Interview with Courtney Maum

What are 5 things you would want to find?

  1. I left my favorite sun hat under a picnic table at a rodeo last summer. It was my mother’s, and I stole it from her many years ago. She would always make reference to that theft when she saw me in it; “Am I ever going to get that hat back?” Aside from missing the hat itself, I miss the fact that we can’t bicker about it any more

  2. A chocolate chip cookie recipe that I could manage to get right.

  3. A pill that I could eat that would enable me to automatically memorize the past tense in Spanish. (I am taking Spanish lessons and the flash card thing is killing me.)

  4. More patience.

  5. Something you could spray in the air that would make human beings suddenly value rhetoric and logic.  

What are 5 things you would want to hide? 

  1. Myself when I am deep into a writing project.

  2. My favorite dark chocolate because my French husband has an insatiable sweet tooth (I mention that he is French only because the sweet tooth seems to be part of his cultural inheritance) and the chocolate is often gone when I need it most.

  3. The Wi-Fi code. The Internet is too much with us.

  4. The first draft of my first published novel.

  5. The bill. Doesn’t it ruin a good time when you are out, and the conversation is just getting good, and a waiter comes and guillotines everything with a check you weren’t ready for? And now the check is just sitting there between you, begging you to pay and leave.

If you could choose anywhere in the world for your book to be hidden, where would it be?

In “Tigre del Mar,” an isolated property in Costa Careyes, Mexico right on the Teopa Beach that is mentioned in the book. Tigre del Mar a very surrealist property—you can Google pictures of it. It is lapis lazuli blue, and one of the buildings has a staircase coming right out of the top of it that doesn’t lead anywhere. There are trees hanging upside down, there is quite a bit of conceptual art scattered here and there. This is the property that inspired the home that all of the characters are staying in in Costalegre.

If you could find any book, which would it be and why?

Oh gosh, I would love to find the actual diary of Pegeen Guggenheim to see if I got anywhere close to channeling her teenage hopes and disappointments.

Who would you want to find your book (another author, celebrity, et cetera)?

In a dream life, Sofia Coppola would find it. I think her personal aesthetics would align with the story of an heiress in exile who has “modern art” as a rival for her mother’s love. As a director, a creative, and a child of privilege herself, I feel she understands that emotional deprivation and great wealth can sometimes go hand in hand.

Courtney Maum_credit Colin Lane.jpg

Visit Bedtime Stories to listen to Courtney Maum read an excerpt from Costalegre