Why did you decide to write a book?
"I was originally going to write a style guide about girly girl dressing, because that’s how I like to dress — with color and frills and ruffles. But my publisher and agent told me told me to write a novel. They said, 'You are from the South, you’re a fish out of water, and you know New York City so well. It’s such a perfect backdrop for a fictional story.'"
Was it challenging to write?
"At first, I thought it was scary and overwhelming, but to write fiction is freedom. You can create these characters and make them do and say what you want. It’s a lot more fun than telling people what to wear!"
We know the book is fiction, but did you use any real-life experiences?
"It’s inspired by a lot of people I know in New York City. They are composites of certain people; I'm a lot of the main character, Minty Davenport, but I’m also another character, Tabitha. My 'mom' in the book, Scarlett, is very much my mom. My real mom is this crazy southern woman who is awesome, but also very annoying and meddling."
How long did it take you to write?
"It took two years. I wrote most of it at home in my bedroom. I had help writing the book with a friend, and I had a great editor."
What else are you doing these days?
"I design handbags and clothing. I’ve been doing it for six years for a company in Japan called Samantha Thavasa. I also do a lot of work with the American Humane Society. It’s a big importance to me. I actually just tattooed my dog's name, Bella, on my wrist. She just passed away, on the second day my book came out, from heart failure. So, this book tour has been a great distraction."
Is Southern Charm for all women?
"It’s a nice fish-out-of-water tale. It’s about staying true to yourself, and I also think it's a fun beach read. You don’t need a dictionary reading my book."
Tell us, why did you decide to have your book tour at Neiman Marcus?
"Fashion is an important part of the book, so to be at Neiman Marcus is the perfect place, especially in the shoe department. I love shoes."
What do you like about Miami?
"I love Miami. If I wasn’t living in New York, I’d move here. I love the energy, the warm weather, and I love coming here on the weekends."
Future plans for the book?
"It’s any author’s dream for it to turn into a movie or a television series. And I think Southern Charm can expand to the big screen because it’s a story that hasn’t be told."