I recently had the opportunity to sit down and chat with E. Lockhart about her newest release, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and what she's been up to lately!
Hi, and thanks for joining me!
You seem to have experimented with a lot of different writing formats throughout your novels. What would you say your favorite style is?
I just like writing dialog. I am always looking for approaches that allow me to write as much dialog as possible -- hence all the recorded conversations in Dramarama, and all the overheard conversations in Fly on the Wall. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks was a fun challenge because it was the first teen novel I had written in third person, so I had to search for a voice that felt natural to me and to the material.
What was your favorite novel when you were a teen?
Probably The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams. It was so incredibly witty and inventive.
Do you have a day job, or do you write full time?
I write full time.
I was one of the fortunate few that was allowed an ARC of How to be Bad (which was fabulous, by the way!) (click here for the review), and I loved the idea of a tag-team. Is that something that you see yourself doing again?
I'm so glad you liked How to Be Bad! Not that many people have read it yet -- we've only had one formal review so far.
The collaboration with Sarah Mlynowski and Lauren Myracle was incredibly fun, and it also went smoothly because we're all pretty organized and meet our deadlines. There was only minimal bloodshed. I would definitely do it again!
What made you decide to write your stories in the many different high school settings?
I'm just trying to keep it interesting for myself and my readers, so I vary the environments and pressures in which my characters find themselves. I like writing about high school because everyone's trapped there. They're legally obligated to go, even if someone threatened them the day before, broke up with them, told lies about them -- doesn't matter. You still have to show up and sit next to that person in science lab. So it's a fascinating petri dish of human emotion.
What sort of high school did you attend?
I went to two different high schools in the Seattle area. One was an arts high school and the other was more of a prep school. At one I was friendless and lonely; at the other, quite popular. Major contrast.
All of Frankie's pranks were hilarious, and very clever. Did you come up with all of them yourself or ever do any of them?
Thank you! I've been to a midnight party on the golf course at my college -- but other than that, I made them all up. One is based on the theft of the Sacred Cod of Massachusetts (there really is a sacred cod, yes!) in the 1930s by Harvard students, which is one of the most famous college pranks of all time. I got other ideas from books and from the web, then spun them out with my imagination.
Is Matthew from The Disreputable History based on a boy you've known?
No. Matthew is pure imagination. The appearance, the family background, the inner copy-editor, the secret society. But his attitude towards women is a familiar one.
If The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks were to ever be made into a movie, who would you envision as the main characters and why?
I am horrible at answering this question! I mainly watch old movies and don't have a great sense of contemporary actors. I wouldn't mind Laura Prepon from That 70s Show as Frankie, however. If she's not too old, already.
If there is one thing you would like your readers to know about you, what would it be?
Hm. I actually don't like my readers knowing much about me, personally. I'm a very private person. I guess I'd want them to know that both Dramarama and The Boy Book come out in paperback this May!
Is there anything I didn't ask that you wish I had?
You asked good questions! But how about this: Did you have your website redesigned recently?
Why yes, thank you! As I write this, it's not completely completely done, but come visit www.e-lockhart.com anyway!
In stores now: Dramarama
New in paperback: Fly on the Wall: How One Girl Saw Everything
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Be sure to check out The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, along with all of Ms. Lockhart's books!