Reply
Contributor
mf99
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎09-20-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

[ Edited ]

Hello I'm enjoying the book a lot and I was just wondering how and why you chose to bring a interracial romance into the setting of the 1920's? I think it adds a wonderful element to the book and I was just asking because its not a topic that's seen very frequently in books set during this era. Sorry if someone already asked this question, every time I look the thread just gets longer!

Frequent Contributor
librarysusie
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎07-21-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

There is a problem cataloging your book over at librarything it comes up the right  book  but by Lila Fine was this a pen name and you decided to use your real name or vice versa ?

Author
Jillian-Larkin
Posts: 96
Registered: ‎10-11-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

 


Vermontcozy wrote:

Good Morning Jillian.Thanks for responding and  for"Twilight Sleep"..doing some searching around on BN today..Your research and so perfectly portraying the Era is so impressive..Being born and raised in NY..,I always thought of Harlem as so unique..Amazing Brownstones..Middle to upper middle class familes.living there..We had a friend who went to Fordham with my daughters father,and he invited us to his Grandmothers home for Christmas one Year.Just Beautiful..I guess Harlem was alwys depicted as a ghetto..Well it has changed a lot..We have been to a few Jazz clubs years ago..very mixed crowd..The Music,well I don't have to tell you..I wish you Much Success..The Girls are all of us..We could talk about Vixen for a long time,Just Glad "Ingenue "will be out soon!!!.. Best Susan


 

Hi Susan,

 

I know, I love Harlem! One of my best friends lives up there. My father's originally for the Bronx and when I told him about hanging out with my friend in Harlem, he gave me a long speech about never riding the subway there alone and how I shouldn't walk around there at night. It is crazy how much it's changed.  Thank you for the compliments!

 

Best,

Jillian

Author
Jillian-Larkin
Posts: 96
Registered: ‎10-11-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin


maxcat wrote:

Thank you, Jillian about the race relations. But did you research how blacks were treated back then as far as being treated equally, etc.? I'm not black or a racist by any means. It's interesting what Gloria and Jerome might run into racially along the way.


Hi again! Yes, I did also read up a bit on the Ku Klux Klan at that time too. The Klan became very popular for the first time since the 1800s in 1920s. It actually reached its peak number of members in 1924, so that gives one a good idea of what race relations were like back then. There's a good article on the Klan in the 1920s on Digital History (a University of Houston site that I love a lot):
http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/database/article_display.cfm?HHID=444
It's also worth noting that The Birth of a Nation, an extremely racist film about the birth of the Ku Klux Klan, came out in 1915.
Author
Jillian-Larkin
Posts: 96
Registered: ‎10-11-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

 


Sarah-W wrote:

 

Thanks for answering this question, Jillian! We talked a bit about this on the first week of the discussion. You say, "Learning to come out of your shell, to break free of a situation you feel imprisoned by, is something each of the girls is trying to do in her own way." It just occurred to me that one of the powers of a vixen---a seductress---is the power she has over others. This is a power young women come into quite early in their lives. It's always struck me that this also makes them vulnerable, in the way that Lorraine is vulnerable in the book.

Wonderful insight, Sarah!  That is absolutely true about Lorraine--she relishes the way she can control the men around her but is a little too naive to truly understand what it is she is doing. She's so eager for attention that she accepts it from both Bastian and Carlito, and makes poor decisions when it comes to both of them.

 

Author
Jillian-Larkin
Posts: 96
Registered: ‎10-11-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

 


mf99 wrote:

Hello I'm enjoying the book a lot and I was just wondering how and why you chose to bring a interracial romance into the setting of the 1920's? I think it adds a wonderful element to the book and I was just asking because its not a topic that's seen very frequently in books set during this era. Sorry if someone already asked this question, every time I look the thread just gets longer!


 

Hi there, and thank you so much for reading! Someone did ask me that question before, yes, and I'm going to be lazy and repost that exchange here :smileyhappy: :

 

Atreyu59 wrote:

Jillian -  - - What made you tackle the 'race' issue as you did in this book?  This was a very touchy subject matter for the YA's of the timeframe, but less so with today's teen - at least in some geographic areas I should say.

 

Thanks 


I don't think there was a real moment when I "decided" to tackle the race issue. All I knew starting out was that Gloria was a debutante who secretly wanted to be a jazz singer. But as I researched the musicians playing in Chicago at that time--King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton--I realized how many all-black bands were around back then. I decided the band at the Green Mill was all black ... then it just kind of developed organically from there.

Author
Jillian-Larkin
Posts: 96
Registered: ‎10-11-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

 


librarysusie wrote:

There is a problem cataloging your book over at librarything it comes up the right  book  but by Lila Fine was this a pen name and you decided to use your real name or vice versa ?


