Tuesday 23 November 2010

Delightful Debutantes #2: Jillian Larkin & win one of three copies of VIXEN!

With it's  enticing tag line of 'Jazz . . . Booze . . . Boys . . . It’s a dangerous combination', Jillian Larkin's Vixen, the first book in the Flappers trilogy,  is one I've had my eye on for a while, and I can't wait until the book releases.  I couldn't find too much information about Jillian online, so I went to investigate and find out more.  That's what Delightful Debutantes is all about, right! Read on to find out more about Jillian and enter to win a copy of Vixen.

Congratulations on being a soon to be published author! I can't wait to read Vixen. The Flappers series sounds like all kinds of wonderful! Can you tell me about your road to publication, and also let me know how long it took you to write Vixen from start to finish?

Thank you so much! I was very, very blessed on my road to publication since I got to skip those horror stories every writer hears about searching for an agent. During my senior year at NYU, I started interning at a children's literary agency. I have always loved the 1920's, and worked to develop The Flappers series with two agents there. The series sold quickly, and I have been writing in a white-hot fever ever since. I just completed the second novel, Ingenue, and will begin work soon on the third entry in the series.

I'm a big fan of historical fiction, and I love to read about the 1920's.  For me, it's a time of decadence and danger, and I love the fashions of the time too.  What do you love most about this era, and why did you decide to concentrate on the 1920's for this series?

I'm in love with Jazz Age fashions as well: the amount of work and craftsmanship that went into the intricate beading and lace embroidery on women's clothing back then just astounds me. My other big love of that era is the music: Bessie Smith, Jelly Roll Morton, Marion Harris, Pal Whiteman … the list goes on and on.

I also just find the time period so interesting. I think the tagline of the HBO show, Boardwalk Empire, says it well: "Atlantic City, 1920. When alcohol was outlawed, outlaws became kings." Since something illegal was being done by so many--drinking alcohol--I think it helped to shake up a lot preconceived notions about how American Society should be. Suddenly women felt the freedom to hike up their skirts and set their own terms.

My love affair with the 1920s has spanned my entire life, since I was a little girl forcing my family to watch the Julie Andrews film Thoroughly Modern Millie with me repeatedly. Since then I've been drawn to flapper-influenced clothing and listening to music from that period. I actually resisted writing about the 20s for a long time since the research seemed so daunting. But reading Zelda by Nancy Milford during my senior year at NYU and hearing about the new film adaptation of The Great Gatsby helped convince me to give it a try.

As Vixen takes place during the Jazz age, could you name three songs that you would have on a playlist for the book?

Ha, I actually do have a Flappers Playlist that I always listen to while working on the books. Trying to pick three Vixen favorites is a little Sophie's Choice-esque but I'll attempt it:

“Down-Hearted Blues” by Bessie Smith
“Black and Tan Fantasy” by Duke Ellington
“Charleston” by James P. Johnson

Can you recommend a great book that you think everybody should read and also let me know what you are reading at the moment?

This may be a little predictable but I'm going to do it anyway: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I've read it twelve times and I'm not exaggerating at all. It really is one of those books in which you find something new to marvel at with each reading. I used to be convinced at least one character had to be likable for a book to work: Gatsby proved me wrong. Characters don't have to be likable--they have to be interesting, compelling, and most importantly: real. Fitzgerald is able to paint the glitz and glamour of Gatsby's fabulous parties overtop the gritty truth of Gatsby, Daisy, and Tom's lives in a way that is so beautiful, sad, and inspiring.

Right now I'm halfway through Twilight Sleep by Edith Wharton. I usually try to read mostly Jazz Age literature while working on the Flappers series to put myself in the right frame of mind. I've always loved The Age of Innocence and was thrilled to find Wharton attempted her own satirical twist on the smart set of the 1920s. Her writing is so gorgeous and biting--I'll be sad to finish it.  

The Flappers series is set to continue with the second book, Ingénue, releasing in 2011. Can you tell me how many books are planned for the series overall?

The current plan is for three books. The third is entitled Diva and will publish in 2012.

I certainly wouldn't mind spending a dozen books' worth of time in a sea of gorgeous dresses, jazz, and men though.

 You might also like to: Watch the book trailer for Vixen by Jillian Larkin
                                   Join The Flappers on Facebook.

Many thanks to Jillian for answering my questions (isn't she delightful?), and special thanks to Meg and Emily for all their help in arranging the interview.

Thanks to Delacorte Books for Young Readers I have THREE copies of VIXEN up for grabs!
  • This competition is US ONLY (publishers request) and closes December 9th 2010.
  •  One entry per person.
  • Just fill in the following form to enter. Please use your full  name and mailing address as winners details will be sent direct to publisher.


  1. What a great interview! I have been looking forward to this book. Who doesn't love the Jazz Age?? Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Thoroughly Modern Millie is such a great musical! Also, great interview! Really looking forward to reading Vixen when it comes out. :D

  3. I love reading about the 1920s. Vixen is high on my wishlist.
    Awesome interview!

  4. Thanks for the interview and giveaway -- I can't wait to read this one! I loved the songs from Ms Larkin's flapper playlist!

  5. Hi! This book sounds fantastic!
    Thanks for this giveaway! :)


  6. Great interview! The 1920's is such a fun and interesting time period. I'm really looking forward to reading Vixen when it comes out.

  7. Brilliant interview and giveaway! I'm totally looking forward to this book...I adore historical fiction :)

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  8. Great interview, I really enjoyed reading it! I had no idea the author was so young! Sadly I can't wait to enter the contest as I'm not from the US, but I'm really looking forward to reading the book! :D

  9. Thanks for the awesome interview and giveaway! I'm a HUGE historical fiction fan, so I'm really looking forward to Vixen!

  10. Great interview. Vixen sounds like a fantastic read. Thanks for the chance to win.

  11. Thanks so much for hosting this giveaway. I've been planning to read this one!

    Also, I thoroughly enjoyed the interview. I love how the author uses jazz music to inspire herself while she writes! I also love the names for the upcoming sequels. Good to know!

  12. Great interview and giveaway! I'm really looking forward to this one. Such an interesting time period!

  13. I've been wondering more about this author, especially since I saw a copy of the book with a different name! Great interview, and thanks for the contest.

  14. Hey I love your blog and the header that you have is swell. ;-) I'm also super excited to read this book.

    XOXO~ Renee

  15. Thanks for having the giveaway! I did tweet (@bitsyblingbooks)


  16. wow, i can't wait to read this series!! i LOVE the Great Gatsby, too!! thank you for the chance to win!

  17. This sounds like a great new author to watch. I look forward to reading her book.

    Thanks for the heads up!

  18. I love historical fiction. Throw in some romance and a secret or two and you've hooked me.

  19. Thank you so much for this giveaway! I'm intrigued by this series because I've always been a big fan of the Roaring 20s! =)


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