What inspired you to start writing? A love for classic film—it lead to my wanting to read about those films and stars. I wrote my first book, Lucy at the Movies, because it was the book I always wanted to own but didn’t exist—a book on the films of Lucille Ball, and with lots of pictures.
Looking back, which experiences, jobs and personality traits do you think have really helped you? For experiences, being totally enamoured of the glamour of classic Hollywood—seeing Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire do the “Never Gonna Dance” number in Swing Time. Rita Hayworth in Cover Girl. Laughing hysterically around age 12 as I watched Lucille Ball do battle with a conveyor belt of chocolates in I Love Lucy. All transcend experiences for me. As to personality traits: a methodical nature, a completest nature, love of the arts, and endless curiosity.
What inspired you to write this book? A deep appreciation and admiration for the endless ways Audrey Hepburn influenced and continues to influence style. Not only that though—besides fashion, the book was also inspired by how truly extraordinary Audrey was as a humanitarian and a human being. This wonderful spirit comes through on screen and in photos.
Do you have any favourite Audrey Hepburn outfits? Great as she was in the ’50s, I love her look in the ’60s best. Two for the Road is, in my opinion, her greatest film for fashion. Patent leather from head to toe, what?? Fabulous!
Which are your favourite images in this book? Second favourite is the last photo, from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I just love the casualness and effortless style of it. My number-one favorite though is the one I paired with the caption “Compassion—it wears very well indeed.” It was the most expensive photo to clear rights for in the book but I absolutely insisted my publisher pay for it. There were alternates we could have used for that caption but I wanted this particular image. I just seems to capture her love for the children of the world.
What was one of the best things that happened because of this book? I’ve written ten books but this one has sold more copies than any of them. It’s even been translated into other languages. That’s not to say I’m happy that it made me the most money—it didn’t, actually—I just mean that I’m pleased that so many of Audrey’s fans seem to connect with it and that it continues to sell year after year, spreading that Audrey style around the world!
What do you love most about Audrey Hepburn? I never met her but she radiated a gentle, compassionate spirit. From everything I’ve seen and read, she seems to have been a wonderful human being. I’ve read a lot about Hollywood and stars and no one really ever had anything bad to say about Audrey. I think that’s because she was truly a kind person. She was also endlessly talented, gorgeous, and had the most infectious smile.
Do you have a favourite museum or art gallery? The Philadelphia Museum of Art always has great exhibits. I’m happy it’s close to home for me!
What are your favourite products? I’m obsessed with eyeliner—Bobbi Brown gel liner in Black Ink.
What are you working on next? Bogie and Bacall: Love Lessons from a Legendary Romance. It will be available in January 2016. Besides being a writer, my full-time job is as an editor. As such I’m working on many exciting things, including a program of books with Turner Classic Movies, my favorite network.
Read my review of ‘So Audrey’ here.