Brenna Ehrlich spoke with Francesca Lia Block about curating a perfect day, the songs that make her feel larger than herself, the line where familial and friendly love blur and the properties of a summer night.
I not only couldn’t remember the dream, I couldn’t remember writing it down. I guess my writing is my form of lucid dreaming.
Your books are always a full-body experience for me — as in they are very sense-ual. Everyone’s always eating something delicious or smelling gorgeous flowers or wearing something lovely, all while feeling so much. Can you design a perfect day that melds books, food, music and a location? What does that look like to you?
Francesca Lia Block
Yoga to music in Santa Monica, brunch at Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga, shopping on Abbott Kinney in Venice, reading in bed in Culver City.
Do you dream linearly or via impressions? How does the way your dream affect the way you write?
I don’t remember them that often! I used to keep a dream journal and that helped but when I re-read what I’d written, I not only couldn’t remember the dream, I couldn’t remember writing it down! I guess my writing is my form of lucid dreaming.
You were the one who introduced me to the amazing band, Suburban Lawns. I believe it was the first time I interviewed you? As you likely know, lead singer Su Tissue has basically disappeared from the public eye since the band stopped performing. Where do you think she is? What do you think she’s been doing?
Where are you, Su? I’d love to know!
Music is such a huge part of your books. When was the last time you heard a song that made you feel larger than yourself? Like your skin couldn’t hold you in?
There are quite a few songs that do that for me. Lately at the gym I’ve been playing “Malibu” by Hole, “Ready to Start” by Arcade Fire, “Lose Yourself” by Eminem and “Sleeping Around the Corner” by Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie.
People define love in so many ways in literature, and every time I read someone else’s description of love, I think to myself, “No. That’s not it.” Love in your books is extremely pure and good, and it’s often familial or friendly love. How do you define love?
Love equals magic, love equals life, love equals everything.
I love when the jacaranda and acacia and jasmine blooms in spring and the frogs come out around my pond.
With the Weetzie Bat series, you created such an enduring cultural stir. Is that weird for you? I don’t know how else to ask that since I would think it might be a bit overwhelming.
I’m honored and touched that people feel that way, but I’ve moved on quite a bit from that time and have been doing many other things since.
My favorite of your books is Missing Angel Juan, in which Weetzie’s stepdaughter Witch Baby follows her young love to New York City, where he’s been turned into a mannequin. Perhaps my favorite part of the book is Witch Baby’s grandfather, whose ghost visits her and helps her on her quest. Where did the song that he sings (“Rag mop, rag mop”) come from?
It’s pretty much stuck in my head on a daily basis. I can’t remember! It was a part of my childhood.
When was the last time a change in the seasons made you utterly happy, sad or elated? Can you describe this moment?
I love when the jacaranda and acacia and jasmine blooms in spring and the frogs come out around my pond. And I love hot summer nights.
Curated by: Brenna Ehrlich
Conducted by: Email
Edited by: Morgan Enos
Published: May 25, 2018
Total questions: 8
Word count: 536
Reading time: Two minutes
acacia, basis, bloom, Brenna Ehrlich, childhood, Christine McVie, Culver City, definition, delicious, description, disappearance, dream, dreaming, elation, family, flower, Francesca Lia Block, frog, ghost, grandfather, Hole, impression, jacaranda, Lindsey Buckingham, linear, location, Los Angeles, lucid, mannequin, New York City, remembrance, season, spring, Suburban Lawns, Topanga Canyon, Venice Beach, YA
About the guest curator
Brenna Ehrlich aspires to write a novel that’s a classic album. She enjoys taking solitary trips to distant locations and scoring the whole experience with the perfect book, record and restaurant. She often dreams (literally, while sleeping) of getting lost in unforgiving locales sans shoes or socks.
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