What was your inspiration for Dream Girl and Dream Life?
I wanted to write young adult books that were funny. There aren't enough of those.
I also met my friend's magical-seeming grandmother, a crotchety woman who lives in a hotel and had a word of advice for any and all people, and I wanted her to be my fairy grandmother. Thus Kiki was born.
(For those of you who haven't read the books, Kiki is the main character's grandmother.)
Dream Life is filled with lots of little facts about New York and its history. Did you have to do any research in order to write the story?
Yes, I did a bunch of research to do with the city in the 1960s, the era when Kiki was the queen of the scene. I read a few books and I took a tour at the Waldorf-Astoria where I learned all sorts of neat facts about the hotel's more famous residents. Here's a tidbit: when Mariah Carey was living there, she had huge lightbulbs attached to the bathroom mirror so it looked like the vanity you'd find backstage.
Which character do you relate to the most?
None of them, actually! Maybe that's why I like them so much?
What kind of scenes are the most fun to write?
Party scenes can be fun. In Dream Life I had a blast making up the parties that Claire's French professor parents throw for all the other professors in the building. And I also loved the big birthday party that Kiki throws, and describing how Claire's date went totally wrong. The social disaster element scene was entirely based in reality.
Are there any authors who have had a big influence on you?
I am obsessed with Barbara Pym, the author of several comedies of manner from the 1950s-80s. I reread her over and over. So should you!
Thank you so much, Lauren!