of a sudden. You’re never going to write a novel. It takes focus and hard work, and that’s, to me, really important outside of the creative writing. If there’s a project you really want to do but no one is making you do it. Then don’t rely on inspiration to just show up. You have to sit down and [00:37:00] start working.
Hannah: Yeah, that’s good advice. That makes me feel guilty. I need to go to some stuff right now. Okay. That’s it. So thank you so much for joining us and do you have any parting words of wisdom, anything else you want to touch on before we say goodbye?
Anne: No. I think I think that’s it. I suppose as a trademark lawyer, I should say, remember, it’s Kleenex brand facial tissues or some other trademark lawyer motto.
Hannah: Yes, and if any of the listeners would like to reach out to you, what’s the best way for them to get in touch?
Anne: Yeah. I am actually on Twitter. I’m @GilsonOnTMs, and I will respond if I mentioned or you send me a direct message. I also have a website that has my contact information, so it’s annegilsonlalonde.com.
Hannah: Okay perfect, and I’ll link to those as well so people can get to them easily. Thanks so much, Anne.
Anne: Great. Thank you Hannah. Thanks for having me.
Hannah: That’s this week’s [00:38:00] episode. Thank you for joining us see you next time.