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Tag: Interview (61-70 of 138)

Read this book! Rebecca Harrington on her Harvard-set novel 'Penelope'

Penelope is one of those novels that’s more than entertaining enough to take to the beach but can still dazzle you with its wit and razor-sharp intelligence. In person, Rebecca Harrington, the 26-year-old author who wrote Penelope, conveys a similar mix of bubbliness and literary geekiness: Our conversation over craft beers and truffle fries covered everything from Kristen Stewart’s messy personal life to contemporary adaptions of classical Greek theater.

Harrington doesn’t appear to have much in common with her titular character. In the novel, Penelope O’Shaunessy arrives at Harvard completely blindsided by the pretentiousness and bizarre social behaviors of her classmates. Like a cypher, she shows up to every student event she’s invited to, quietly (and hilariously) observing the goings-on — a ludicrous student production of Caligula, endless pre-gaming sessions for parties that never happen, a literary magazine meeting that will have you laughing out loud — while engaging her surroundings with mostly one-word responses like, “Yeah” and “Sure.” “She thinks that if she’s agreeable, she’ll somehow be seamlessly accepted into some kind of group,” says Harrington of her deadpan, painfully awkward heroine. “But really, nobody seems to care.” READ FULL STORY

Molly Ringwald on her new novel, getting dissed by casting directors, and writing about kids

When she isn’t acting in The Secret Life of the American Teenager or singing with a jazz band, Molly Ringwald (The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink) writes fiction. Her first novel, When It Happens to You (a “novel in stories,” according to the subtitle), comes out Aug. 14, and it’s a serious book that deals with infidelity and betrayal, among other subjects. We talked to the actress about her budding literary career.

I was skeptical when I heard you were writing a novel, but it’s actually good. How frustrating is it to deal with preconceptions?
[Laughs] I’m pretty used to it by now. I mean, yeah, it’s kind of insulting, but then I try to step outside of it and think how I would respond, and it’s true that there’s not too many actresses who write literary fiction. I would say expectations are sort of low, but I feel like the work speaks for itself. I’m pretty proud of the book.

Where did the urge to write come from? Were on the Breakfast Club set thinking, “Screw this, I really want to be a novelist?”
I always wrote fiction, even when I was doing The Breakfast Club. I just never wanted to publish anything unless I was proud of it.

Is there a drawer full of screenplays somewhere, or is that not something you ever tackled? READ FULL STORY

Read this, not that: 'Goosebumps' author R L Stine on his summer book recommendations

We recently caught up with R. L. Stine on the 20th anniversary of his iconic Goosebumps  series to talk about two decades in scaring young readers. While he’s mostly known for writing children’s horror, it turns out Stine has diverse taste in literature. Read on for his top summer book picks, and also the most overlooked Goosebumps book that he hopes readers will check out. READ FULL STORY

Cheryl Strayed talks 'Wild,' 'Tiny Beautiful Things,' Oprah, and 'Dear Sugar'

When Cheryl Strayed initially set out to write about the three-month hike on the unforgiving Pacific Coast Trail that she took at the age of 26, she expected it to be a long essay. It turned into a memoir, Wild, somewhat on accident, and now it’s an Oprah’s Book Club pick, sitting at No. 1 on the Hardcover Nonfiction list.

Before Wild became a major best-seller, Strayed was an accomplished essayist and novelist (2006′s Torch), and she already had a large, passionate reader following in “Dear Sugar,” the terrific, at times brutally honest advice column she’s been writing for therumpus.net since March 2010. She wrote as Sugar anonymously until she outed herself in February of this year. Vintage has released Tiny Beautiful Things, a paperback collection of her advice columns, some of which haven’t been published before.

Very much in demand these days, Strayed has been traveling the country talking to fans of both her new books. She took a moment to talk about Oprah, Wild, and Tiny Beautiful Things. She also has some helpful advice to all the aspiring writers out there. READ FULL STORY

'Gone Girl' author Gillian Flynn talks murder, marriage, and con games

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With her latest novel Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn — former EW TV critic and author of previous books Sharp Objects and Dark Places — has written the book of the summer. Yesterday, Amazon named Gone Girl the best novel of 2012 so far, and last month, EW predicted it would be the novel that would make her a star. Flynn talked to me about the thought process behind her disturbing psychological thriller. (Mild spoiler alert: No big secrets revealed, but it’s best to know as little about Gone Girl as possible before reading it).

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did you come up with the premise for Gone Girl?
GILLIAN FLYNN: I wanted to write about marriage. In my first two books, my protagonists were single almost to the point of not having much attachment to anyone else in the world. I wanted to explore the opposite — when you willingly yoke yourself to someone for life, and what happens when it starts going wrong. I’m playing with the idea of courtship as a con game: You want this other person to like you, so you’re never going to show them your worst side until it’s too late. READ FULL STORY

See the cover for Ruta Sepetys' follow-up to 'Between Shades of Gray' -- EXCLUSIVE

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Ruta Sepety’s first novel about a girl’s struggle to survive in Lithuania during turbulent times earned her a passionate young following. That novel’s title — Between Shades of Gray — caused a stir owing to its similarity to that of publishing phenomenon Fifty Shades of Grey (the title is where the similarity ends). Out of the Easy, Sepetys’ second novel, due out in February, takes place in an entirely new setting. From the official description: “Known amongst locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie Moraine wants more out of life than The Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld, New Orleans lures Josie in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.”

