By: Jeremy Van Cise
Posted: December 2007

    Janet Fitch captured the hearts of readers
    everywhere with her best selling novel, White
    Oleander, and gave us the perspective of a
    young girl who goes from foster home to foster
    home while coping with the hold her manipulative
    mother has on her.

    With a new novel , Paint it Black, Janet took a
    moment with us to answer some of our questions.

Van Cise: First and foremost I want to thank you, Janet, for taking the time to
answer some of our questions. It’s truly an honor.

Fitch: You're most welcome

Van Cise: First tell us a little about your childhood and where you grew up.

Fitch: [I] grew up in Los Angeles, CA, in the area now known as Koreatown. I was a
sulky, pissed off little kid who lived in my fantasies, my books.

Van Cise: What made you decide to go into writing?

Fitch: Wanted to force people to see the world from my point of view.

Van Cise: Do you see a little bit of Astrid (White Oleander) and Josie (Paint it
Black) in yourself?

Fitch: Yes, absolutely. But I'm also Ingrid and Michael.

Van Cise: Did you ever expect the reception that White Oleander garnered?

Fitch: No. I just felt lucky to get published and decently reviewed!

Van Cise: What was the transition like for turning White Oleander into a novel
from a short story?

Fitch: I had to decide what would happen to Ingrid, would she go to prison? It was at the
time of the OJ trial, and I thought, shit, she's going to go to prison. Then I had to decide
what would happen to her daughter. I tried a few different things and nothing was
working, and then suddenly, I knew what happened to her. What happened to kids with
no one to take care of them. And then the book was off and running.

Van Cise: What did you think about the film adaptation of White Oleander and
what they left out?

Fitch: I thought they did a good job turning a 400 page novel into a 2 hour movie. I knew
they'd have to leave plenty out. I was glad I didn't have to do it.

    Van Cise: Would you ever allow a film adaptation
    of Paint it Black ?

    Fitch: Absolutely! Its a fascinating process.

    Van Cise: Do you have any plans for a fourth
    novel, and if so can you tell us a little about it?

    Fitch: Working on it now. It's set in the early 1920's, in
    Los Angeles and during the revolution in St. Petersburg.

    Van Cise: Do you have any advice for hopeful

Fitch: Don't wait to write until you're inspired. Just write. 15 minutes a day, better than
waiting until you have a free day and the muses are smiling. And remember, you have
to be bad before you can be good. Not everything Picasso painted was a masterpiece,
but he had to paint the bad stuff to get the good.

Van Cise: Once again I want to thanks you so much for taking some time to
answer these questions. I’m a big fan and look forward to your future work!
Also I'll be running a review of Paint it Black to accompany the interview!

Fitch: Thanks for the interest!

To purchase your copy of Paint it Black, click
HERE.  Check back soon for Jeremy Van
Cise's book review of Paint it Black.  For more information on Janet Fitch, click

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        UGLY BETTY

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