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Discussing the book "The Village of Vice" with Candy Armstrong-Jones

BROADCAST: Apr. 1, 1968 | DURATION: 00:53:53

Synopsis

Interviewing Candy Armstrong-Jones (Cathy Zmuda).

Transcript

Tap within the transcript to jump to that part of the audio.

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Studs Terkel I thought we might rebroadcast a conversation with a young novelist. It was a broadcast that received an unprecedented response. First novel a smashing success. Candy Armstrong-Jones and her book, "The Village of Vice," published by Parthenon. Her thoughts or observations, reflections on having written a sudden and instant bestseller first time out. In a moment, the conversation with Miss Armstrong-Jones after we hear of the word from our sponsors. A novel comes along, a book that becomes a runaway bestseller despite what appear to be [unintelligible] and adverse criticisms by some of the reviewers, literary critics, though the public for one reason or another has latched onto such a case as that of the new novel, "Village of Vice." We've never had the author before, I think it's maybe your first book, Candy Armstrong-Jones, Parthenon the publishers. Miss Armstrong-Jones, this is your -- Is it hyphenated?

Cathy Zmuda Yes, that's right.

Studs Terkel Is it your first novel?

Cathy Zmuda Yes.

Studs Terkel Well, suppose we start from the beginning. I've been reading it's been listed on some bestseller lists and not on others. I noticed some papers don't list it. Why is this?

Cathy Zmuda Well, none of the Chicago papers have listed it on the bestseller list. Two of them did review it, though, when it came out two months ago.

Studs Terkel Well, why don't they list it?

Cathy Zmuda Well, you know, we've got bluenoses all over the place.

Studs Terkel Oh, is it considered somewhat racy, somewhat gamy?

Cathy Zmuda A dirty, filthy book. Yes.

Studs Terkel Do you -- Pardon me. You think some people consider it this. Do you feel that about it?

Cathy Zmuda Well, it is a filthy book. Yes.

Studs Terkel Just one moment. Do I call you -- Miss Armstrong-Jones, may I call you Candy or just Miss Armstrong-Jones?

Cathy Zmuda Well, I guess you can call me Candy.

Studs Terkel I don't want to confuse you 'cause then -- You know, with the heroine of the Terry Christian [sic] and his collaborators' book, "Candy."

Cathy Zmuda Oh.

Studs Terkel But back to the book. Do you, yourself -- Pardon me, this is rather interesting. Do you, yourself, would you describe this as a filthy book? You use

Cathy Zmuda Well, yes, I said it is a filthy book. That doesn't mean it's not great literature, you know.

Studs Terkel Before I ask you about the title itself, "Village of Vice," what it means and of course what's happened to you since, and how you write the book, influences on your life. You say, you said it's it could be great literature and still be a filthy book.

Cathy Zmuda Yes.

Studs Terkel You mean in the manner of "Ulysses"?

Cathy Zmuda Yes, well you see people always say that filth, you know, it isn't an important book if it's a filthy book. Well, I just wonder who's to say that filth isn't important, you know, to people who like it it's a very important thing. And you know, you can sneak in some inspirational words and thoughts and ideas and grab people who read filthy books and you know, give them a little moral with the story.

Studs Terkel Let me understand that; in other words, there's sort of a boring from within through filth. Is the idea -- is this what you mean?

Cathy Zmuda You could say that.

Studs Terkel

Cathy Zmuda Well, Yes, you did.

Studs Terkel No, I'm just thinking about this matter of -- Do you think it's -- That's my point, Miss Armstrong-Jones, Candy. Did you think this is -- Did you deliberately set out to write what you described as a filthy book?

Cathy Zmuda Oh, dear, you're going to make me sound very mercenary, but yes, I did, because filthy books make money, let's face it.

Studs Terkel Well, think of some of your colleagues today, they've been reviewed as well as you have, and they also had some rough times with reviewers, are also among the bestsellers, such as -- Well, you're a girl writer, is there one -- I understand that Parthenon, your publishers.

