|Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza, photo by Grace Chang|
Lucy Sykes is the co-author, with Jo Piazza, of the new novel The Knockoff, an update of the classic film All About Eve set in the New York fashion world. She has worked as fashion director for Marie Claire magazine and for Rent the Runway, and she lives in New York City.
Q: How did the two of you decide to write an update of All About Eve based in today's fashion world?
A: We both adore the movie All About Eve, so we were incredibly excited to introduce it to a new generation of young women. The plot of the movie just made sense for what we were trying to do. We knew that we wanted to have an older woman struggling to keep up in a constantly changing world. All About Eve was a great model for that.
Q: Why did you decide to focus on technology as one of the key issues in the novel?
A: We just can't get away from the digital world today. We are living in a new Industrial Revolution where everyone has to adapt and learn something new practically every day. We knew that a lot of women were struggling with that and we wanted to tell their stories.
Q: How did you divide the work as you were writing the book?
A: We would sit for hours and hours at Cafe Cluny and Cafe Gitane talking through chapters. Then Jo would start writing and e-mail it to [me]. We would trade them back and forth dozens of times before we got it right.
Q: Which authors have inspired you?
A: It is such an eclectic mix. Margaret Atwood, Donna Tartt, Chimamanda Adichie, Jojo Moyes, Jane Green, Evelyn Waugh, Fitzgerald, Judy Blume, Jonathan Franzen. We each go through a book a week.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: We are working on a second novel together. We just finished our proposal for it. We can't talk about it just yet, but we are so excited for it.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: We have received e-mails from mature women who…have told us that Imogen’s story inspired them to switch careers or reinvent themselves. That has been one of the best parts of this whole process.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb