Liana Maeby is an author whose debut novel, South on Highland, will be released on July 14. (She is also one of my favorite people to follow on Twitter.) South on Highland tells the story of a young screenwriter on the verge of stardom who is her own worse enemy — her addictions lead to a breakdown and an eventual stint in rehab. A number of notable Hollywood types have praised the book in advance of its release; director Jason Reitman calls it “Less Than Zero for the emoji generation.” Actor/writer BJ Novak says it’s “the kind of book kids will steal from each other.” Director Rien Johnson terms it “hilarious and gut-wrenching.” And You’re The Worst creator Stephen Falk says it’s “profane and funny and devastating, and, above all, fun as hell.”
Liana was nice enough to take a few minutes out of her busy schedule recently to answer a few questions from us.
1. You walk into a bar. What do you order from the bartender?
A Shirley Temple, but as someone who used to drink and now does not, I insist on calling it a Tatum O’Neal. (I’m still waiting for this to catch on.)
2. Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?
This is an impossible question. It’s like, how can you pick one famous French bulldog over all the others?
3. What’s currently waiting for you on your DVR/TiVO?
Upwards of 20 episodes of Mythbusters.
4. It’s your last meal — what are you going out with?
Sushi. No, tacos. Sushi. No, tacos. Sushi AND tacos.
5. What websites do you visit on a regular basis?
I would be happy only ever reading Clickhole.
6. What’s the most frequently played song on your mobile device?
I like to put “Free Fallin'” on while driving and pretend I’m Jerry Maguire or a more handsome Tom Petty.
7. The first face that comes to mind when you think “punchable”?
Jared Leto, but in kind of a sexy way.
8. What’s the last thing you Googled?
9. Dogs or cats?
Dogs. My god, dogs. I have a year-old pit bull/basset hound mix (I know) named Bigfoot who is the light of my life and the reason none of my shoes have laces.
10. Best concert of your life was…?
A fella once flew into town to take me to an Afghan Whigs show, which we got to watch from the rafters like a couple Marie Antoinettes, tossing stale peanuts and nicotine gum onto the peasants below.
11. What book are you most likely to give as a gift?
Oh, just a little something called South on Highland by Liana Maeby. This gesture is usually met with a polite smile that says, that’s cute… what else did you get me?
12. What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
Honestly, the first thing that comes to mind is that one time, a guy with one eye and a 6-inch facial tattoo let me cut in line at the DMV instead of murdering me.
13. South Park or Family Guy?
It’s hard to beat South Park in any kind of competition.
14. You have an entire day to do whatever you want. What would you do?
Let’s see… I’d probably wake around 6 and go for a sunrise jog through the neighborhood. After that, I’d enjoy a cup of coffee on my deck while reading a piece about real estate trends in the New York Times. Then I’d tend to my rock-and-succulent garden, wondering why the hummingbirds never seem to visit the mid-century modern ceramic birdhouse I had shipped from Sweden just for them. Around 11, my husband Ned (short for Ted) and I would join a few of our couple friends for brunch at the Farmer’s Market, where we’d discuss that real estate trend piece and compare New York to Los Angeles for a few hours. I’d probably order something French that I could really go nuts with while pronouncing to the waiter.
While at the Farmer’s Market, Ned and I would want to stop and pick up some flowers for our dining room table, our living room coffee table, our foyer coffee table, our coffee room coffee table, and the coffee table in Ned’s office even though that room always seems to be locked. I love tulips, but Ned prefers calla lilies, so we’d probably compromise with calla lilies. I’d likely spend a little time posting photos of the flower arrangements on our shared Instagram account, making sure to be really diligent about the hashtags.
Afternoons are when Ned likes to spend a few hours locked in his office. Sometimes he prefers to work out of hotels, like the Standard in West Hollywood, or the Sunset Tower in West Hollywood, or the Beverly Hills Hotel in West Hollywood-adjacent. So I’d take this alone time to tuck into a crossword puzzle or play a game of Scrabble against myself, except one side would be myself as myself and the other side would be myself if I had married Kenneth Porter instead of Ned, like my mother had wanted.
I figure it would probably be around 3 p.m. at this point, or if I got lucky, 4. So I’d spend the rest of the day either at the spa or in my bedroom with the door locked, weeping at the vast meaninglessness of existence. Do you guys think Ned might be gay?
15. What movie can you not resist watching if it’s on?
Either Pulp Fiction or Hook. I contain multitudes.
16. The sports team or teams you’re most passionate about?
I am a die-hard Dodgers fan and an even more die-hard Vin Scully fan.
17. Where did you eat the best meal of your life?
In the hypothetical death row scenario of a dozen questions ago.
18. The last movie you saw in a theater?
I saw Ex Machina, the sexy robot movie, and liked it a lot.
19. Who was your first celebrity crush?
The Beast aka Vincent from the CBS show Beauty and the Beast, played by Ron Perlman. I was four and it was definitely as weird as it sounds.
20. What would you cook if Nic Cage was coming to your house for dinner?
Oysters, chocolate, pomegranates, Viagra.
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