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Author's Message

L.A. WOMAN

FRANCESCA LIA BLOCK'S WEETZIE BAT GROWS UP IN NECKLACE OF KISSES

What's an L.A. post-punk pixie to do when she hits 40, the magic has drained from her life and her lover is too shell-shocked by 9/11 to kiss her anymore? Weetzie Bat, the popular heroine of five previous YA novels by Francesca Lia Block, runs away to an enchanted pink hotel in Necklace of Kisses (Aug., HarperCollins). Between the more pedestrian comforts of pedicures and room service, Weetzie has magical encounters with a captive mermaid, a faun, an invisible housekeeper and her high school sweetheart. These experiences, touched with shadows as well as light, heal and transform Weetzie.

Known for using real-life locations in her magical realism books
as well as conveying both the dark and sunny sides of her native L.A., Block says the pink hotel is more "a metaphor for rediscovering magic. Magic for me is a metaphor for creative expression and love."

Block reports that she hadn't planned on writing another Weetzie book after Baby Be Bop, which HarperCollins released in 1995. She wrote two novels, a collection of erotic stories and a nonfiction book about raising her two children, now 3 and 5. "I was out of touch with some of the other kinds of magic that had inspired the earlier books. But then things started happening that reminded me of my connection to the mystical in the everyday." Block began putting the pieces together and the story just came to her. "I didn't have to try very hard. She's always been my alter ego. I knew she was about my age and going through similar issues in her life.

"Weetzie has taught me that by following my heart and by expressing what I love, I can touch others," Block continues. "I encourage everyone to pursue their dream and be guided by their inner vision. It will lead to connection with one another, perhaps the greatest healing experience of all." --Liz French


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