US author Carol Prisant is the author of Catch 26, a contemporary novel about housewife Frannie Turner and the day she wakes up to find herself back in the body of her 26-year-old self.
Here Carol tells us a little bit more about herself (she’s awesome, trust us!)…
Name: Carol Prisant
Place of birth: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
Title of Novel: Catch 26
Bio: b I’m a widow with one son (an art appraiser in NY) and one perfect granddaughter (a budding equestrienne.) I’m also a former antiques dealer and, for the last 26 years, I’ve been the New York editor of the UK mag The World Of Interiors.
I’ve published four non-fiction books: The Antiques Roadshow Primer (a New York Times best-seller) and Antiques Roadshow Collectibles, a companion volume to the above. (Basically, the books are encyclopedias of antiques combined with the occasional anecdote from the US Roadshow.) Good, Better, Best (The connoisseurship of antiques) and Dog House (Written as a chronology of all the dogs of my life but, somehow, an inadvertent memoir. Curiously, a number of young women readers used it for their bookclubs, where it seemed to have an alternate life as a template for how to maintain a 42-year marriage.)
First job: At 17, I worked in the stacks, shelving books, in Pittsburgh’s public library. Sorry to say, I stole quite a few.
Have you always wanted to be an author? If not, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up? Yes, I’ve always wanted to be an author. In my generation, however, one had to do housewife-and-mother bootcamp first. (Except for Sylvia Plath, who washed out.)
When did you realise your potential as a writer? I won an important poetry prize in college, and on that basis, was admitted to a small poetry seminar taught by American poet, Robert Lowell. Ann Sexton was in that seminar as well, and relentlessly flirted with Lowell.
What is the best advice anyone has given you about writing? Don’t just wait around for the Muse, start throwing the shit at the paper.
What are your top ten favourite books? My favorite book of all time is Moby Dick, although I find it difficult to re-read now that the world’s become so sensitized to whales.
My next 21 favorite books are Patrick O’Brian’s series about the British Navy during the Napoleonic wars. Fact is, I utterly hate to sail and get seasick at the mooring, but I worship O’Brian’s intellect. He’s one of the finest writers I know, a Mozart of words.
As is Nabokov, of course, whose every sentence crackles with genius. Like Ginger Rogers, who “did it all backwards, and in heels,’ Nabokov is writing his novels in English, his (second, third, fourth?) language. I’ve read them all.
Hilary Mantel is right up there on this list. She has a firecracker mind, and I have my credit card ready for The Mirror and The Light.
So is Edward St. Aubyn. His masterly metaphors kept me turning the pages of his devastating and terrible-to-read books, despite the fact that – these days – confessionals about child abuse and drug use are such a commonplace.
Finally, I have to include John Banville, David Mitchell, Barry Unsworth, and James Joyce. . . not particularly in that order
What are your top three romantic books and why? My top three romantic books? Oh god, I’m so boring. Not to mention antique. Every one of my favorites is nonrealistic, impassioned, heavily costumed and heart-rending. Which means that none has a sex scene.
Think, Anna Karenina, Eugene Onegin (Oh, those Russians!) The Great Gatsby, Jane Eyre, A Tale of Two Cities and Scaramouche. They all include swords or pistols and have all been made into movies. Several times.
What are your top three romantic movie/TV kisses and why? Favorite kisses? Where to begin? How about an incredibly sexy one, like Burt Lancaster’s and Deborah Kerr’s famous kiss in the pounding surf on the beach in From Here to Eternity?
Or the bittersweet kiss in Superman II, when the power of Supe’s kiss erases Lois Lane’s memories of their love?
Dying kisses get to me, too. Like the kisses at the end of Matrix Revolution and Love Story.
And I was stunned and disturbed by the Godfather II kiss between Al Pacino and John Cazale: “It was you, Fredo. You broke my heart.”
Yet the kisses I like best are truly hard-won.
So the best kiss of all time has to be the “passionate and pure” kiss at the end of The Princess Bride.
If you could ride off into the sunset with a fictional character, who would you choose and why? Who would I ride into the sunset with? Sherlock Holmes, I think. Although (not necessarily) in the person of Benedict Cumberbatch. The sex would be terrible, of course, but then that’s hardly my priority anymore. In Sherlock’s favor, I would never be bored. Also, I don’t think S.H. ever works out (like me), doesn’t eat kale (like me), and he smokes a pipe. I do like a pipe.
Catch 26 is available now: http://amzn.to/29LKbGn.