You probably already know her from The Luxe series, but popping in today is Anna Godberson to talk about her latest historical YA fiction, Bright Young Things. This one's set in the Flapper/Jazz age, and I have to say, she's done a fantastic job bringing that to life.
What is your favorite thing about the time period the book is set in?
I think the 1920s were the golden age of self-invention, even for very young people, so it’s so much fun to see my characters kind of writing the story of their lives as they go along. Which is not to say that secret nightclubs and flasks hidden in garter belts aren’t a big draw too—those things are pretty sweet!
If you were dropped down in the 1920's, do you think you'd take the bright lights of Broadway route the girls did, or slip into a different role?
Oh, I am no good with an audience, at least not one I can see. That’s why I’m a writer! Maybe I would have been a script girl or a typist or a habitué of Greenwich Village coffee shops, hanging around, smoking too much, always trying to meet someone interesting.
If you could pair Letty, Cordelia, and Astrid with any character from any book, who would you pick for each?
You mean romantically? Well, Letty is so vulnerable, I’d want a really good guy for her. Maybe a Mr. Bingley. Cordelia needs someone who can show her the world, or at least keep up while she’s exploring, so that would have to be On The Road’s Sal Paradise. Astrid really needs a connoisseur to appreciate her… perhaps Charles Ryder of Brideshead Revisited.
Was there a character that you empathized with and felt connected to more than the others?
I feel strongly that having empathy for all your characters is what makes a good fiction writer—you’ve got to be clear-eyed about their flaws of course, but you can’t judge them, or your story will crush itself. But I am probably most connected to Diana, in the Luxe books, and Cordelia in Bright Young Things.
What kind of cake/confection would you describe yourself as?
Honeyed spiced pecans. I am sweet and strong, you see, but also kind of a nut.
Thank you, Anna! Strong and nutty sounds like the combination, if you ask me. For those of you who haven't picked up Bright Young Things, what better time than the holidays?