BriefINK/INKlings Interview: Gigi Levangie, Author of ‘Seven Deadlies,’ Talks Gluttony!

Seven Deadlies by Gigi Levangie
Book Cover: Seven Deadlies by Gig Levangie

Gigi Levangie, author of five novels already (including The After Wife and The Starter Wife) has written the new Young Adult novel, Seven Deadlies: A Cautionary Tale, that is being published on Thursday, October 17, 2013. In honor of its release, I am participating in a week-long blogfest where each day, different bloggers interview Ms. Levangie and talk about one of the Sins.

Thank you to Ms. Levangie…look for my review of Seven Deadlies and a Giveaway of a SIGNED copy on Thursday!

I&P: What gave you the idea to write a novel about the 7 deadly sins? Why did you take a very humorous slant instead of something more serious? And, you wrote it from the perspective of a third party narratrix who is more observer of follies than participant…

GL: I wanted to write a book my boys could enjoy – and I came upon the idea of the Seven Deadly Sins in high school – what better place to find those pesky deadlies? Generally, my reset button is set to humor – I like to find the funny in any situation, no matter how dire and, trust me, I know dire. My writing reflects that approach. Some would call this denial. I’m good with that.

I wrote it from the perspective of someone I feel is like myself – Perry is an outsider in an insider world. I also like that she’s someone we can all relate to, our eyes and ears, our point-of-view. She’s not a royal – to paraphrase “Lorde” (and where was this song when I was 16?) – she’s the girl on the bus sitting next to us.

I&P: If you had to live with one of the 7 deadly sins for the rest of your life, which one would it be and why?

GL: Lust. I mean, do I need to explain why? Do you think I go to all those professional sports games solely for my boys’ enjoyment? Mother needs her hobbies, too…

I&P: Gluttony is traditionally tied to food, but I think it can mean having an appetite for too much of anything – food, clothing (shoes!), video games, books (that’s me), nail polishes…What have you ever OD’d on/have as a current obsession?

GL: Okay, this is really weird. I have an obsession with almonds – not just any almonds – the almonds I roast at home in olive oil and crunchy sea salt. I’ve been eating them instead of lunch since I was pregnant (and nauseous for eight months) with my second boy. They were the only food I could keep in my stomach. Try this – drizzle olive oil over a cup of almonds, toss crunchy sea salt over them, slide them onto a cookie sheet and stick in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes or so.

Now, eat a handful with a glass of California Pinot Noir (Oregon, I hear you, too!) and watch The Voice and tell me that’s not heaven. (Blake Shelton is the go-to fantasy boyfriend in my neighborhood.)

Gigi Levangie

I&P: I always think of Augustus Gloop from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when I picture gluttony. Also, in Bern, Switzerland, there’s a lovely statue of a man eating babies. That’s my idea of gluttony – either eating too much in general or eating too much of something that really wasn’t meant for eating. (Ooh! I just thought of that show about strange obsessions. There’s always someone on there eating something I personally consider to be an appetite suppressant, not a delicacy. But I digress.) What is your idea of gluttony?

GL: My idea of gluttony – in the negative sense – is when person isn’t enjoying his or her food. I don’t care what you’re eating – chocolate cupcakes with vanilla icing (I’m an “icing person” by the way – I need to find my perfect “cake person”), the “Animal” at In-N-Out, an heirloom tomato salad with buffalo mozzarella…eat whatever you want. Listen to your body – you can have three bites of anything on the planet – except Blake Shelton’s thigh.

I don’t believe in food restrictions or fasting unless a person has or is courting a severe health issue. Just, for God’s sakes, enjoy the moment with your food! The side benefit is that you’ll eat less.

I&P: I would think that much of the world considers Americans to be fairly gluttonous. After all, we probably invented the mobility scooter. But we also are gluttons for punishment (see what I did there?) when it comes to diet and exercise and food porn. How can we find a happy medium (size)?

GL: Americans are in a vicious cycle – we eat too much, then we juice fast (dumping sugar in our bodies), then we exercise to extremes, then we drink a bottle or two of wine, then we start the cycle over again. I exercise a lot – I’ll admit it – I try to get five times a week in – but that includes a fun yoga class (a modicum of “om”), walking, training at Circuit Works (great music!), more walking, maybe some tennis. The key, for me, is “fun”. If it ain’t fun, I ain’t doing it. Not at this point in my life – I don’t need some sweaty guy screaming at me to run up a hill faster unless there’s a cupcake at the top.

The weird thing is, using this philosophy, I have more muscle mass and weigh less than I did when I was in my 20s.

Move today, and be kind to yourself. Having fun is the goal.

For those of you who love Pinterest, make a board about one of the Seven Deadly Sins & win! Go to the Penguin website for contest information!

Be sure to come back on Thursday to read my review of Seven Deadlies as well as participate in a change to win a signed copy! Here’s the book trailer…enjoy!

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