Interested? Check out the exclusive cover and an interview with Sepetys below! READ FULL STORY

'The Innocents' author on the lasting influence of Edith Wharton

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You know who’s hot right now? Edith Wharton. Even though she died 75 years ago, and she mostly wrote about turn-of-the-century American society, she’s still one of the most influential writers today. Earlier this month, Vintage Books released fetching re-issues of her four most famous novels. At the same time, two separate debut novels — The Innocents by Francesca Segal and The Gilded Age by Claire McMillan, both re-imaginings of Wharton novels — hit shelves within a week of each other. Segal’s new novel sets The Age of Innocence in a Jewish community in present-day London. She spoke to EW about Wharton’s unflagging relevance. READ FULL STORY

'New York' Grub Street editor Alyssa Shelasky on 'Apron Anxiety' and the allure of dating a chef

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Grub Street editor Alyssa Shelasky is the ideal dinner partner. She’ll never bore you with a discussion of in-season ingredients or the best cuts of pork belly. She’d much rather talk about reality TV — “American Idol makes me hate humanity sometimes” — or about dating and sex. Her food philosophy is simple: “Food is what I eat when I’m hungry. I prefer it to be nice food and hopefully from a farm where good, healthy things are happening.”

I met Shelasky at Tertulia, a busy Spanish taverna in the West Village, for an early dinner to talk about Apron Anxiety, her new memoir based on her blog of the same name. It’s one of those recipes-sprinkled-through-the-narrative books, which could be grating if it weren’t so disarming and fun. Shelasky’s story begins with her upbringing in suburban Massachusetts and moves on to her booze-soaked 20s, during which she mingled with celebrities (including a pre-Giselle Tom Brady) while working as a New York-based reporter for US Weekly and People magazine. Her enviable lifestyle slowed down when she turned 30 and moved to Washington D.C. with her new celebrity chef boyfriend (referred to as “Chef” in the book, but you can figure out his real identity with a simple Google search). Her quieter life didn’t turn out to be the lovefest she was hoping for. Chef was working 16-hour days opening a new restaurant, and Shelasky struggled to find a place in his food-obsessed existence. Her usual joie de vivre and self-confidence faded, and this avowedly undomestic girl turned to cooking to fix her broken psyche. READ FULL STORY

'A Feast of Ice and Fire': Yes, there's now an official 'Game of Thrones' cookbook

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“In the Game of Food, you win, or you wash the dishes.” That’s the tagline of The Inn at the Crossroads, a food blog with a unique twist: Authors Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer are trying to cook every dish that appears in George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series. Well, almost every dish — the denizens of Westeros and beyond sometimes eat things that are illegal in the U.S. (horse meat, camel, dog) or downright horrifying (olives stuffed with maggots).

But Monroe-Cassel and Lehrer have triumphed over challenges like honey-spiced locusts and the mysterious “bowls of brown” served in Flea Bottom, as well as a score of more appetizing recipes (lemon cakes, anyone?) — and now they’ve taken their hobby to the next level. Next Tuesday, Bantam will release A Feast of Ice and Fire, a Game of Thrones-themed cookbook that has George R. R. Martin’s official seal of approval; he even wrote the tome’s poetic introduction. Before its release, EW called up Monroe-Cassel and Lehrer to chat about the challenges of cooking fictional food, weird medieval recipes, and which fantastical world they’d like to tackle next. Hint: It rhymes with “Larry Totter.”

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What inspired you to start your blog?
Monroe-Cassel: We really wanted lemon cakes, and a Google search didn’t bring up anything that fit the almost reverent description of lemon cakes in the books. So naturally, we decided to try and make our own.

Research must have been a huge undertaking. Can you explain your process?
Monroe-Cassel: We basically try to do an historical and a modern take on each dish when possible — it can be anything from ancient Roman to Elizabethan. We’ll look at the description in the book and then we’ll go back in old cookbooks and try to find a description that fairly closely matches. The old recipes often don’t have quantities or very clear directions or temperatures or anything like that.

I’m imagining you two sitting in an enormous library, examining scrolls.
Monroe-Cassel: [Laughs] That would be the dream. I’m a classical history major, so I did put my dead language skills to work for some of the recipes. We’ve done a lot of library research and a lot of online research.

I guess you can find anything on the Internet.
Monroe-Cassel: It’s true. We got our crickets from Amazon.

It’s a little disappointing that the book doesn’t include a recipe for a pie filled with 100 live doves.
Monroe-Cassel: We get that a lot!

READ FULL STORY

Catherine McKenzie talks new novel 'Arranged'

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When she’s not practicing law in Montreal, Catherine McKenzie is taking on the chick lit world. Already an International Bestseller, McKenzie’s first novel Spin was published in the United States earlier this year, and today Arranged hits shelves. (Her third book, Forgotten, is due this fall.) Arranged follows Anne Blythe, an up-and-comer author with a great newspaper job. Unfortunately, her love life is pretty much a disaster—and I’d expect no less in a chick lit novel. Anne enlists the help of a dating service, only to find out that it’s actually a company that specializes in exclusive arranged marriages. After Anne learns of the company’s 95 percent success rate, she decides to give the nontraditional process a chance. Here, McKenzie talks about Arranged, her sure-to-be-loved-by-chick-lit-fans second novel, and its interesting connection to The Bachelor franchise.

READ FULL STORY

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