Cathy Zmuda Yes.

Studs Terkel And they're very excited, and

Cathy Zmuda Oh, yes, they're delighted, they're really delighted.

Studs Terkel Have you been around various -- You've been traveling to see various and various stations?

Cathy Zmuda Oh, no.

Studs Terkel You don't do this.

Cathy Zmuda I didn't -- I haven't had to.

Studs Terkel Because of the book itself.

Cathy Zmuda Yes.

Studs Terkel Well, how do you explain it's catching on this way, despite the fact that it's

Cathy Zmuda Well, you see, like with a Broadway play, a critic can kill it, you know. But a book, a critic, you know, for instance, one reviewer said like, you know, and thank God today the reviewers are reviewing pornography. Years ago, you know, they just ignored it. But now they're reviewing it and he said like it was the worst piece of trash that he had ever seen. And he, you know, he went on to describe certain scenes and things. Well, you know, this is better than a payday. I'm in the New York Times Book Review section.

Studs Terkel Pardon me, as an author, weren't you hurt when you read this? the review, that it was the worst piece of trash he read?

Cathy Zmuda Well, I was, from one standpoint, because he did miss the great parts of it. You know, he was so obsessed with the filth that he didn't look beyond, and there really, it is -- Well, it's just very inspirational. It's a really true American book.

Studs Terkel Before I ask you about the book itself and the two key figures, the hero and heroine, Mark and Margot, I believe, who work in an advertising agency

Cathy Zmuda Right.

Studs Terkel Well, before I ask about that, this is remarkable, how you do this, you feel you deliberately wrote it filthy, but at the same time inspirational.

Cathy Zmuda That's right. Yes.

Studs Terkel And have you been told by -- I suppose people stopped you, those you've met at parties here and there, about their reactions to this book, people you've met?

Cathy Zmuda Well, most of the people that I first met since the book just loved it, you know, and they're marvelous people. However, some of the friends, so-called friends that I had before I wrote the book, you know, were -- I was amazed at their reaction to it because, you know, I've seen them some of these people in action and I couldn't imagine for the life of me what they'd be so excited about. You know, there was nothing they read in the book that they didn't know existed before. So, I was very surprised about, and hurt, several times.

Studs Terkel These are friends of yours, you mean.

Cathy Zmuda These are the people, you know, that I have known before I wrote the book.

Studs Terkel They're no longer friends of yours?

Cathy Zmuda Well, some of them are. That's what I say. The ones I've met since I wrote the book are all people, you know, who just loved it and were delighted to meet me and everything.

Studs Terkel Well, may I ask you this about these former friends of yours, or close to you, is the fact that, were you in the manner of Thomas Wolfe and "Look Homeward, Angel," do you recall, I don't know if you read that

Cathy Zmuda No, I'm afraid I -- Tom Wolf?

Studs Terkel No, not Tom Wolfe, Thomas Wolfe, who wrote "Look Homeward, Angel."

Cathy Zmuda Perhaps he was before my time.

Studs Terkel He's a little before your time, yes. And he -- Asheville, the town he wrote, he's from Asheville, North Carolina, people recognized themselves and were furious. Was this so with your book?

Cathy Zmuda No, it couldn't possibly be so, the book is so made-up, you know, you

Studs Terkel Let's ask you about that, before I ask you about the title itself, "Village of Vice," the locale I know is Chicago,

Cathy Zmuda Yes!

Studs Terkel Where, Old Town, or?

Cathy Zmuda Well, it's that whole near north area, and mid-north; no, not mid-north, near north.

Studs Terkel Is that your

Cathy Zmuda Oh, yeah, that's my territory, yeah.

Studs Terkel I notice in the publisher's blurbs that -- No, not blurbs, the publicity I received from -- okay, what was the name of, I forget the publicity woman of your company, that have notes here, where you live, you describe yourself as as a swinger. A swinger. Yeah.

Cathy Zmuda Well that's what

Studs Terkel What do you mean by a swinger?

