Tuesday, April 11, 2006

E. Lockhart grew up without television (mostly)

Next up on the Girlfriend's Cybercuit Tour is Young Adult author E. Lockhart, and no, I don't know what the E. stands for -- very mysterious. In the bio on her website E. says she has a tattoo, cuts her own hair, has worn the same perfume since high school (Kiehl's Chinese Flowers). Most exciting, though, is that she has two Betty & Veronica dolls in her office. I want those! I love Betty & Veronica. I'm a Betty, which I know is boring, and I'm not even blonde, but I like to hang out with Veronicas. Though I will say... I used to be MORE of a Betty than I am now -- now that I've lived in New York for awhile I had to developed my more aggressive side.

E. Lockhart is the author of The Fly on the Wall, The Boyfriend List and its forthcoming sequel, The Boy Book. You can find out everything about her on her website.

I asked about her TV viewing habits. And you know what? She's not much of a TV watcher, which I promise not to hold against her, especially since she has been to The Museum of Television and Radio...

Are you a TV watcher?

Don't hate me, Stephanie, but No. I am something of a weirdo that way. (I do love the Museum of Television and Radio, though! I've been many times to ..uh... to listen to old radio shows.)

It's probably because I grew up largely without television. My mother has zero interest. We owned one from when I was two until six, then moved and didn't take it with us. Then got a new one when I was 10. I watched Happy Days, The Muppet Show, and Mork & Mindy -- plus All My Children in the summers. Then someone broke into our house and stole the television. I was about 15. My mother never got another.

What's your favorite show ever?

Northern Exposure. It was a show in the 80s about this New York City physician who was stuck being the town doctor in this tiny, highly eccentric town in Alaska -- some deal he made to pay off his student loans. 800 people and a lot of snow.
The town was a little bit magic, and the population was a mix of Native American and Caucasian. Everyone was an oddball. I am watching it again now on DVD, but the first season is not as great as the later ones. Still, I love the magic realism of that show, and the feeling of intimacy in that small town.

I think I also love Rob Morrow, even with big poofy hair and pants with ginormous pleats in them.

What TV character (past or present) do you identify with most?

Grover. Do I need to say more? He is so raw and vulnerable, so curious, and yet he's also a MONSTER and takes great joy in life -- he's all that stuff in one fuzzy package.
Which is like me, only I am less fuzzy.

(Maybe because she cuts her own hair.)

Does your main character watch any TV in the novel?

The lead character in Fly on the Wall is a Spider-Man fanatic. No doubt she's watched the cartoons and the movies, repeatedly. I first found Spider-Man watching the Electric Company, a kids show that came on after Mister Rogers. Spidey used to spell things, I think, though my memory's a little blurry on that.

Anyway, is there TV in the book? A little. Gretchen's father wants to watch the original Star Wars movie with her on TV, but she's furious with him, so she makes him watch it alone, saying "I don't care how hot Harrison Ford used to be."

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