Thursday, June 5, 2008


One of my favorite books.

Q: What inspired you to write these books?

Well, first there's the real Cyd Charisse - clearly! Ever see the dance fantasy sequence in the movie Singin' in the Rain? If not, do! The "real" Cyd Charisse, who was famous both as a dancer and an actress, is in this movie and she is incredible. I loved old movies when I was a teenager, and spent a lot of time at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, where I grew up, reading about old movie stars in Life and Photoplay magazines from the 30s, 40s and 50s, as well as watching flicks at the (now gone) Biograph, Circle and AFI Theatres in DC. I also loved the way the letters "Cyd Charisse" looked together; like if I were an artist, I would want to paint those letters together, they look so cool.
Gingerbread was originally inspired when I was living in the Bay Area and my friend Rob Coffman, genius artist extraordinaire, sent me a card he'd made picturing this bizarro girl wearing combat books, with a doll trailing from her hand and a caption that read, "My dolly's not feeling so good." I had always imagined a character named Cyd Charisse, and suddenly there she was; and I happened to have baked some gingerbread the week before, so that particular word was on my mind.
(From Rachel Cohn's website.)

Artwork by Rob Coffman

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