Cathy Zmuda Oh, dear, that's kind of hard to describe. You know, if you're not a swinger, I can't tell you. It's a person who enjoys life, you know, and who likes to do interesting, marvelous things.

Studs Terkel Well, for instance.

Cathy Zmuda Oh, well, you know, going to Old Town a lot and doing all this very 'in' things to do. I was at Maxim's several times, you know. Poor Michael Butler's place closed down, I wanted to see that and never got a chance

Studs Terkel In Oak Brook. The polo place? Oh, you mean the,

Cathy Zmuda His

Studs Terkel Club.

Cathy Zmuda Discotheque, yeah.

Studs Terkel The "Cheetah."

Cathy Zmuda No, no, no, that's not his, that's Stevenson's.

Studs Terkel Oh, you're up, oh, you go to the

Cathy Zmuda Oh, yes, they're marvelous, marvelous.

Studs Terkel Maxim's. You say that's the swinger, then, someone as -- What's the word you use here? Fun?

Cathy Zmuda Well, fun

Studs Terkel Fun people. You -- You're part of the fun people.

Cathy Zmuda Yeah.

Studs Terkel Is that the basis? Is that -- That's the locale of "The Village of Vice," then.

Cathy Zmuda Yes. It's not the beautiful people, I wish I was, you know, but I'll settle for fun people for a while.

Studs Terkel So it's the fun people, and they are the characters in this book, in a way. Village, too, I notice you live -- It's interesting, very moving, here, apparently, you live in Sandburg Village.

Cathy Zmuda That's right.

Studs Terkel And something happened that, would you mind telling us about this, since the book has come out?

Cathy Zmuda Well, there's something that I might say as a prelude to that, if you don't mind. I don't know if you're aware of this, but all the buildings in Sandburg Village are named after writers, you know. Well, that in itself is such an inspiration. You couldn't believe it, you know, what an inspiring thing to live and have your typewriter sitting on a desk, you know, in this building that it's named after a great writer. Well, the thing that you're alluding to is after my book came out two months ago, a committee from our building came and they had a petition. They wanted to rename the building "The Candy Armstrong-Jones Building." Well, can you imagine, you know, "Wow!", so, oh, I was delighted and, of course, felt very humble about the whole thing, but I really don't think anything will come of it. You know, there might be a problem with the management because then any time a writer moves in, you know, they're going to want to rename the building and so on. So I think they don't want to start that, even, you know. But just the thought that they,

Studs Terkel It's your first book, too, it's your first novel. Candy, do you think there's a possibility -- You mean some of your fellow tenants, the guests

Cathy Zmuda Yes, the people that live in my building.

Studs Terkel So I suppose, I suppose you're known as somewhat of a celebrity, I suppose, in that housing complex.

Cathy Zmuda Well, I guess, yeah, I have to admit that.

Studs Terkel That's interesting. You're -- I know -- You mentioned your age, you're 26.

Cathy Zmuda That's right.

Studs Terkel And you yourself worked at an advertising agency, or you have. You still?

Cathy Zmuda Oh, yes.

Studs Terkel Oh, well, this is interesting. Well, what about writing the book, how did you do -- You do, you, you do copy, advertising copy?

Cathy Zmuda That's right. I'm a

Studs Terkel You describe it as a real fun place.

Cathy Zmuda Oh, it is, it's marvelous, wild characters, you know, and always some kind of goings on with throwing, you know, paperclips or something or other, yes.

Studs Terkel There's something you say here that's rather fascinating, you say, quoting our guest, Candy Armstrong-Jones, author of "The Village of Vice," published by Parthenon, that's one of these, you know, one of these surprise runaway best-sellers, despite, you don't mind my saying this, critical attack, really, and you don't mind it too much,

Cathy Zmuda Well, I mind it, but you know, I can't stamp out the truth, so.

Studs Terkel You say you can't stamp out -- Oh, the truth that they are -- You're not implying they're right,

Cathy Zmuda Oh, no, I mean the truth of what you say that they said these things.

