Post Secret: New Book Interview with Frank Warren

Forget the CIA, Frank Warren is probably the world's best keeper of secrets.

In 2004, Frank started a project called PostSecret, in which he printed 3,000 blank postcards inviting people to mail him their secrets anonymously. He handed out the postcards to strangers, left them between book pages in bookstores and libraries, and even left some on park benches. He got 100 back and posted the secrets on his blog.

Apparently, that struck a nerve: PostSecret went viral and since he started it, Frank has received nearly half a million postcards in his mailbox and over a quarter billion visitor to www.postsecret.com. The website spawned various exhibitions, events and PostSecret books, as well as various parodies (a true measure of one's popularity in today's world, I'm afraid).

The latest book, PostSecret: Confessions on Life, Death, and God was inspired by a collection of more than 300 postcards that were part of the "All Faiths Beautiful" exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum. The book contains never-before-seen secrets that, as Frank so eloquently wrote, "expose the common landscape of our private lives - from our embarrassing desires to our hidden acts of kindness; from the private prayers of atheists to the voiceless doubt of believers."

Frank, a Neatoramanaut himself (that's him wearing one of our T-shirts), has kindly agreed to sit down for a virtual interview with us. You are invited to submit comments and questions for Frank - we'll pick 5 of the best comments/questions to get a free autographed PostSecret: Confessions on Life, Death, and God book.

Neatorama: Congratulations on the new book (it's fantastic, by the way, I was engrossed reading it for a couple of hours) - did you ever think that PostSecret would be as popular as it is today when you started it?

Frank Warren: No, I have been shocked. In addition to the five PostSecret books, the website has had over 250,000,000 hits.

I knew that if I could earn people's trust and build a collection of creative and authentic secrets it would be very special for me. It's great to know so many others appreciate these extraordinary confessions too.

Neatorama: Why do you think it has been so successful?

Frank: I think people find some of the funny and sexual postcards amusing but eventually you come across a secret that you might recognize as one of your own. One you might be hiding from yourself. I think it is those moments of epiphany and empathy that have allowed the PostSecret community to grow.

Neatorama: Your latest book focuses on life, death, and God. Can you tell us a little bit about the reasoning behind the topic?

Frank: PostSecret started as a lark, maybe even a prank, but over the years the secrets have become more meaningful to me. This new book, like all the books have never-before-seen secrets that touch on sexual taboos and some outlandish humor, but more than the other books, the new book has postcards that share some our deepest and most private feelings about the greatest mysteries of life. The parts that are always there beneath the surface but we sometimes forget about during our everyday lives.

Neatorama: What are some of your favorite PostSecret secrets?

Neatorama: It's been five years since you started PostSecret - how has it changed your life?

Frank: Knowing all these secret stories that are happening in so many of our lives makes life, people, and riding the subway more interesting.

Neatorama: What's next for you and PostSecret?

Frank: My favorite part of the project now is traveling to college campuses and sharing the stories behind the secrets at live events where audience members can share their own secrets - without anonymity, but sometimes with great emotion.

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Frank's message on YouTube

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From PostSecret Confessions on Life, Death and God:

Frank has kindly offered 5 free autographed copies of the book for a giveaway. Got any questions for Frank? 5 lucky commenters with the most interesting questions and/or comments will win a copy of the book (I'll post Frank's replies as an update).

Links: Post Secret Book official website (with bonus secrets) | Post Secret website | Post Secret Community | Post Secret Book on Amazon (affiliate link, here's the clean non-affiliate link if you'd like)


Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

Hi Frank,
i was wondering if you could tell us what it was like for you growing up?
what did you like to do to past the time?
and does your family support you in your books?
im doing a project in school and i choose and needs to fill 10 pages and your short bio would help! thanks!
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Whenever I read post secret I find comfort in knowing that some people like me, were molested. And I'm not alone. I live in fear of someone I love finding out. It's been 7 years since that night and I've never told anybody, except my best friend... But she was too drunk to remember.
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MY LAWYER AND I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE A TALK WITH FRANK WARREN AND HAVE HIM EXPLAIN HOW HE FEELS ABOUT COPYRIGHT INFRIGEMENT AND DISGRACING SOME INNOCENT PERSON'S CHARACTER? HOPE YOU READ THIS FRANK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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I would like to mention how i came about hearing about this blog. I get a phone call from a friend that saw a picture of me from a modeling job i did for a magazine of this blog. Along with my pic is quotes making me out to be a sad miserable Petafile on this sundays post! I THINK THIS SITE IS A BUNCH OF BULLSHIT AND WONDER HOW FRANK WOULD FEEL BEING PORTRAYED AS A PETAFILE IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE GLOBE? THE MESSED UP THING IS THERE IS NO WAY TO DEFEND OR PROTECT ONESELF FROM THIS EMBARRASSMENT
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