|What inspired you to write about time travel, and more specifically, the Titanic?
I’ve been obsessed with the Titanic since I was a little girl. The glamour, the adventure, the tragedy, it’s a pretty compelling story!
Are your characters based on real people?
Yes, I tried to be as historically accurate as possible with the characters Louise would meet on the boat. Jacob + Madeline Astor, Lady Lucy Duff Gordon, Ida + Isidor Straus, Benjamin Guggenheim -- they were all real people who I was able to research.
Are your stories drawn from your own experiences?
The idea for this series came to me a few years ago after visiting this amazing vintage shop in New Haven CT, called Fashionista Vintage and Variety. It’s owned by these two fabulous women, Todd and Nancy, who know everything and anything about vintage clothing. I tried on this pink party dress that belonged to a Mrs. Baxter from Newport Rhode Island, and I couldn’t help but wonder what her life was like, what the last gala or fancy event was that she wore this to. Was she in love? Was she happy? And how in a way, her memory was being preserved through this garment.
How did you first become interested in fashion and why?
My grandmother was (and is!) a fashionista and I remember going through her closet when I was younger and trying on her big ball gowns and high heeled shoes. From that point on I was hooked.
Can you tell us about your next book?
The next book takes Louise to the Palace of Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution. A very decadent and dangerous time to be living in!
What made you want to be a writer?
I always wrote little stories and read as much as I could get my hands on. As an only child you sometimes have to learn how to entertain yourself and books were my favorite way to do that.
How do you get your ideas?
Life, movies, books, images, everywhere really.
Do you do any research?
Lots! For this book I read a lot of books about the Titanic and watched several documentaries. Also one of my friends was an assistant director on the Titanic movie, and ended up being a huge resource to me. He had this great illustrated book that James Cameron gave to the crew which really helped me get an idea of the layout of the ship, and what it would be like to actually have been a passenger on the boat. From what I would have eaten in the first class dining room, to how I would have spent my free time, to who I would be traveling with. Through these pages and drawings, I really felt like I was there.
Where do you prefer to do your writing?
In bed. That sounds so lazy, but I am too nosy to work in a crowded coffee shop.
What time of day?
Morning, my head is the clearest and I’m still kind of in a dream world.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Read and write! I feel like a lot of writers say that, but sadly there is no magic path. (Although sometimes the process does feel magical) You just have to keep practicing and learning from the best. I am still learning how to write every day.
What would you be if you weren't a writer?
A fashion designer. I love fashion and I need to be creative in my work and to make things.
If you could have lunch with any writer whom would you choose? Why?
Judy Blume, to find out how to write the perfect young adult book- she’s totally mastered it!
WOULD YOU RATHER...
Read or write? I find it hard to separate the two, but if I had to choose I’d say write.
Call or text? Text
Fly or drive? Fly, the destination is often a better reward.
Beach or ski? Beach, I was a competitive swimmer growing up and still feel more at home in the water than on land.
Vintage or brand new? Vintage - that probably wasn't surprising. :)
Time travel back or time travel forward? Back! For a vintage fashion obsessive like myself that would be the ultimate dream.
E-book or traditional book? Traditional
TELL US YOUR FAVORITE...
Children's book: The Polar Express. Every Christmas my mom and I reread it, and every year she cries at the same spot. It’s our tradition.
Song: That song at the end of Sixteen Candles when Sam and Jake are sitting on the table with her birthday cake. The best song and ending to one of my favorite movies!
Sports Team: Red Sox
Fashion Designer: Coco Chanel, she's still the best in my mind!
Travel destination: There are so many, but Paris holds a special place in my heart.
Magic power: Teleporting. There are so many places I want to visit, so little time!
We are Sweet on Books, so we have to ask – what is your favorite sweet treat?
Chocolate. I always have a bar (or three) at home and find it’s the sweetest way to end the day.
Bianca Turestky graduated from Tufts University in 2001 with a BA in English literature. She moved to New York City to intern in the editorial departments of "Rolling Stone" and "PAPER" magazines. Bianca then went to work for the artist/filmmaker Julian Schnabel where she has been running his studio for the past eight years and was an assistant on the Academy Award nominated film, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly", as well as a feature concert documentary, "Lou Reed's Berlin". She currently lives in a cozy studio apartment in Brooklyn Heights, New York, that houses her very extensive and much loved vintage collection. The Time-Traveling Fashionista is Bianca's first novel.