Lovely Lia Weston is both a Simon & Schuster author and she joins me each month on the Writing Novels in Australia blog program.
See more about what Lia is up to at the end of this post, because right now we have more important things to discuss, like…
Is it scones and tea or some other homemade delight you have whipped up for me today?
I’ve made pistachio fudge, just to give you a break from all of the scones. No-one can resist its chocolate-y pistachio-y fudginess.
My mum says garden gnomes make a house a home! Are you loud and proud in your love of garden gnomes at home, a closet gnomer or with a strict ‘no gnomes’ policy at your place?
I’m a no-gnomer, though I do have a sneaking fondness for odd little statues; I have a set of the comedy/drama masks hidden in my garden. Fortunately no-one’s managed to stub a toe on them yet. Gnomes are too up-front for me; I like my secrets under cover.
What vegetable (or fruit) have you always wanted to grow at home?
Mangoes! But then I would never leave the house when they were in season. I’d just set up camp under the tree, eating them until I died of fructose poisoning.
(…or drown in bat and bird droppings — which would be the case at my place. I gave up trying to harvest them for myself.)
If I came to your home and looked in the refrigerator, what would I find?
As of right now: Greek feta, flaxseed oil, brie, quinoa, treacle, eggs with texta marks on them, three bottles of mineral water, Löwenbräu, sparkling wine, and a crisper stuffed full of vegetables.
(Ooh, I’m having an Aristos moment with that fridge. (Does everyone know who Aristos is? I loved him. So wish he’d ‘baled me up’ in my local supermarket.) Lia, I could do an Aristos with that lot, for sure. I could throw dinner together, we could drink and natter about how cool Simon & Schuster publishers are – not to mention what good taste they have! Speaking of good taste – pass the chocolate-y pistachio-y fudginess please.)
If you sorted your wardrobe by colour, what colour would stand out? (Ahh, do you sort your wardrobe by colour?!)
There is no need to sort my wardrobe by colour; it’s 99% black, with the odd sapphire blue t-shirt. (Guess who never quite grew out of her teenage Gothic phase?)
What are you wearing now? (Be honest!)
Black yoga pants, a black sleeveless top, and a black-and-grey striped jumper, which is the only striped item of clothing I have ever owned. No shoes, no makeup. I’m looking quite the stylish sloth.
(So you weren’t joking about the black clothes then?)
Whose home would you like to housesit and why?
Tim Burton, but mostly so I could steal all of his little trinkets.
(And feel right at home in black!)
We love a sunburnt country (slip, slop, slap and all that). What’s your ideal hat? Or are you a boots person?
I’m not big on sunlight—and hence tend to glow in the dark—so the largest, widest hat you can find will suit me very well. I don’t own gumboots or thongs, but feel I should probably make these purchases at some point, preferably before I turn 40.
(Not big on sunlight? Gothic black? Hmm. While that full-bodied red wine looks interesting, maybe I’ll pass on dinner. Besides… you don’t own thongs! Shame on you.)
If you were a tree (or animal) what kind of tree (animal) would you be?
I’d be a Labrador; I’m food-oriented, good-natured, have no sense of time and shed a lot of hair.
(Well, I love labradors. Just don’t tell my little white fluffies I said that. BTW – if I were a dog, I’d be a little white fluffy: annoying, yappy and snappy when not fed. So, more chocolate-y pistachio-y fudginess, please!)
Now for the big question… Why did the chicken cross the road?
I believe chickens have no internal thought processes; it’s quite possible that even the chicken himself could not tell you. (It’s quite Zen, is it not?)
(I think you and this chook would get on, don’t you?)
Your turning point: when was that point in your life that you realized that being an author was no longer going to be just a dream but a reality and a career?
It was probably when Simon & Schuster rang to offer me publication. Up until that point, I had not actually thought getting published would be a possibility; I had thrown the manuscript out there to one publishing house to see if anything would happen. I hadn’t thought it through at all. I’m still reeling slightly from the fact that I have a book in print!
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Managing my time. In between writing, I run a bicycle shop with my husband and work six days a week, sometimes seven, for quite long hours. When I get home, my priority is usually to scavenge for snacks and clean the house (not always in that order); writing tends to get shunted to the very late or very early hours. I am always looking for ways to squeeze more minutes and hours out of the day, not always successfully.
If someone was to write your biography, what do you think the title should be?
Easily Distracted: What Were We Talking About, Again?
(I believe you were about to pass me more chocolate-y pistachio-y fudginess!)
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
“Was it hard for you to turn down the opportunity to star in Simon Pegg’s latest movie so you could go on your sold-out book tour, and, speaking of that, does your hand ever get tired from signing your fans’ copies of your Pulitzer-Prize winner?”
“Yes, and yes. Can you pass me the gin, please?”
Fun stuff …
What does your protagonist think about you? Would he or she want to hang out with you, the author, his/her creator.
I think Ruby from THE FORTUNES OF RUBY WHITE would definitely want to hang out with me, because she basically is me, just when I was in my early twenties. She would probably be weirded out by how similar our tastes are. Then we would get drunk together and cry. Evie, from my latest manuscript (WELCOME TO PLEASANTVILLE), would bake me a delicious cake because I eventually gave her what she wanted, even if she didn’t realise initially that she wanted it.
(Yeah, those pesky protagonists!)
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be?
I’d never sniff at being Batman. Money, gadgets, getting to punch people who deserve it, and I think I’d look quite nifty in the outfit, even though it would need to be taken in in some places and let out in others.
(Batman black, yes, of course!)
If I said to you, “Just entertain me for five minutes, I’m not going to talk,” what would you do?
Nothing says, ‘sit here and don’t say anything’ like the awesome power of interpretive dance to Kate Bush’s Greatest Hits.
(Okay, I’d love to see you dance but… Kate Bush? I suddenly feel the need to find a ‘Wuthering Height’ to throw myself off!)
What food would you be?
That salty/sweet popcorn, because at first you’re thinking, “What the hell is this?” and after half a bag, you realise that it’s rather good and is there any more of it?
(Hmm, kinda like that chocolate-y pistachio-y fudginess stuff!)
What was the best thing before sliced bread?
A knife and a loaf.
Name 5 uses for a stapler that has not staple pins.
- Art installation entitled, “Office Space: A Tribute.”
- Projectile weapon to keep the possums out of the passionfruit vine.
- Very bad harmonica. (and you so need to make sure it is truly stapleless first!)
- Small symbol of despair.
How weird are you? Rate yourself on a scale of 1 (not) to 10 (very).
5, because I think I’m quite normal but other people do not, so I’ll take an average.
Funny lady. Awesome author. S&S stablemate — and no, that does not mean we are a couple of old nags!
She gets funnier. Check out Lia’s site. http://liaweston.com.au/
Another of Lia’s projects was a fabulous concept – The Life and Times of Chester Lewis. It’s a collection with a twist: 11 different authors wrote a chapter each to create a fictional biography of a central character. A fabulous (short but fascinating) read also featuring Helene Young. You can buy it, either in hard copy or as an eBook. Read more about it here: http://www.liaweston.com/the-life-times-of-chester-lewis.html