Studs Terkel You say, but here's what you say. This is -- May I ask you about this?This is very revealing. "All day long," writes Candy Armstrong-Jones, this is the publicity Parthenon sent us, "All day long I'm paid to write lies for somebody else. Now in my book I write lies for myself."

Cathy Zmuda Yes, well, that's what you asked before if any of my friends saw themselves in it, and I said no, because you know it isn't true. It's an extension of my copy-writing, you know, I just.

Studs Terkel An extension

Cathy Zmuda of Yes.

Studs Terkel Are you implying that the copy that you write is untrue?

Cathy Zmuda I guess, yes.

Studs Terkel May I ask about your habits? So you work full-time, eight-hour day, a 40-hour

Cathy Zmuda week Well,

Studs Terkel Thirty-five hour week. Where do you find -- How did you -- How long did it take you to write?

Cathy Zmuda One

Studs Terkel Well, what do you -- May I ask you how, your writing habits, did you write every night, or?

Cathy Zmuda No. You know, the interesting thing was, I don't know if you know who Rona Jaffe is.

Studs Terkel I've heard of Rona Jaffee.

Cathy Zmuda Yes. She's like the urban American female, you know, of the 20th century.

Studs Terkel The urban American female?

Cathy Zmuda Yes, a counterpart of you-know-who, and, well, she had a book come out several years ago called "The Best of Everything," another smash best-seller, incidentally, you know. And I had read somewhere in reading about it, I loved the book, so any time I saw her picture, anything in the paper, I'd read, you know, what she had to say and she said that she had, I don't know if she had moved to New York or moved out of her parents' apartment or something, but anyway she was in her own apartment and she decided to write a book, you know, and she thought, well, you know, how best to do it. And she thought, "Well, look, if I can get one good page a day, you know, in a year I'm going to have 365 pages, that's a book," you know, and that's what she did. Well, I thought, "My God, this girl, you know, this is marvelous, what a great idea!" And quite honestly, this is my inspiration, you know, and I thought, look, you know, I can write a book and I can get all sweaty about it and everything and just worry about it night and day and, you know, but I can't do that, you can't work and write a book and swing all at the same time and do justice to them, you know, unless you have a plan. And I did. So I decided I was going to write a page a day the same as she did, and in a year I'd have a book. So how many people do you know, you know, that write a book a year?

Studs Terkel Let me understand this: you wrote exactly a page

Cathy Zmuda That's right. The thing is, to get yourself a pattern and never vary, no matter what happens. New Year's Day, you know, if you're hung over or anything, wait 'til you're wide awake and write that page, no matter what, no matter where I've been swinging the day before, no matter what I've done, I write that page a day.

Studs Terkel Well, if I follow this correctly, you write one page a day.

Cathy Zmuda That's right.

Studs Terkel And you said you plan to do a book a year. This book took -- When you say a year, you don't mean -- You mean exactly a year?

Cathy Zmuda Yes, for instance, yesterday was July 18th. That was the 199th day of the year. I've got 199 pages sitting at home in a little box, you know, and I've got 166 to go, because

Studs Terkel Your next Three

Cathy Zmuda -- Three hundred sixty-five days. Oh, yes, I'm working on

Studs Terkel I'll ask you about that in a moment. So, then, your book is 365 pages.

Cathy Zmuda Well, not really. You know, that's typewritten pages and it changes a little bit, you know, and

Studs Terkel -- About a page

Cathy Zmuda a Right.

Studs Terkel You write. It's about 365 typewritten pages.

Cathy Zmuda That's right.

Studs Terkel I see. So, it's that sort of discipline. Is it?

Cathy Zmuda Well, it's more than just saying a page a day. It's a matter of saying like, "When am I going to write that page?" Making up your mind trying to decide when the best time is. Once you decide, it's got to be then and never change. Now, in my case I do change; on weekends I do it at a different time than I do on weekdays. But every Monday through Friday, I work 'til five p.m.

Studs Terkel At the agency.

