Friday, April 18, 2014

Pasadena Book Festival Announcement + Spotlight on Elizabeth Ross + GIVEAWAY

Event date: Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 12pm-4pm
Venue: Pasadena Public Library, 285 E Walnut St, Pasadena, CA 91101

T-Shirt sign-ups at CustomInk

Today, I am happy to interview Elizabeth Ross, author of Belle Epoque!


Elizabeth Ross grew up in Scotland where she studied French and Film Studies at the University of Glasgow.
After graduation she worked in the film industry in Montreal for several years, becoming a film editor. That career path eventually led to Los Angeles where she now lives with her husband.

Her debut novel, BELLE EPOQUE, will be published in June, 2013 from Delacorte Press/Random House. She is currently at work on a new novel set in 1940’s Los Angeles. Elizabeth is represented by Brenda Bowen of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates.

Goodreads ~ Website ~ Twitter

Why did you choose the late 1800's in France for the setting of Belle Epoque?
Belle Epoque is inspired by a short story by Emile Zola and I wanted to set my novel in Zola's Paris. With a historical setting I felt I had more license to push the boundaries of the theme of beauty. As I began researching the era, I realized that the building of the Eiffel tower was the perfect backdrop for my characters. When it was constructed the tower was considered ugly and it became the perfect metaphor for my heroine.
What kind of research did you have to do for Belle Epoque?
I researched the historical, political and cultural background of the era and I drew a lot from reading about the lives of women from different classes. I was also inspired by the artwork of Toulouse Lautrec and the music of Erik Satie – art and music really bring history to life for me. I spent time in Paris during the writing of the book. I also drew on my past experience of the city (I had worked as an au pair in Paris when I was a teenager). So I reread my old diaries (cringe!).
What are you working on now?
I’m writing a new novel set in 1940’s Los Angeles – a film noir mystery. I love this period and living in LA, I find inspiration all around me. Historical fiction really appeals to me in that you can delve into another world and explore themes through the lens of the past that can be just as relevant to today's world.
If you could change one thing about Belle Epoque, what would it be?
I wouldn’t change anything. That’s not to say it’s perfect or that if I suffered amnesia and rewrote it today that it would be the same book. A story is a living thing – it grows inside you and changes as you change. On that note, I actually have the opportunity to dive back into 1880’s Paris as I’m working on the screenplay for the novel (Belle Epoque film rights were optioned a few months ago). As a film is so different from a book, I have the exciting task of reimagining it for the screen.
Favorite book you've read so far this year, and your favorite TV show right now?
I’m reading lots of mysteries right now – I loved the dark side of LA in The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler. In YA I adored Steph Kuehn's Charm and Strange – emotionally gripping and wholly original, I tore through it. As for TV, I just finished the first season of Orange is the New Black, which is brilliant. How refreshing to see a cast of original female characters, each with their own rich past and experiences (and how depressing that this is such an anomaly!).

#1: ARC of A Girl Called Fearless
Winner may request personalization/autograph
Open to US residents only - ends 4/25/2014
Enter with Rafflecopter #1

#2: Choose from 1 of the books featured at the Pasadena Teen Book Festival
Winner may request personalization/autograph
Open to US residents only - ends 4/25/2014
Enter with Rafflecopter #2

#3: $50 Gift Card to Vroman's Bookstore
Open to attendees of the Pasadena Book Festival only! - ends 4/21/2014
To enter, suggest a new, unique/clever/fun name for the Pasadena Teen Book Festival. Examples of other cool names for teen book fests include (already taken, unfortunately) Teen Author Carnival, YALLFest, and YABFest. What should we call our event from now on? Email your top 3 best name suggestions to OR fill out this form! A panel of judges will choose the best name from all of the submissions. The winner will be announced at the Festival!

Are you planning to come to the festival? Let me know in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. Great interview! And how exciting that Belle Epoque had been optioned. I'd love to see a movie version of it.


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