Morning lovelies. Today I’m delighted to be on the blog tour for Slanted and Disenchanted and bringing you an Q&A with author Lisa Czarina Michaud. Enjoy……
about the book
Title: Slanted and Disenchanted
Author: Lisa Czarina Michaud
Genre: Young Adult
Series/Standalone: Standalone First Book in The Disenchanted series
Estimated page count: 334
Formats available: Paperback, Hardback and eBook. Available on Kindle Unlimited
Publisher: Barre Chord Press (21 Sept. 2021)
Tour organised by: Rachel’s Random Resources
She hates her family. He’s hiding behind his teenage sex life. They form a band as an escape.
On tour, can they start over….or will all secrets come out on the open road?
Carla Bucchio never cared about things like boyfriends and SATs. If she did, maybe life at 20 would be more exciting than developing photos on Long Island. When she chooses the guitar over a social life, it only makes sense because no one talks to her anyway.
Music may be Pete Albrecht’s life but what good is his talent if he has no one to share it with? When he’s not getting bitched about coffee at work, he’s getting nagged about college by his girlfriend. What would they say if they really knew about him?
At the outset of the new millennium where boy bands and backup dancers have saturated pop culture, the two college dropouts start a rock band. Despite his girlfriend’s manipulations and her mother’s drunken disapproval, they form a secret connection through the music even if she’s a little Riot Grrrl and he’s a little Krautrock.
Before heading out on their cross-country tour, tragedy turns the world upside down forcing them to decide if the band is just a teenage dream or their gateway to freedom…and to each other?
Slanted and Disenchanted is the provocative first book in Lisa Czarina Michaud’s coming-of-age Disenchantedseries. Told with wry humor and nostalgic 90’s undertones, it’s High Fidelity meets Moxie that explores sexual tension in friendships, the confusion of adulting, the love and chaos of family….and the soundtracks that get us through it all.
q & A with Lisa Czarina Michaud
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I am a young adult author and translator. I grew up in New York City in the 80s, moved to Long Island in the 90s and after high school have moved myself all over from the Pacific Northwest to Southern California before finding my home in France. I live in a small village outside of Paris with my husband, son and cat, Le Tigre.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve been writing in my journal since a kid and maintained a daily writing habit ever since. Apart from summer (which is reserved for only reading), a day hasn’t gone by when I haven’t written at least five-hundred words. I have so many thoughts that they have to go somewhere otherwise I think I’d explode!
How many books have you written and published?
I’ve written countless books! Some okay and some just plain awful that reside in a special place in my draft folder on my computer. But I will be publishing my first book Slanted and Disenchanted in September. Sometimes it takes writing a few books to get to the one you were meant to publish.
How do you choose the names of your characters?
The names just come to me. It’s as if the characters are telling me their names and who they are.
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
That’s easy. Pete, my French American music prodigy with the hazelnut eyes. I admit to failing in love with him a little as I wrote the book. He’s rough around the edges and curses like my grandmother after a vodka, but he is so culturally refined from music to books to world history that you can talk to him about anything for hours. There’s also a softness to him that only comes out with people he cares about.
Who is your favourite author and which of their books is your favourite, and why?
I don’t have one favourite author. I go through phases (or obsessions rather) where I need to read every book by an author, then his/her biography and if there are published letters or artifacts, I like to get my hands on those too and let myself fall down the rabbit hole of these author’s lives and work. I’ve done this with Anais Nin, Henry Miller, Simone de Beauvoir, Charles Bukowski, John Fante, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, John Keats, Shelley, Rimbaud, Verlaine… and so on.
What is the first thing you can remember writing?
When visiting my mom on Long Island over the summer, and I found my very first short story in the garage. My mom thought I’d found money from how excited I got upon unearthing this story! It was a story I wrote when I was 11. It takes place in the 70s and is about Shana, a girl from the suburbs and diehard David Bowie fan (his Ziggy Stardust days – I specified). She works at a clothing store with her best friend, Beatrice. There they try to mimic Bowie’s style with scarfs and tight pants, but Beatrice thinks her butt is too big. After work, Shana goes home and takes a nap. When she wakes up, everything is different. There are computers, cable boxes, remote controls and other pieces of “high technology”. It’s then she learns that her mother had let her sleep for 20 years and finds herself in 1991. Amazed by the discovery of Calvin Klein ads and music videos, she then learns Beatrice died. The end. No, really, that’s how the story ends. Shana is in the 90s and Beatrice dies. I had been thinking about this story for years wondering what had happened to it and finally, after all these years, I have this “literary gem” in my hands!