Cathy Zmuda At the advertising agency. So I hop on the bus and I'm home. You know how close the village is to the Loop, I'm home never later

Studs Terkel The village, Sandburg

Cathy Zmuda Right.

Studs Terkel "The Village of Vice."

Cathy Zmuda Well, you said it, I didn't. So I'm home at five-thirty, and I've got a dinner date at seven or eight or, you know, a date for something or other every night of the week. So I get home and I get undressed, and I hop in the shower or hop in the bath. And it dawned on me when I was first trying to decide a pattern for this, "My God, I'm wasting whatever time it takes to wash up," you know, why my mind isn't doing anything while I'm busy soaping up. So, while I'm tubbing or showering I decide kind of plot out that day's page and I hop out of the shower, towel off, throw on the robe and before I do anything else I go straight to the typewriter, sit down and write that page, put it on the pile in this open box that I've got, put it in there, and that's it for the day.

Studs Terkel Well, Miss Armstrong-Jones, Candy, if I may call you that, this is, this is very fascinating to me. You mean, while you're showering, or tubbing, as you put it, the idea you think about that page, is that it?

Cathy Zmuda Why did you say "as I put it," is that wrong, "tubbing"?

Studs Terkel No, no, tubbing, I mean, I haven't heard the phrase

Cathy Zmuda You know, I like to learn, so I thought if it was wrong

Studs Terkel No, it's a verb, I suppose, for in the bathtub, you're tubbing, for showering, for shower but I'm just coming back to the -- You think of that page? I mean, do you have an idea for the book -- When you first -- How'd the idea of "Village of Vice" come to you?

Cathy Zmuda Oh, dear, well I'm a voracious reader, you know, oh, I just read

Studs Terkel What are some of your reading?

Cathy Zmuda Well, for instance, I would never miss reading a single book that, say, Irving Wallace has written. My God, what a talent, you know, and he writes these huge epics, it must take him two years,

Studs Terkel Irving Wallace, I'm sorry, I haven't, I've heard of him, but I haven't read him. What is it about his writing that attracts you?

Cathy Zmuda Well, he writes these broad, for instance, "The Prize," these broad panoramic things and he brings in the history, like the Nobel Prize, you know. And yet, there is life in it, and action and suspense and sex and everything, you know. Oh, really a genius, really

Studs Terkel So Irving Wallace is one

Cathy Zmuda And I'll tell you

Studs Terkel He brings in, you say, he brings what -- That's interesting, you say he brings in the sex and intellect and both, as you in a sense bring in inspirational stuff through filth.

Cathy Zmuda Well, see that's what I mean. You know, you can't say that that a filthy book is not an important book. Someone said that to me once, that's why I have this phrase in my mind, because you know it can be, it can be very important depending on what you do with it. Like, there are people I'm sure who never knew how the Nobel Prize winners were chosen before they read his book.

Studs Terkel And so, Irving Wallace acquainted people with

Cathy Zmuda I must admit, his books aren't quite as sexy as mine, you

Studs Terkel Your as -- You emphasize that, the sexual

Cathy Zmuda Well, you see, it just, it just seems to come out that way, you know. I don't do it deliberately, certainly, but the way the plot unravels, it just is such a natural extension, you

Studs Terkel Later on, perhaps, you can read an excerpt from it. I

Cathy Zmuda Oh, I would love

Studs Terkel I realize that some of the phrases you probably have to, for the purpose of radio, just read blank, perhaps a dash or delete. But back to -- Wallace is one. Other

Cathy Zmuda Oh, yes. I would never miss reading anything Rona Jaffee wrote.

Studs Terkel Rona Jaffe, who wrote "The Best of Everything."

Cathy Zmuda Yes, and "Mr. Right is Dead," and I think she -- A new one, I forgot

Studs Terkel By the way, you mentioned her earlier about, come back to other writers. You said she's the urban female, the counterpart of you-know-who, I don't know

Cathy Zmuda Oh, Mr. Terkel, your age is showing! You don't know who the urban male of the world is?

Studs Terkel Well

Cathy Zmuda He lives right in the city, you know.