Hi! Yes, Lila Fine was the pen name I originally chose. I work in the publishing industry and always knew that I would want to use a pen name if I was able to get my writing published. That way I could keep my writing and publishing careers separate. But then I realized that when I went on tour and to signings people would call me Lila. I am way too ditzy to respond to anything but my real first name, so we changed it. No one liked how "Jillian Fine" sounded so we changed the last name as well.

 

Inspired Bibliophile
Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

Good Morning Jillian..I was given the same speech lol..But as you know being from NY,not much bothers us..And we are so adventurous..I think you did an outstanding job handling the race issue..It had to be a reality during that era that no one was talking about..But of course,thats a whole other book..I also wanted to compliment Sarah on her skill as Moderator of "Vixen"..We have gotten to know the characters from so many viewpoints,and Sarah incorporates that into her posts..I did find"Twilight Sleep "by Edith Wharton,here on BN  Thank you..Best Susan

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
Distinguished Wordsmith
maxcat
Posts: 4,011
Registered: ‎11-01-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

Thank you, Jillian. I was surprised that you had come up with idea of an interracial couple back in the 20's. It's a very interesting thought as to how Jerome and Gloria will handle different issues as they arise.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
Contributor
AWVA
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎05-03-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

Hi Jillian.

 

i'd like to start by saying thank you for allowing us to read your book and comment on it. i really enjoyed reading it in general. i have never read a book based in the 1920s and it was fun to put myself there with the girls. i have to say that i know a good book when i feel for the characters. and even though i disliked loraine so very much...she's also the character that stuck with me and touched me the most. i wanted to rescue her and keep her safe. from the first moment in the barber shop to the last when she's being "taken care of" by the mob. i honestly wanted to whisk her away and scream NO! in her ear.

so i guess if i have any question at all it would be...the characters are so well developed when dealing with feelings. are you most like any of the characters you've created? and how?

 

THANKS!!!

Ashley

Wordsmith
literature
Posts: 499
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin


Jillian-Larkin wrote:

 


Vermontcozy wrote:

Good Morning Jillian.Thanks for responding and  for"Twilight Sleep"..doing some searching around on BN today..Your research and so perfectly portraying the Era is so impressive..Being born and raised in NY..,I always thought of Harlem as so unique..Amazing Brownstones..Middle to upper middle class familes.living there..We had a friend who went to Fordham with my daughters father,and he invited us to his Grandmothers home for Christmas one Year.Just Beautiful..I guess Harlem was alwys depicted as a ghetto..Well it has changed a lot..We have been to a few Jazz clubs years ago..very mixed crowd..The Music,well I don't have to tell you..I wish you Much Success..The Girls are all of us..We could talk about Vixen for a long time,Just Glad "Ingenue "will be out soon!!!.. Best Susan


 

Hi Susan,

 

I know, I love Harlem! One of my best friends lives up there. My father's originally for the Bronx and when I told him about hanging out with my friend in Harlem, he gave me a long speech about never riding the subway there alone and how I shouldn't walk around there at night. It is crazy how much it's changed.  Thank you for the compliments!

 

Best,

Jillian


FYR, there is a very good walking tour of Harlem run by the American History, PhD students from Columbia University.  This has been a very popular tour since its inception.  The tour group is called the Onion Walking Group and any of their tours are worth taking. 

Contributor
blue_sunshine
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎10-12-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

 

Hi Jillian,

 

First I want to say I loved, loved, loved Vixen!  You are definitely my newest favorite debut YA author for this year! I have pre-ordered Vixen already and plan on continuing the series.

 

Did you take any creative writing classes, or writing workshops to prepare for writing your novel?

 

I have a book blog. Are you taking requests to have you featured on a book blog for an interview or guest post, etc?

Email: bookishdelightsblog at gmail dot com

 

Do you accept fan mail like letters, etc?

 

Thanks for adding some real spice to the YA books! Yours is the only YA book I've read this year that was solid throughout, with perfect plot pacing, plot development, and each of the character's stories were always strong and entertaining. Definitely engrossing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wordsmith
literature
Posts: 499
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

 

I just found out that the restaurant (located in central NJ) my company holiday party is in was a speakeasy in the early 1920's.  The decor is definitely dated back to the early 1900's.  A heavy mahogany wooden bar as you enter and the floor is the tiny white hexagon shaped tiles with black grout that were found in the bathrooms of yesteryear.  They used to have the dark brown wooden chairs like those found surrounding card tables.  I will be going there to finalize the arrangements in the next few days so I will have a good look around the place. 

Author
Jillian-Larkin
Posts: 96
Registered: ‎10-11-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

 


Vermontcozy wrote:

Good Morning Jillian..I was given the same speech lol..But as you know being from NY,not much bothers us..And we are so adventurous..I think you did an outstanding job handling the race issue..It had to be a reality during that era that no one was talking about..But of course,thats a whole other book..I also wanted to compliment Sarah on her skill as Moderator of "Vixen"..We have gotten to know the characters from so many viewpoints,and Sarah incorporates that into her posts..I did find"Twilight Sleep "by Edith Wharton,here on BN  Thank you..Best Susan


Yes, I second your compliments to Sarah! Thank you so much, Sarah, you've helped make my First Look experience such a wonderful one!

