Lara Elena Donnelly has created a fascinating fictional world based on the art deco era of the 1930s, in her Amberlough Dossier series.
This vintage-glam spy thriller has been classified as decopunk, so in this interview we talk about the aesthetic, inspirations, themes, voice, diversity and so much more, including Lara’s short stories.
Decopunk interviews are rare, so be sure to join us for this one!
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Show Notes: What You’ll Find in Episode 19
This week, I share some pics from my writing research trip to Bolivia, as well as why I had to cut my trip short–but luckily I was able to get what I needed before the unexpected took over! Check out my progress on the book I was traveling for here.
Even with the hiccups and challenges, I’m so glad I was able to take this trip. I’m also glad to be back!
Interview With Lara Elena Donnelly
Lara was so fun to talk to, and I know you’ll find about a hundred things to nerd out over in this conversation.
Here’s a list of questions I asked:
- In this show, we discuss “the punks”. What is your definition of the term decopunk? Do you consider your Amberlough Dossier series to be decopunk?
- What do you love about the art deco period, and why did you place your story in a fictional world with that aesthetic?
- For anyone new to your work, could you please give a synopsis and what readers can expect as far as themes, etc.?
(These covers!!! GORGEOUS.)
- Author Holly Black described the Amberlough Dossier series as, “James Bond by way of Oscar Wilde,” which I really liked. So I’d love to ask about your satirical voice in this book. Was that an organic or deliberate choice, or maybe some of both?
- I’ve heard about the comparison of your fictional city Amberlough with historical Berlin. How strongly did this inform your city, and were there any other real-world location references or inspirations for Amberlough?
- Since we have a lot of artists and makers following this show, can you tell us a bit about your process? As a place to start, what did you work on first in this series–worldbuilding, a vibe, a character, certain aspects of a character, a tension point, etc.?
- This series incorporates many diverse elements. What advice do you have for artists trying to create more inclusively?
- Finally, does the world need more decopunk or vintage-glam spy thrillers? Is there anything you’d like to see more of in these genres?
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