Studs Terkel Oh, Hugh Hefner, you mean?

Cathy Zmuda Of

Studs Terkel Oh, I'm sorry, I see, she's the urban --- I'm a little -- Not quite hip, I want to catch up.

Cathy Zmuda I forgive you.

Studs Terkel But tell me. So it's Rona Jaffe, Irving Wallace, and these are two writers who influenced you.

Cathy Zmuda Oh, so many more. I am really a voracious reader, you know, my friends -- It doesn't interfere much with my swinging, but you know, I've got time to and from work on the bus and stuff and they're always saying, "Oh, my gosh, you've always got your nose in a book!" You know, like Charles Mergendahl, I wouldn't miss reading one of his books. Or Harold Robbins or Grace Metalious.

Studs Terkel I've seen the name, Harold, why Harold Robbins? You mean "The Carpetbaggers"?

Cathy Zmuda Well, that was one of his first, yes.

Studs Terkel What is it about Harold Robbins that you like?

Cathy Zmuda Well, you see, I not only read these writers, I learn from them, you know, and I learned a marvelous, marvelous technique from his -- All of his books, really. You know, what he does is, he writes about people and he makes you believe that they are real people in the news, you know. But he covers himself brilliantly, you know, so there's no lawsuits or anything, like in his last book, "The Adventurers," which is oh, really marvelous, the scope of it, you know, it was like 20 years or something like that. And he has Aristotle Onassis and Porfirio Rubirosa, and Trujillo and the Kennedy family and everything, and Maria Callas, I say this because I know this is a fine arts station, and they cover it. He covers it so marvelously because he'll have somebody, for instance, that you know is Trujillo, you know, and someone will say, "My God, he's going to be as powerful as Trujillo was," you know, and then that way he's covered, you know, nobody can sue. Like you said, that was me, because each one of these characters he has a declaimer, a disclaimer

Studs Terkel Disclaimer.

Cathy Zmuda Yes, you know.

Studs Terkel Well, that's fasci-- Other writers of the past, like, here you, a woman writer, girl writer, you're 26, Miss Armstrong-Jones, I suppose Jane Austen, you read Jane Austen, I suppose, or Edith Wharton or Willa Cather.

Cathy Zmuda I don't recognize those names, I'm sorry.

Studs Terkel George Eliot, I suppose.

Cathy Zmuda I don't know who he is. Oh, if you're talking about like older writers before my time, yes, you know, I love women writers. Besides Rona and Grace Metalious and Kathleen Winsor and Margaret Mitchell and all those.

Studs Terkel You like Kathleen Winsor.

Cathy Zmuda Oh, I love all of them.

Studs Terkel Margaret Mitchell.

Cathy Zmuda But there is one old-time woman writer that I loved. You know, I'm not much for poetry but really when I read Joyce Kilmer's "Trees," for the first time, I tell you shivers just ran, you know.

Studs Terkel Joyce Kilmer.

Cathy Zmuda Yes, she [sic] was marvelous! You know, "I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree." It's so beautiful, actually I think her [sic] poem was as lovely as a tree, you know.

Studs Terkel Since you mentioned Joyce Kilmer, do you like a poet -- Poetry, you see, like Edgar Guest? Have you ever heard of

Cathy Zmuda Oh, yes, very inspirational. And in fact, I would imagine that my prose is very very much like his poetry.

Studs Terkel But he wasn't -- The one thing that matter -- The word 'filth' could never be applied

Cathy Zmuda No, I will say that, but I'm talking about the inspiration aspect of my book. The optimism, the "Look, do it yourself," you know, the, the 'get up and go,' you know.

Studs Terkel This is your philosophy? By the way, what is -- Do you read Ayn Rand, bu the way?

