Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Interview with Wendy Lawless - Heart of Glass

I'm so excited to bring to you my interview with Wendy Lawless about her second memoir, sequel to Chanel Bonfire, Heart of Glass. When I first read about this book I knew I had to not only interview Wendy but also read both of these books. I hope this interview does the same for you!

ISBN-13: 9781476749808
Publisher: Gallery Books-Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 03/15/2016
Length: 368pp
Buy It: B&N/Amazon/Kobo/IndieBound


In this edgy and romantic follow-up to her New York Times bestselling debut memoir, Chanel Bonfire, Wendy Lawless chronicles her misguided twenties—a darkly funny story of a girl without a roadmap for life who flees her disastrous past to find herself in the gritty heart of 1980s New York City.
Before downtown Manhattan was scrubbed clean, gentrified and overrun with designer boutiques and trendy eateries and bars, it was the center of a burgeoning art scene—both exciting and dangerous. Running from the shipwreck of her glamorous and unstable childhood with a volatile mother, Wendy Lawless landed in the center of it all. With an open heart and a thrift store wardrobe, Wendy navigated this demi-monde of jaded punk rockers, desperate actors, pulsing parties, and unexpected run-ins with her own past as she made every mistake of youth, looked for love in all the wrong places, and eventually learned how to grow up on her own.
With the same “biting humor” (People) that made her “powerful” (USA TODAY) and “illuminating and inspiring” (Reader’s DigestNew York Times bestseller Chanel Bonfire so captivating, Wendy turns her brutally honest and often hilarious spotlight on herself, recounting her tumultuous and giddy twenties trying to make it in the creative underbelly of New York City, all the while searching for love, a paying job, and occasionally, a free meal.

Hi Wendy welcome to the blog, please tell my readers a bit about Heart of Glass.
Heart of Glass is the sequel to my debut memoir, Chanel Bonfire. It picks up where Chanel left off with my arrival in New York in 1980’s as I attempt to navigate the still dangerous city, my troubled relationship with my boyfriend, and my struggle to find acting work.

Your debut Chanel Bonfire and this newest, Heart of Glass are your personal stories. Did you write them as a morality/cautionary tale or was it more cathartic for you?
It wasn’t so much cathartic, as liberating. There’s something very freeing about putting your story out there. I was a very confused young woman always searching for love and an identity. I think a lot of people can relate to that.

Wendy growing up like you did were you afraid of what kind of mom you would be?
I knew I wouldn’t make the sorts of mistakes my mother did! But I was glad that my first child was a boy. By the time my daughter came around, four years later, I knew it would be just fine. And it was. I was able to give my kids the happy childhood I never had, which was such a marvelous gift.

Now that you’ve written two fabulously touted non-fiction books have you thought about writing a work of fiction?
I have a few ideas for a novel, thanks for asking!

Both your books come with reading guides. Why do you think these reads would appeal to book clubs?
I think there are many powerful women’s stories now, and an even bigger demand for them. So many people have reached out to me with their stories – they see themselves in the book. And I think the themes of the book – mothers, sisters, substance abuse, mental illness and just growing up are all things people can relate to in some way.

Wendy you’ve acted on stage and screen do you prefer the live audience or being in front of the camera better?
I prefer the stage, which is more about process: building a character and discovering and investigating moments in a play with your fellow actors. Television is really more about time and money, and hitting your mark, which can get pretty old. It’s why I quit and started to write. I wanted to return to something creative.

You had a playlist for Chanel Bonfire. Is there one for Heart of Glass too?
Yes! It’s here and was great fun to do. 

Wendy, Heart of Glass is set in a Manhattan before it was “scrubbed clean, gentrified and overrun with designer boutiques and trendy eateries and bars
What was your favorite part of that Manhattan?
Probably the cheap places to eat and shop. Most of the coffee shops I frequented are gone, and I read in the paper just this morning that one of the last punk clothing stores on St. Mark’s Place, Trash & Vaudeville, just shut because their rent was raised to $45K a month. New York is really for the wealthy now, which saddens me.

Reviews say you use “biting humor” in both your books.
Was humor a coping mechanism in your life?
Definitely. You have to be able to laugh, even when your life resembles a bad TV movie! I read lots of memoirs before I wrote mine, and many of them are very sad. I wanted mine to be funny. I often say that I wanted Chanel Bonfire to be Eloise meets Running With Scissors.  I didn’t want to be the victim in my own life.

Wendy thank you so much for this book (I can’t wait to read it) and for taking the time to answer my questions. Good luck with the new book and all your endeavors!
Will you be touring with this release and if so are they listed somewhere?
Thank you! I’m in the process of planning a book tour now. I’ll be doing two events here in Los Angeles, one in New York, and one in Denver in May. You can check in with my website www.wendylawless.com for more information.

 Wendy's first memoir 
      Chanel Bonfire

 Connect with Wendy - Website - Facebook - Twitter

Meet Wendy:Wendy Lawless is an actress who has appeared on television, in regional theater, Off-Broadway in David Ives’s Obie-winning play All in the Timing, and on Broadway in The Heidi Chronicles. Her work has appeared in Redbook magazine, on Powells.com, and in the local Los Angeles press. She lives in California with her screenwriter husband and their two children.

Today's Gonereading item is:
The Books I've Read Journal
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  1. Memoirs are interesting reads, like you mentioned, it can be a cautionary tale and at times, it can also be inspirational and motivating. Especially when the person when through a lot and came out of it better and stronger. It can be like the light at the end of the tunnel for readers who identify with her story.

    Good luck on this book! I hope the ending is hopeful :)

  2. How fun that this is a memoir! Love that!

  3. I am not familiar with Wendy Lawless but her memoirs sound really worth reading. I will keep them in mind as I like memoirs. No doubt when you read this one there will be a review to jog my mind!

  4. I really enjoyed reading autobiographies and memoirs every now and then. Great interview.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads