Today I have the pleasure of hosting Libby Schmais, author of the recently released The Pillow Book of Lotus Lowenstien. To celebrate its release Libby is hosting a blog tour and contest. For more information on the My-Life-Is-Merde-but-Have-a-Bonnes-Fêtes-Anyway Blog Tourapalooza see the last question of the interview, where you can find out how you can take part in the giveaway.
Describe The Pillow Book of Lotus Lowenstein in five words or less.
Wow, that’s tough – five words. I guess I’d say it’s a novel about “existential dread, l’amour and cupcakes.”
What was your road to publishing like?
Well, putting yourself out there is always very stressful and involves a certain amount of rejection, so I would say slightly rocky, but ultimately rewarding, because I’m really happy with the way the book came out.
What inspired you to write The Pillow Book of Lotus Lowenstein?
I wanted to write about a character I wished I could be more like, someone fearless and confident, although at times a little clueless. I was also inspired by all things French, Brooklyn, Jean Paul Sartre and The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon.
What kind of research did you do prior to writing?
The research for this book mostly involved wandering around Park Slope eating cupcakes and drinking lattes and pondering
the meaninglessness of life. Wait, that is my life! Seriously, this book was not a heavily researched one.
Would you rather see your book turned into a TV show or a movie?
Wow, either one of those would be incredible, but if I had to pick, I’d love the book to be made into a movie, because it would be so cool to go into a theatre and eat popcorn and observe other people watching it.
If you could cast anyone to play your characters who would your dream cast be?
Let’s see, I think Lotus would have to be played by an undiscovered actress so there would be no preconceptions about her. I’d love for Ms. G to be played by Winona Ryder and Wolf by Peter Sarsgaard, who I think could do the whole German thing. I wasn’t sure about Sean and Joni, so I consulted with Aurelia, a tween daughter of a good friend of mine, and she suggested Lucas Till for Sean (he did say recently in Teen Vogue that he wanted to play more serious roles) and Dakota Fanning for Joni. For the rest of the casting, I’m liking Jon Cusack for the father, Jennifer Jason Leigh for the mom, Owen Kline for the brother (he played the younger brother in The Squid and The Whale).
Which character from The Pillow Book of Lotus Lowenstein do you feel you relate to most? Why?
I relate to Lotus most, because I share her independent streak, not wanting to be like anyone else, although she has much more confidence than I do.
What’s next for you?
Hopefully, lots more books of all different kinds – Right now, I’m working on another young adult novel, but I also have a middle grade book in the works and some ideas for adult novels.
What is the French Word du Jour?
Today’s French Word du Jour is ennui. If you collect all the French words du jour on the Blog Tourapalooza, you can enter a contest to win fabulous prizes (a $25 Sephora gift card and a personally autographed Pillow Book!). Once you’ve visited all the blog tour stops and collected all the words, email the complete list of words to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “French Word du Jour Contest.” All e-mail entries must be received by midnight (EST) on December 21, 2009. The winner will be selected at random on December 22, 2009. Be sure to include your name, e-mail address, and daytime phone number with your entry (If you're under age 13, give your parent's contact info). The complete My-Life-Is-Merde-but-Have-a-Bonnes-Fêtes-Anyway Blog Tourapalooza schedule can be found at lotuslowenstein.com. Our next and final tour stop is Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf on December 18. See you on the road, mes amis!
Thanks for stopping by Libby and good luck to everyone!