Cathy Zmuda Well, I did read her once. I love it becau-- You know, any time a woman can make it writing books, I'm all for it, you know. But, oh, I don't know, there was just a little something about her. I have read some of her, but I do believe in like, "Look, this is mine and leave it alone, you know, what's mine is mine," and I love her pulling yourself up from the bootstraps. I love her heroes, you know, and I know an interesting thing about that. You know, did you ever notice her heroes, they're always, have the initials "H. R.," like Hank Rearden and Howard Roark. You know, one of "The Fountainhead," and one of

Studs Terkel -- "Atlas

Cathy Zmuda "Atlas Shrugged." And the women are always "D." Dagny Taggart in one case and Dominique something or other in another.

Studs Terkel Then you are acquainted with her heroes and

Cathy Zmuda Oh, I've read that, yes. Oh, I love -- Her heroines I think are just not quite feminine enough, you know. Now, I'm a career woman and I know you have to push sometimes. But they rather sometimes lose their femininity, I think, you know. But the men, oh, her heroes are magnificent. You know, they come out of a steel mine and ten years later they're making a new kind of steel nobody ever heard of before, and you know, they work with their hands and they build these quarries or dig them up or whatever. Oh, that I do like, yes.

Studs Terkel She does move you, then.

Cathy Zmuda Yes. I just wish she wouldn't with the politics, you know, because she confuses people,

Studs Terkel What do you mean? In what way do her politics?

Cathy Zmuda You know, there are often sections of her book that I know she's -- Proselytizing is the word?

Studs Terkel That's a good word.

Cathy Zmuda Yes, that is a good word. And, you know, I have to skip over sometimes six,

Studs Terkel By the way, since we're on that subject, you yourself don't believe, your stuff doesn't deal with serious, heavy themes, do they?

Cathy Zmuda Oh, my God, if people want that, let them go out and buy a newspaper, you know. But they're not looking for that. No, they don't need that in my book.

Studs Terkel Would you describe your thing as escape literature? I hate to use that phrase in reference to your.

Cathy Zmuda No, I really wouldn't, because you know, there's, there's filth in it. I was very honest about that. You can't say that I denied that, and there's -- But to me there is such inspiration and there is really such a moral, you know, like, for God's sakes, get up and you can do it, there are worlds to conquer all over the place, so conquer them already, you know.

Studs Terkel In the way, I'm thinking -- You know, some of -- Your book is 365 pages. We know now and then there's a fashion for heavy books sometimes, like Ayn Rand's books are heavier than yours. I mean, there are twice as many pages, you know. Has the thought occurred to you that you might do, I don't know if you can, that's a pretty rough pace, a page a day, thought of, perhaps speeding up the tempo a bit? You think that's possible to do perhaps a 600-page book or something like that, a page and a half a day?

Cathy Zmuda Oh, no, you see, you know, then then what's this whole plan all about? Then either I'm going to start leaving work early, and that just isn't fair to the boss, you know or I'm going to start saying, "Well, I can't make that dinner date, and this one, and that one." And then, you know, then I'm going to be sitting alone, and all I'll have left is my typewriter. No, I don't need that, no.

Studs Terkel What are you, still -- This is interesting, you still work doing copy.

Cathy Zmuda Yes, I want to do it for, you know, a year or so. Let's see how this is going to go.

Studs Terkel Well, it's going quite well.

Cathy Zmuda Yes, I know. Do you know what? The first ten weeks I sold 32,474 copies.

Studs Terkel That's -- Wow! In other words, the first five weeks, 16,237 copies.

Cathy Zmuda That's right.

Studs Terkel And this is 32,474.

Cathy Zmuda And that's just the first ten

Studs Terkel And later on there's paperback, of course. This is hardcover.

Cathy Zmuda Oh, well, that won't come out for a year.

Studs Terkel I suppose -- Has there been talk of, "Village of Vice," before I ask you, has there been talk of film of this?

Cathy Zmuda Yes, isn't that great? Yes. Tell

Studs Terkel Tell us about it.