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
Oh là là, as my husband would say because I’ve had so many. My favorite odd job I ever had was a reoccurring role as a dance extra on a show called American Dreams. It was a television show based in the 1960s and the wardrobe department dressed me in authentic vintage 60’s garb like wool miniskirts and shift dresses and I got professional hair and makeup done. Think lots of hairspray and liquid eyeliner. It was my favorite job ever because I got to dance to the Kinks and the Yardbirds for 8 hours a day for their Bandstand segment. I also worked in fashion at Marc Jacobs in their office where I think I got bit by the French bug because most of the office came from Louis Vuitton in Paris and I just loved hearing all the meetings in French. Wanting to join in on the fun, I started taking French classes after work at Alliance Francaise. I’ve had mostly odd jobs like being an au pair and teaching English in Paris, slicing bread at my family’s bakery as a teen, answering phones as a temp in NYC, waiting tables in Los Angeles, working in the parking booth in my college near Seattle…I can keep going.
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go? (Backwards or forwards!)
The 60s! The 60s! The 60s! Not for the Woodstock vibe but for the total Mary Quant, mini skirt, garage-band vibe hence my enthusiasm for my extra gig on American Dreams.
If you could have one conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I wish I had a more intellectual response to this, but my answer is and will always be Courtney Love. She gets a bad rap for a lot of things (and quite unfairly too!), but she has such a sense of culture, is incredibly well-read, knows her stuff about music from punk to pop not to mention her life experience from being a stripper in Japan to her participation in pioneering the female rock movement of the 90s to being married to my generation’s true (albeit reluctant) rock star to her acting that I could listen to her talk for hours. I’d be with my wine, her with her cigarettes (if she still smokes) and I’d just listen because this woman has stories.She could (and really should) write a book.
What are your favourite things to do?
My hobbies include pretending to be in a band, which consists mostly of trying (and failing) to coerce other sleep-deprived parents to play music with me. I do have a 1950s surf blue Fender Telecaster that I adore and noodle around with for an hour a day. I also like taking walks through the Fontainebleau forest with my family, preparing plant-based meals and having my in-laws over for dinner. I like to make Manhattans for my father-in-law.
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
Holding my novel in my hand. I thought I’d cry and get all emotional but instead I just thought it was strange. In a good way, of course. But just strange and exciting.
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
Writing isn’t a race, it’s a process. Trust the process.
Name one book you think everyone should read?!
This is a tough one because we’re all coming from different experiences and therefore have different needs. For some it might be reading The Bhagavad Gita, a piece of work I read at 18 that gave me food for thought as I entered the shifty waters of young adulthood. For others it might be Angie Thomas’s brilliant The Hate You Give, a book I read well into adulthood that also left an impact on me.
A book I have been recommending is “Lie With Me” by Phillipe Besson. I read the original work in French and then reread it in English, which was translated so delicately and beautifully by actress Molly Ringwald.
And finally, tell us about your most recent book?
Slanted and Disenchanted is a coming-of-age novel that alternates between the point of view of Carla Bucchio, an emotionally abused Italian American girl, and Pete Albrecht, a French American music prodigy with a secret. Despite his long-time girlfriend’s manipulations and her mother’s drunken disapproval, they start a rock band. Set in the year 2000, it touches upon the genesis of social media, the exhibitionism of new pop music, incomprehensive political decisions, and the confusion from young people in a post-grunge America. Before heading out on their cross-country road trip, tragedy turns the world upside down forcing Carla and Pete to decide if the band is just a teenage dream or their gateway to freedom…and perhaps to each other?
Told with wry humour with nostalgic 90’s undertones, it’s High Fidelity meets On the Road with a dash of Moxie that explores sexual tension in friendships, sexual identity, life after high school, the confusion of adulting, the love and chaos of family….and the soundtracks that get us through it all.
follow the tour
Thanks to Rachel for inviting me on to the tour and to Lisa for such a wonderful interview.
Have a lovely day all