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Author Interview: Liby Schmais PLUS Contest

You've read my review of The Pillow Book of Lotus Lowenstein and now you can get to know the author, Libby Schmais.

1. I know you work as a corporate librarian-what's that like?

I work for a large accounting/consulting firm where I do research on a variety of topics, mostly financial, from bios of bank executives to research on talent management to finding data on the hedge fund industry. Working as a corporate librarian is a good profession for a writer, because it uses an entirely different part of your brain than writing fiction. At work, instead of trying to create a fictional world, I’m trying to uncover facts and data. And one of the highlights of my job is that I have a flexible schedule, which allows me time to write.

2. Have you ever traveled to Paris? What would you suggest visitors do on their trip?

Oui, I have been to Paris, but not in many years, sadly. Writing this book made me really long to get back there, although much like the characters in The Pillow Book, the closest I’ve gotten to Paris lately was a recent trip to Montreal, where they have the most amazing farmers market, and these great bakeries, excuse me, I digress. Back to the question. If I was in Paris, what I would recommend is to wander around aimlessly, getting lost, drinking tons of cafĂ©, eating delicious food and seeing the occasional historic site or museum. I might take a pleasure boat down the Seine, like they do in that movie Before Sunrise, see a lot of French movies, maybe rent an apartment for a week or two, going out for baguettes every morning as if I really lived there.

3. Lotus tries to eat lots of French foods. Do you have any French favorites?

Like Lotus, j’adore French food. Luckily, I have a great bakery near my house where they make amazing croissants and pain au chocolat. One of my biggest food weaknesses is cheese and French cheeses are amazing, especially all the raw milk cheeses that you can’t even get here. But then again, everything tastes better in France. I remember the first time I was in Paris, and I had the most amazing plain omelette in a restaurant that here would probably be considered a diner. The omelette was thin and golden and perfectly cooked – and delicieux! There is just such care that goes into the cooking, even for a dish that is very simple. Wow, now I’m really getting hungry. I think I may have to run around the corner for a croissant.

4. What can we look forward to from you? Will we be seeing more of Lotus?

I’m not sure what Lotus will be up to in the future, but I can kind of imagine her coming back for a second act, perhaps pursuing her serious international fashion journalism career. In the meantime, while I’m waiting for her to figure out her next move, I’ve been working on a novel about a teenager who is obsessed with Tudor England and starts dressing and acting like Anne Boleyn to improve her status in high school.

5. What is the French word de jour?

Today’s French Word du Jour is bises (kisses). If you collect all the French words du jour on the Blog Tourapalooza, you can enter a contest to win fabulous prizes (A $25 Sephora gift card and a personally autographed Pillow Book!). Once you’ve visited all the blog tour stops and collected all the words, email the list of words to with the subject line “French Word du Jour Contest.” The deadline for entries is December 20th and a winner will be selected at random on December 22, 2009. The complete My-Life-Is-Merde-but-Have-a-Bonnes-FĂȘtes-Anyway Blog Tourapalooza schedule can be found at Our next tour stop is
Pop Culture Junkie on December 7, 2009. See you on the road, mes amis!

Not only is Libby hosting a very cool contest, but you can enter to win an ARC of The Pillow Book of Lotus Lowenstein. Just leave a comment below (with a way to contact you if you win, blog, e-mail, etc.). Must be US resident and13 years or older. Contest ends Friday December 11 at midnight (central time)


  1. I enjoy reading ARC'S, count me in!

  2. I have never read an ARC, please count me in...also love discovering new authors like Liby!


  3. I enjoyed your review and was excited to see the author interview and giveaway today! I, too, will miss Georgia Nicholson and would love to find a story to fill the void! Please count me in!

  4. I'd love to win an ARC

    jpetroroy at gmail dot com

  5. sounds wonderful thanks minsthins at optonline dot net

  6. Great contest! I love the Georgia Nicolson books so really want to read this!

    kelseythebookscout at gmail dot com

  7. Great interview--this book sounds awesome :)

  8. I've always wondered about corporate librarianship! Although, I think I like working with Teens & YA books too much to ever do it!

  9. Please count me in!

    infinitemusic19 at gmail dot com

  10. Liby sounds really interesting and I'd love a chance to win her book!


  11. thanks everyone - and there's still one day left to enter contest for book --


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Hello! My name is Sarah and I am a Youth Services Manager who works with kids, tweens and teens. I love being asked about great books to read! I started my blog in 2008 as a way to keep track of what I've been reading and to use a reference tool for reader's advisory and it's grown into much more than I could have ever anticipated. In addition to book reviews, I also enjoy posting audiobook reviews, booklists and my adventures in being a librarian. 2017 Library Journal Mover and Shaker Committees: 2021 Newbery Committee 2018 Odyssey Committee 2016 Caldecott Award 2013 Michael L. Printz Committee- Fabulous Films Committee I have also served on the Cybils, Missouri State Library Association Readers Selection Lists, and as an Audies judge. Presentations :  I have offered various presentations at local, state and national libraries and conferences. Topics have included:  What's New in Children's & Teen Literature Engaging Teens in Reader's Advisory Gee