She grabbed your attention first with her music, and now she’s keeping it with her novels. Dahlia Schweitzer is letting us in on her arsenal of pen sin. I interviewed this multi-hyphenate and finally got some of those questions answered once and for all. In this special two part piece, Dahlia lets her tresses down and gives us the 411 on all things Lovergirl….
Dahlia Schweitzer is a woman of merging worlds working across several platforms. As a former electro cabaret star in Europe, she blazed a trail that few could ever have dared to follow. As a teacher, she shares her insights with students, offering a unique perspective through her expatriate experience living and performing overseas. Now residing in Los Angeles, she has yet again carved out her own niche as a writer who dares to expand the boundaries and horizons of the average reader, taking them on a journey they would never have gone on alone. Schweitzer is not afraid to go there, and her books leave an indelible imprint on the consciousness. Her first book, Lovergirl, has never been released stateside and now the time has come. Truly a work before its time, I interviewed Dahlia to get behind the woman herself and the women she encountered in this vivid and intimate, no-holds-barred novel….
What were your primary interests in delving into this world?
I was just fascinated by these people who made a living doing things
other people refuse to talk about. America is all about drawing
boundaries between public and private — not only did these women make
their private public, they made money off of it! I thought it was
incredibly interesting. I was curious about the people who did this
and the kind of communities they built within their world.
What was the most inspirational aspect of covering women like Adrian?
I loved watching women who were so confident about their own
sexuality. They weren’t busy looking in the mirror wondering if their
thighs were too fat — they owned their bodies, and they made men
worship them. It was intoxicating.
What is your opinion on a woman’s power as a sexual being?
I think most women have no idea how much power they have as sexual beings.
Who most shaped your decision to become a writer?
I never really decided to become a writer. I just wrote and somehow
people seemed to want more! It never occurred to me, when I wrote
Lovergirl (which was my first book) that I’d end up here, six books and thirteen years later!
If you were to cast the characters in Lovergirl, who would play them?
I really have no idea. I’ve never been good at casting. I do think
Reese Witherspoon would be interesting as Adrian because it would be
so different from how we’re used to seeing her — which is exactly the
point. Everyone always saw Adrian as this good girl, which is what
forced her to create this alternate persona.
How have your other artistic endeavors influenced your writing?
For me, it’s always felt very organic to have my photographs inspired
by my writing, my writing inspired by my performances — I think
living itself is the greatest source of inspiration for anything. I’m drawn to people. I find them so interesting. I see scenarios and wonder what would happen if…And there’s so much bullshit in our day-to-day lives, bullshit that I want to plow through, and that’s where a lot of my work comes in. It’s what happens when the bullshit is gone.
Describe for an outsider what living in Berlin was like during the early 2000s?
For me, it was a magical time, but it was also scary. There were some
months that I would be living on spare change. But I loved being in
Europe, I loved the mix of all the different people who came together
in Berlin — British, Italian, Australians, Spanish — it was this
incredible mix of cultures and races and everyone was there to make
art. So that part was beautiful. But after a while, it started to feel
like the place where everyone flees to avoid growing up, and I decided
it was time for me to grow up and find a career that was a little more
stable. I wanted to travel less — and to live a little less month-by-month.
both photos: Ed Fox
Why did you leave Berlin and what did you take away from living there?
That’s basically why I left. I just felt like I’d been clawing my way
up a rock wall with my fingernails and I needed a break. I decided to
go to graduate school and become a teacher. But every artist should
have the experience of living off their art, of making their art
twenty-four hours a day. That’s something you never get when you have
to have a day job!
What would you say to any woman that wanted to dip her feet into the industry of sex, drugs, rock & roll after interviewing Adrian?
DO IT! Nothing is worse than wondering what something is like but
being afraid to try. I’d just say, leave out the drugs because that
will never get you anywhere. And if your mind isn’t clear, you won’t
get as much out of it.
Any upcoming projects you wish to share?
I’ve got a book coming out next year with Intellect Books, Another
Kind of Monster: Cindy Sherman’s Office Killer, which is really
exciting. That book is five years in the making! And I’ve got another
book coming out later this year called Breathe With Me that I’ve
decided to self-publish. I won’t give away any more details, because
it’s a surprise, but people can keep up on my Facebook page,
Check back for part two of this interview on Friday, where Dahlia delves deeper and answers her most challenging question yet!
Read Lovergirl online here:
Check out Dahlia’s music here:
photography: Ed Fox