September 7, 2009
Review with Q & A: The English American by Alison Larkin
When Pippa is born, she is adopted by an English couple. She struggles with feeling like an outcast. She isn't quite sure where she belongs. She has friends and she knows that her adoptive family loves her, but she can't help feeling like something is missing.
Pippa finally decides that she must venture out and make the journey to America and meet with the woman who gave birth to her, Billie. Pippa soon discovers that nothing is simple and dreams are hardly ever reality.
I loved following along and sharing Pippa's life. She is hilarious and real, definitely someone I would love to be friends with.
Q & A with Alison Larkin
When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
I wanted to be a playwright ever since I can remember, but had no idea I wanted to write novels until about three and a half years ago when I started writing The English American.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
Ann Lamott, author of Bird by Bird, the best book on writing out there.
How do you create the characters in your books? Are they based on people you know?
I start writing without thinking and after awhile the characters start to show up. Some of my characters are based on people I know, some are based on people I would like – or hate - to know. Some of them are a mixture of pure imagination which is – what? A combination of something you’re thinking about right now and a half memory of someone you saw rollerblading across Central Park twenty years ago?
What is the one book you think everyone should read?
The English American by Alison Larkin. Definitely. Womanomics by Claire Shipman and Katty Kay, which I’m reading at the moment, is also very good.
If you weren’t a writer, what would be your profession?
I already have several professions. As well as being a writer, I am a professional comedienne/entertainer, keynote speaker and audio book narrator. If I weren’t any of these things I’d very much like to look after elephants in the African bush.
If you could trade places with anyone in the world, past or present, real or fiction, who would it be and why?
Myself at twenty-one. No question. As long as I could take with me everything I know now. Like Pippa Dunn, the heroine of The English American, when I was in my twenties I dealt with my acute fear of abandonment by doing all I could to avoid love, adventure and/or passion by dating Dull Blokes Only. That way, I figured, if the boyfriend du jour did leave me, it wouldn’t matter. Since I found my birth parents I have come to discover that these kinds of insecurities had everything to do with the fact that I was abandoned as a baby and nothing whatsoever to do with the guys in question. So if I could, I’d love to change places with the ‘me’ I once was, knowing what I know now. I wouldn’t waste my precious youth doing everything I could to protect myself from being hurt. I’d have a lot more fun. I’d follow my passions. I’d take risks. I’d allow myself to play with fire.
If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have 3 things, what would they be?
Apart from my kids, food, water, a tent, chocolate and a boat? I’d have a lifetime subscription to www.audible.com, an MP3 player and tons of batteries. That way I could listen to any book I wanted at any time.
What is your favorite movie of all time?
Four Weddings and a Funeral.
What is the one thing that you want all your fans to know?
That I’m off on another book tour starting next week – details on the appearance page of HYPERLINK "http://www.alisonlarkin.com" www.alisonlarkin.com - and I love, love, love meeting my fans when I’m on the road. I also really enjoy phoning in to book clubs for a chat! The best way to reach me directly for this or any other reason is to shoot me an email via my website.
If you could invite 5 people to dinner, who would they be and why?
When I met my own birth parents at the age of twenty-eight, I found out that I am a direct descendent of General Winfield Scott on one side, Governor Spotswood of Virginia on the other - and, my birth father insists - Richard the Lionheart. I’d definitely invite them to dinner. I’d also invite my great grandmother who was Cherokee Indian. And my other great grandmother who lived in the Deep South and used to waft down the long staircase in the middle of the night dressed in white to play Rachmaninoff’s second piano concerto. She left her husband to go off with a traveling theatre company and then came back and remarried him. I’d love to know how these people thought and loved and lived. I’d love to know how much of who they were has shown up in my own – and my kid’s – DNA.
Thank you Alison for taking the time to answer my questions.
Visit Alison's website here.
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The English American by Alison Larkin Hardback
The English American by Alison Larkin eBook
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Sarah over at Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc. has given me permission to give away a copy of this book to one of my readers.
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