Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Checking in with Fiona Davis....plus a book giveaway

Today we welcome Fiona Davis to CLC to celebrate the publication of her latest novel, The Chelsea Girls. Thanks to Dutton, we have TWO copies to give away!

Fiona Davis began her career in New York City as an actress, where she worked on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in regional theater. After getting a master's degree at Columbia Journalism School, she fell in love with writing, leapfrogging from editor to freelance journalist before finally settling down as an author of historical fiction. Fiona's books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. She's a graduate of the College of William & Mary and is based in New York City. (Bio courtesy of Fiona's website.)

Visit Fiona online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram


Synopsis:
From the dramatic redbrick facade to the sweeping staircase dripping with art, the Chelsea Hotel has long been New York City's creative oasis for the many artists, writers, musicians, actors, filmmakers, and poets who have called it home—a scene playwright Hazel Riley and actress Maxine Mead are determined to use to their advantage. Yet they soon discover that the greatest obstacle to putting up a show on Broadway has nothing to do with their art, and everything to do with politics. A Red scare is sweeping across America, and Senator Joseph McCarthy has started a witch hunt for Communists, with those in the entertainment industry in the crosshairs. As the pressure builds to name names, it is more than Hazel and Maxine's Broadway dreams that may suffer as they grapple with the terrible consequences, but also their livelihood, their friendship, and even their freedom.

Spanning from the 1940s to the 1960s, The Chelsea Girls deftly pulls back the curtain on the desperate political pressures of McCarthyism, the complicated bonds of female friendship, and the siren call of the uninhibited Chelsea Hotel.
(Courtesy of Amazon.)



What is a favorite compliment you have received on your writing?
I think the recent Publishers Weekly review of The Chelsea Girls has been my favorite so far – it said that “Davis’s tale of one friendship’s strength will stun and satisfy readers.” I love that: stun and satisfy. Exactly what I hoped it would do as I was writing and researching it the past couple of years.

Which of your two lead characters is most similar to you and why?
Definitely Hazel, who’s a shy girl pushed into acting by her family, even though it doesn’t really suit her character. I came to New York as an actress, and although I enjoyed every minute, I imagined there was probably something else that would suit my introverted nature better. Turns out it was writing historical fiction, which is immensely challenging and fun. In the novel, Hazel becomes a playwright for the Broadway stage.

If The Chelsea Girls were made into a movie, who would star in the leading roles?
Hazel Ripley could be played by Brie Larson. Her face is fierce, intelligent, and guarded. For Hazel’s best friend, femme fetale Maxine Mead, it would be Jessica Chastain. She’s a redhead who can play sassy and sweet.

Which TV series are you currently binge watching?
I recently finished Fleabag, and loved the way the lead character was this flawed, funny woman who’s just trying to figure things out. I particularly adored Olivia Coleman as her sweetly vicious stepmom.

What is the oldest item of clothing you currently own?
I have a silk scarf that I bought when I first came to New York. Back then, I was a girl who tended toward jeans and a tee shirt and I remember thinking how grown up the scarf seemed. It’s a mix of gorgeous autumnal colors – browns and hazels – and I still adore it.

What is the funniest thing that happened to you recently?
I was recently out to lunch with a friend, bemoaning the difficulty of picking a title for my next book, which is set in the New York Public Library. She suggested placing a buxomy girl on the cover under the title “Stacked!” which I thought was hilarious. Not gonna happen, but I’m still laughing about it.

Thanks to Fiona for chatting with us and Dutton for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Giveaway ends August 4th at midnight EST.

43 comments:

Diane M said...

The best hotel I stayed at is the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Peachtree City because of their wonderful bed and delicious oatmeal for breakfast.

Jane said...

The best hotel I stayed at was Dawn Beach on the Dutch side of St. Maarten. It was on the beach. I'm sure it was washed away with the hurricane years ago. We went there for our honeymoon.

rhonda said...

The Four Seasons in New York,pure luxury.

traveler said...

Hotel L'esterel in Ste. Agathe.

Unknown said...

Paris hotel in Las Vegas

Peggy Russo said...

I've stayed twice at The Driskill in Austin, Texas. Gorgeous, historical, quaint. I absolutely love it and would go to Austin just to stay there.

Carla S. said...

Hotel del Coronado!

Annmarie Weeks said...

About a decade ago, I won a trip to Chicago with my 10-year old daughter. And they put us up at the Hotel Monaco. Nicest hotel I've probably ever stayed at. They even let my daughter have a 'pet goldfish' during our stay! LOL!

Jacki S said...

The nicest hotel I've stayed in is Manoir Hovey in North Hatley, Quebec. I was on a cycling trip and I had a self-cleaning tub with jets and an English garden with a view of the lake. I would love to return.

Margie Shaw said...

I’m currently binge watching In the Dark on Netflix.

Anh N said...

The Doll House was my favorite Fiona Davis novel so far.

Michelle L said...

My favorite NY City icon is The Dakota.

SJEI said...

One of the best hotels I've stayed in was The Willard in Washington, DC. But I love old hotels.

Nancy Payette said...

Holiday Inn Express in Orlando, FL was probably the nicest, most welcoming hotel I have ever stayed at.

Donna E said...

I've only been to New York traveling from one airport to another as we went overseas.

I have stayed in several hotels over my years. I don't remember them all of course, even the good ones.
But I do remember our stay at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bricktown Oklahoma City. Such friendly, helpful people. Comfortable bed, good breakfast, nice, clean facility.

Emily Catan said...

Haven't been to New York. So far, the best hotel that I have stayed is Venetian in Las Vegas.

Unknown said...

I’m glad you reminded me that writing is or can be challenging and fun.

John Smith said...

"What is your favorite New York City icon?" The New York Public Library!

susieqlaw said...

The Guest Quarters in Alexandria, VA. It’s no longer there, but it was wonderful.

Cora said...

I have never been to New York City, but the icon would be the Statue of Liberty for me.

Mary C said...

NY Public Library

Angie said...

Bethesda Fountain in Central Park

Mary Preston said...

No favorite yet.

diannekc said...

My favorite New York icon is The Statue of Liberty.

Rita Wray said...

My favorite is the Statue of Liberty.

Gail Marder Barasch said...

Greenwich Village Washington Square Park Arch!!

Elena Y. said...

The best hotel was MGM in Las Vegas or the resort in Phuket.

Lynn Paterson said...

Stayed at the Sheridan Palace Orel in San Francisco......the best ever.

Vicki said...

My favorite New York Icon would definitely be The Statue of Liberty.

Terri. said...

The New York public library.

Lori said...

Favorite New York Icon is the Statue of Liberty

bn100 said...

the Statue of Liberty

Bonnie K. said...

The Westin St. Francis in San Francisco was pretty cool especially because it is historic. The children were fascinated by the looks of it, and they had special gifts for the children that stayed there. There were so many places in New York that was fascinating. I can't choose a favorite.

Xia Lee said...

The Four Seasons in New York

Lelandlee said...

Sheridan Palace Orel in San Francisco

Bookapotamus said...

LOVE the Empire State Building!

Amanda said...

The best hotel I ever stayed at was probably The Brown Hotel in Louisville, KY. I say that because they had the Hot Brown in their restaurant and that dish is to die for!

Grandma Cootie said...

Empire State Building

Tracy Wirick said...

Times Square!

Linda Semler said...

Parker House Chicago

Tatum Rangel said...

I paid my first visit to NY, last year. My favorite was the Flatiron Building. :)

Summer said...

Tiffanys is my favorite New York icon, because of Breakfast At Tiffanys, I love Audrey Hepburn.

Kelly Rodriguez said...

Four Seasons in New York