 

Author
Jillian-Larkin
Posts: 96
Registered: ‎10-11-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

 


AWVA wrote:

Hi Jillian.

 

i'd like to start by saying thank you for allowing us to read your book and comment on it. i really enjoyed reading it in general. i have never read a book based in the 1920s and it was fun to put myself there with the girls. i have to say that i know a good book when i feel for the characters. and even though i disliked loraine so very much...she's also the character that stuck with me and touched me the most. i wanted to rescue her and keep her safe. from the first moment in the barber shop to the last when she's being "taken care of" by the mob. i honestly wanted to whisk her away and scream NO! in her ear.

so i guess if i have any question at all it would be...the characters are so well developed when dealing with feelings. are you most like any of the characters you've created? and how?

 

THANKS!!!

Ashley


 

Hi Ashley,

 

Thank you so much for all the compliments! Autobiographically I'm most like Clara, though I won't pretend to be anywhere near as cool or clever. Clara shares my small-town roots and desire to run away to New York as soon as possible. She manages to be a girl who likes to go out to have a good time but is also something of a bookworm. That's something else we have in common.

 

I used to want to go into musical theater before I decided I wanted to write, so a lot of my old musical aspirations got channeled into Gloria. As I've said in a few other answers, Lorraine is based somewhat on all the rejections I ever felt in high school. I'm glad to say I think I dealt with losing friends or having crushes on the wrong boys a bit more wisely than Lorraine though :smileyhappy:

 

I think all of the girls exhibit a level of feistiness that I admire but don't really have. I was always more timid. Thanks again for the kind words!

 

Best,

Jillian

Author
Jillian-Larkin
Posts: 96
Registered: ‎10-11-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

 



FYR, there is a very good walking tour of Harlem run by the American History, PhD students from Columbia University.  This has been a very popular tour since its inception.  The tour group is called the Onion Walking Group and any of their tours are worth taking. 


Thank you for the recommendation. I'm excited to check one of those tours out!

 

Author
Jillian-Larkin
Posts: 96
Registered: ‎10-11-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

 


blue_sunshine wrote:

 

Hi Jillian,

 

First I want to say I loved, loved, loved Vixen!  You are definitely my newest favorite debut YA author for this year! I have pre-ordered Vixen already and plan on continuing the series.

 

Did you take any creative writing classes, or writing workshops to prepare for writing your novel?

 

I have a book blog. Are you taking requests to have you featured on a book blog for an interview or guest post, etc?

Email: bookishdelightsblog at gmail dot com

 

Do you accept fan mail like letters, etc?

 

Thanks for adding some real spice to the YA books! Yours is the only YA book I've read this year that was solid throughout, with perfect plot pacing, plot development, and each of the character's stories were always strong and entertaining. Definitely engrossing.

 


Oh, thank you so much--you're so sweet! I did take a few creative writing classes while I was at NYU, though I was an English major rather than a Creative Writing major. And my favorite teacher in high school was my creative writing teacher.  I've been to a couple of writing workshops too and thought they were amazing experiences. I wrote stories and parts of novels like crazy throughout high school and college, trying to become a better writer. I think writing essays in college helped me learn how to be more concise as well.

 

 

I am doing a blog tour in January but it's being arranged by the awesome staff at Random House and not by me. I would love to accept messages/fan mail in the future, once I have a website set up. I wasn't expecting to get any fan mail prior to the book's publication, haha.

 

Best,

Jillian

Author
Jillian-Larkin
Posts: 96
Registered: ‎10-11-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin


literature wrote:

 

I just found out that the restaurant (located in central NJ) my company holiday party is in was a speakeasy in the early 1920's.  The decor is definitely dated back to the early 1900's.  A heavy mahogany wooden bar as you enter and the floor is the tiny white hexagon shaped tiles with black grout that were found in the bathrooms of yesteryear.  They used to have the dark brown wooden chairs like those found surrounding card tables.  I will be going there to finalize the arrangements in the next few days so I will have a good look around the place. 


That sounds awesome! What's this place called? My boyfriend's from Jersey ... maybe I can convince him to drive me there :smileyhappy:
Moderator
Sarah-W
Posts: 526
Registered: ‎10-29-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

So jealous! This sounds like a lot of fun! I'm watching Chicago tonight after seeing that number on Glee. Any fans?

Moderator
Sarah-W
Posts: 526
Registered: ‎10-29-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

 

I haven't read it yet, but They Called Themselves the K.K.K. by Susan Campbell Bartoletti has been getting fantastic reviews. It's nonfiction intended for YA readers.