Friday, August 12, 2016

Elizabeth LaBan

Elizabeth LaBan lives in Philadelphia with her restaurant critic husband and two children. She is the author of the young adult novel The Tragedy Paper, published by Knopf, which has been translated into eleven foreign languages, and The Grandparents Handbook, published by Quirk Books, which has been translated into seven foreign languages.

She teaches fiction writing at The University of Pennsylvania. In addition, she is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, New York Newsday and The Times-Picayune, among other publications. She also ghost writes a weekly column, and has ghost written two books.

LaBan's latest novel is The Restaurant Critic's Wife.

From her Q&A with Deborah Kalb:

Q: Your own husband, like your character Lila's husband, is a restaurant critic in Philadelphia. Did that make it easier or more difficult to create these characters?

A: In many ways, I think it made it more difficult to create the characters because I wanted them to be different from me and my husband. While we eat out a lot, and have a ton of adventures at restaurants, our personal life is pretty boring (which I am thankful for!).

Of course we drive each other crazy every now and then, but we are happily married and have two great kids. I always wanted to be a wife and a mother. I have been able to build a career I love despite my husband’s high profile job.

He is extremely reasonable in most situations, and he is always eager to help me if I’m having a hard time with something. There isn’t much of a story in that.

So in addition to wanting to make Sam and Lila different from us, I also had to come up with a few conflicts to move the book forward. If Lila had always wanted to get married and have kids, and Sam had no issues around getting to know new people, and Lila was fine with having to leave her job, the book would be very slow. There would be no room for growth for either of them.

Once I started to see Sam as controlling...[read on]
Visit Elizabeth LaBan's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Restaurant Critic's Wife.

Writers Read: Elizabeth LaBan.

--Marshal Zeringue