At what age
did you fall in love with vintage fashion?
I was always dressing a bit odd compared to my
classmates, although there weren’t really any vintage stores in the small CT
town I grew up in. I spent a lot of time combing through the racks at the local
Salvation Army and Goodwill stores looking for discarded treasures, which ended
up being more from Ann Taylor than Anna Sui. I have to admit that ½ the reason
I love living in NY is that there are so many great vintage shops to explore!
Do you bear
any resemblance to your main character, Louise Lambert?
Louise definitely reminds me of myself at 12.
Like Louise, I grew up an only child, with frizzy hair, braces, and an
overactive imagination in a suburban Connecticut town. I was also on a swim
team. But Louise has far more exciting adventures than I did!
What kind of
research did you do for the various historical locations you depict in your
Because I tried to be as
historically accurate as possible, these books required a lot of research,
which ended up being so much fun! For
T-TF At the Palace of Marie Antoinette my grandmother, who immediately volunteered to be my research
assistant, and I went on a trip to Paris! We took the train out to the palace
of Versailles to see what it is actually like in person. It’s really hard to
appreciate the scale and grandeur of the place from photographs- although I
hope I was able to capture it in this story. We ate lots of French pastries
(for research purposes of course!) and wandered around the grounds and gardens
where Marie Antoinette lived hundreds of years ago. My main character is
actually named after my grandma, so it was pretty cool to be seeing Versailles
for the first time with the original Louise Lambert.
If you could
choose one era of history to visit, which would it be and why?
Choosing one is hard, there’s so many I’d love to
visit! The roaring 20s seemed fabulous with the bedazzled Flapper dresses,
and t-strap tap shoes. The Great Gatsby is
one of my all time favorite books, so I’ve always been a bit obsessed with that
period of Jazz Age glamour. Now that I
think of it, this would be a good Time-Traveling Fashionista novel!
What does it
mean to you to write for a young audience?
though I find it really fun, I also take it extremely seriously. So many of the
books I read when I was young really affected and changed me and have stuck
with me for my whole life. It’s a huge
responsibility that I don’t take lightly. Reading great books by Judy Blume,
Louisa May Alcott, and Madeleine L’Engle as a kid created a lifelong reading
habit, inspired me to write my own books, and to this day, a free afternoon and
a good book is my idea of bliss.
If we were to
snoop in your closet, what would we find that we may not expect?
When I was in Spain writing the second T-TF book,
I went to this amazing vintage store and found a gorgeous long white tiered
dress with handmade lace trim that looked like something Dolce and Gabbana made
for last spring’s collection. The dress probably dates back to around 1910-
just the period I wrote about in The Time-Traveling Fashionista on Board the
Titanic. The fabric is so delicate that I’m afraid to wear it out of my
apartment, but I love it.