So I have been keeping a secret! I hatched a crazy idea to start doing silly interviews with my favorite authors. In today's social media age we have access to them through Twitter, Facebook, etc. All I had to do was ask. I love author interviews but I always want to know how they will respond to zany questions. That is because I am a silly goose (according to BF). I don't know how regularly I will post the interviews, but I am very excited because Lauren Willig will be the first author!
Lauren Willig is the New York Times bestselling author of the aaaahhhmazing Pink Carnation series, which are Napoleanic-set romantic mysteries. If you haven't read these books, you are definitely missing out! Like I mentioned before, all I had to do was ask. I wrote to her through the e-mail address provided on her website. I thanked her for writing the Pink Carnation books because I am constantly recommending them to my patrons. Spies? Romance? Suspense? Historical? Hunky Englishmen? Yeah, this book has it all! I absolutely love when I recommend a book to a patron and they come back wanting me to put the next 3 in the series on hold for me, which always happens when I book talk The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. In my e-mail, I asked if she would be up for a few zany interview questions. Imagine my absolute delight when she responded back only a few hours later! I let out a fangirl scream that sent BF running into the room. Total fangirl moment. I'm not ashamed. Ok, let me tell you a little more about the series.
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation (Pink Carnation #1) by Lauren Willig was recommend to me by a friend and fellow librarian. She tore through the series and I found myself enthralled in them as well. Here is a little snippet about the first book in the series:
Deciding that true romantic heroes are a thing of the past, Eloise Kelly, an intelligent American who always manages to wear her Jimmy Choo suede boots on the day it rains, leaves Harvard's Widener Library bound for England to finish her dissertation on the dashing pair of spies the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian. What she discovers is something the finest historians have missed: a secret history that begins with a letter dated 1803. Eloise has found the secret history of the Pink Carnation the most elusive spy of all time, the spy who single-handedly saved England from Napoleon's invasion.
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, a wildly imaginative and highly adventurous debut, opens with the story of a modern-day heroine but soon becomes a book within a book. Eloise Kelly settles in to read the secret history hoping to unmask the Pink Carnation's identity, but before she can make this discovery, she uncovers a passionate romance within the pages of the secret history that almost threw off the course of world events. How did the Pink Carnation save England? What became of the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian? And will Eloise Kelly find a hero of her own?
The story alternates between the past and the present and both storylines are intriguing and well written. I know you will love this book as much as I did!
When it came to the interview questions, I wanted to make her laugh out loud. I'm sure after 10 books she has been asked all the traditional questions. I tried to think of some off the wall questions that would delight her and you as well! So without further ado, here is my author interview with Lauren Willig.
Silly Author Interview Questions for Lauren Willig
(Because these are way more fun than regular questions)
(Note from LW: Yes, yes, they are!)
1. If you had to perform at a karaoke bar, what song would you sing?
These occasions generally involve a great deal of alcohol, so it’s hard to remember precisely what gets sung, but I do have vague memories of belting out “Proud Mary” at the karaoke machine during New Associates Weekend for my law firm. It’s kind of amazing that they didn’t rescind my job offer then and there.
But, really, I don’t need karaoke to sing. I do it all the time—bits of Gilbert & Sullivan, show tunes, 80s music, the Judy Collins songs my mother used to play me in my youth—and when I forget the words, I have a tendency to make up replacement lyrics. Sometimes those lyrics make sense, and sometimes they don’t. (Except to me.)
2. Left Handed or Right Handed?
3. Have you ever watched Duck Dynasty?
Is that related to Duck Tales? (Now I have the theme song from Duck Tales stuck in my head….)
4. Your best Halloween costume?
My Halloween costumes tend to be a bit esoteric. I went as Catherine Morland from Northanger Abbey my first year of grad school and spent a great deal of time fielding “Northanger what?” and “Catherine who?” Sadly, the following year’s appearance as Fanny Burney’s Evelina wasn’t any more successful. (“Evelina who?”)
5. Urban Dictionary defines as fangirl as ‘A rabid breed of human female who is obsessed with either a fictional character or an actor”. Who would cause you to act like a fangirl?
I would have said Georgette Heyer, but I had the great good fortune, when I was living in London, to take tea with the wife of Georgette Heyer’s former publisher (I know, I know, it sounds like a French exercise: “have you seen the pen of the publisher of my author?”). Once I had been fortified with strong tea, she confided that Heyer had actually been rather dull at dinner parties, wanting only to talk about (a) bridge and (b) her husband’s work. This made me rather sad. (Which necessitated the consumption of several chocolate biscuits and more strong tea, which made me no less sad, but a great deal more jittery.)
My other big author crush? Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels. Everything I know about comic timing, I learned from reading her.
6. Which book have you read over and over again?
There are so many! Do I have to pick just one? Gone With the Wind is a strong contender, but I’ll go with L.M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle. It never gets old.
7. What was the last movie you went to see?
I have to confess, I don’t get out much, movie-wise. I tend to see things a few years late, once they’ve come to tv (or now, Netflix). But I did actually make it to the theatre for the latest Star Trek movie. I love the tongue in cheek silliness of these re-imaginings of the Star Trek universe. And how could I miss out on Benedict Cumberbatch as space age villain?
8. Favorite alcoholic beverage?
I’ll knock back anything that comes in a champagne flute or a martini glass, preferably tinted an odd color from various concoctions (kir royale, I’m looking at you)—but my fallback is a Gin & Tonic.
9. If I were to give you a pint of ice cream, what brand and flavor would it be?
Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food. So much goodness in such a small container!
10. What book do you remember the most from the library when you were a child?
Anne-Marie Selinko’s Desiree, the “diary” of Napoleon’s first love, whom he jilted for Josephine. I was ten years old, in the midst of a Napoleon and Josephine obsession, following the airing of one of those Napoleon and Josephine mini-series on television. I nagged the school librarian for anything to do with them—and, like a magician, she produced Desiree, with its dark blue binding and yellowed pages, told in diary format, history from the point of view of a girl of sixteen. I fell in love with that book and borrowed it again and again.
After that, I’d have to say Mary Stewart’s Nine Coaches Waiting. Our school library had a flimsy paperback copy with seventies artwork on the cover: a woman in very high boots and a very short skirt on a dark path with the sinister chateau looming behind her. I have my own copy now, a much sturdier copy, but I still miss that old library copy (which probably spent more time in my house than it did in the library).
Thanks so much for having me here on your blog! Now I’m craving some ice cream and a re-read of Nine Coaches Waiting….