Francesca Lia Block is one of L.A.’s fairy godmothers. The New York Review of Books has said that she “writes about the real Los Angeles better than anyone since Raymond Chandler.” Author of the Weetzie Bat books, these punk rock fairytales are love letters to the city of angels–and one of the reasons I came to Southern California when I was seventeen. I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Block at an LA Zine Fest event, where she signed my only-slightly-scuffed copies of Weetzie Bat and Wtich Baby, which I’ve been carrying around since age twelve. Her most recent projects include a prequel to Weetzie Bat (see interview), an adult fantasy (see interview), and a Weetzie screenplay (get ready). This promo video for an Italian edition of the Weetzie stories is a nice homage to the world Block writes about, though nothing will do justice save the books themselves.
REJ: Can you tell me a little about your history and experience with Los Angeles? What do you love about it? Hate?
FLB: I’ve lived here all my life. I love the old Hollywood history, the weather, the canyons and ocean and desert so nearby. I don’t like the smog, though it’s better than when I was growing up in the valley. I also dislike the attitude of entitlement you sometimes see, but the jacaranda trees, pink skies and Marilyn history make up for much of that.
REJ: Who or what inspired Weetzie? Is there a real Weetzie out there somewhere?
FLB: I saw her driving a pink pinto on the 405 freeway once. Then I created a character based on her and then she became my alter ego.
REJ: You wrote a screenplay for Weetzie Bat – Are you able to divulge any details?
FLB: I wrote one for Unity pictures. We shall see.
REJ: Do you have any advice for young women in Los Angeles?
FLB: Create your own world that includes friends, music, creativity and healing. Oh, and books, flowers, and vegetables.