Looking back on your experiences at Vogue and writing the books, would you change anything or do anything differently?
I don’t know that I would change anything. I would like to have had the perspective then that I have now. Prada was a huge surprise, and it was big and overwhelming when it blew up and I wasn’t expecting it to and I never thought it would. It was amazing that that happened but it was also really overwhelming and intimidating.
There was all the talking in New York at the time, there were people writing things and saying things, and for every good thing there felt like there was something negative. I read all of that and it was just insane. Six years down the line it’s easier to step out of that and listen to more of what the readers are saying—that’s more important to me now and relevant. So I just set aside what the critics say and the gossip columns and I just wish I would have known to do more of that then.
What were some of your biggest challenges with all of the books?
The pressure after Prada to write the second was friggin’ nuts. And I think that happens to everyone. And now each one feels very much the same, it doesn’t ever get any less exciting. This one was every bit as hard to write, and every bit as rewarding. Weeks before the publication I’m nervous and up all night because I just don’t know if people will like it. I don’t think that will ever go away. Well, if you care that won’t ever go away.
Was it a coincidence that when you were writing Chasing Harry Winston you got engaged?
It was a coincidence. My poor boyfriend at the time, what he had to put up with. Most of the writing of the book was done by the time we got engaged but he definitely had to sit through a lot of “hypothetical scenarios”. He was really good about it, oh my God.
It’s probably common for people to think you base your characters on yourself, but how hard is it to separate yourself from your characters?
That’s such a good question because in this book I wrote in the third person, which made this so much easier. Because in first person you tend to think that the author and narrator are the same person, I do even though I know better. I read books and think that it’s absolutely the author speaking and I Google them. I should know better but I can’t help it! Everyone assumed that with me and the narrators of the first two books (The Devil Wears Prada and Everyone Worth Knowing). So writing this one in 3rd person definitely gave me freedom, I wrote my first sex scene in this book, which I could never do before because my parents would die.
Do you relate to any of your characters specifically?
Let’s just say Leigh’s neurosis [in Chasing Harry Winston] were not hard to write. I related really well to her noise, her space and her personal space and all of her craziness, you know that was not “research?.
How would you describe your own personal style?
Slobbish. Unless I need to be doing an interview or meeting with people I work with. If I’m going for an interview, signing books or meeting with my editor those are pretty much the only circumstances that I get dressed in the morning. I don’t know as much as people think I know about high fashion, I like fashion as much as the next girl but not really more than that. So it’s a long answer for saying I don’t think I have a style, I’m just a jeans and t-shirt girl and the occasional wrap-dress when I’m on tour.
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