Cathy Zmuda Well, you see that's the thing, that's the big thing. You know, if people read your book and they love it that's so great, meeting people and having them write to you and everything. But Lord knows, that the money is in Hollywood, you know, the big money to be made on books. And I think my publisher, he added, oh, what, like three days, you know, and he called me and said, "Look we've got an offer, you know, what shall we do?" And I said, like, "Don't do anything, you know, let let me hear what they have to say." And he talked to them and to several other studios and stuff like that, and yes, it's going to be made into a film not, though, however, until until the paperback comes out, because you know they don't want to

Studs Terkel Well, it's Margot

Cathy Zmuda I guess that pushes the

Studs Terkel Margot and Mark are the hero and the heroine.

Cathy Zmuda That's right.

Studs Terkel Is there an actress that you prefer, like to see play Margot?

Cathy Zmuda Oh, I don't know. I'd kind of like to see Natalie Wood do

Studs Terkel it, Natalie

Cathy Zmuda Yes, I think she has that strength and yet she's feminine and sexy. You know, I've never seen her in anything, though, that's kind of, you know

Studs Terkel You mean you've seen

Cathy Zmuda But I have this idea of her being right for

Studs Terkel What about Mark?

Cathy Zmuda I don't know. You know, they mentioned Warren Beatty, I guess is his name. Well, he's, I don't know, a little too animalistic, don't you think, for an advertising executive?

Studs Terkel I don't know, I mean, may I ask you this question? Since you work in advertising, you don't find advertising executives at times after a martini or two, animalistic?

Cathy Zmuda Well, you see, but that's, you know, after a mar-- I'm looking at the whole picture, the way you see them, say -- I know who would be great. What about the young guy that used to play Doctor Kildare?

Studs Terkel Lew Ayres?

Cathy Zmuda Oh, no, no, no, no, no. Lew Ayres?

Studs Terkel Oh, I'm a little behind in my times. No, he's much older than -- You mean Chamberlain.

Cathy Zmuda Yes.

Studs Terkel I don't

Cathy Zmuda Now he's -- Richard Chamberlain. Yes, Now, he's clean-cut looking and I bet he'd wear gray flannels marvelously.

Studs Terkel Well, this is in-- So there's a picture, a paperback coming out, your first novel -- Oh, how did this come about? What'd you do-- You wrote it, you sent in when you finished -- Did you send in -- How did you know to send it to what publisher, or did you send in the whole book or what?

Cathy Zmuda Well, no, I didn't send the whole book. After I had worked on it, oh, four months, I guess, that's 122 pages or something like that. I have a friend who's a television executive here in Chicago, you know, and we were in Old Town, you know, at one of the pubs and talking about, and he said, "Look, I have a friend at a publisher, a friend of a friend of a friend," and whatever. So he was able to, you know, get me introduced to certain people and they bought it on the basis of the first 122 pages.

Studs Terkel Just like that, they saw something.

Cathy Zmuda Well, they gave me an advance, which meant I was obligated to them,

Studs Terkel That's interesting, you have a friend in television. This, this reminds me of something. I

Cathy Zmuda Incidentally, he, too, was marvelous because he worked as an intermediary in this whole Hollywood thing, he knew some people

Studs Terkel Well, this is very similar to the story, I believe, of Jacqueline Susanne, when they [gather?] "Valley of the Dolls," her husband is a television executive.

Cathy Zmuda Yes, well, yeah, I'd rather not talk about Miss Susanne, if you don't mind.

Studs Terkel Why, didn't you care for "Valley" -- Did you read "Valley of the

Cathy Zmuda Oh, I'd rather not even say if I did or not.

Studs Terkel You'd rather not. I see.

Cathy Zmuda One thing I will say is, I can't understand how her book gets listed on the best-seller list

Studs Terkel And yours doesn't. Why doesn't

Cathy Zmuda The fact of the matter is in those 10 weeks, you know, I outsold her book, really tremendously.

Studs Terkel We'll continue with this theme of books outselling one another's, this is Candy Armstrong-Jones at the moment dismissing the thought of Jacqueline Susanne and the "Valley of the Dolls." We're interviewing Candy Armstrong-Jones, young novelist, "Valley of the Dolls," [sic] her book that's become an instant bestseller. It's a rebroadcast of it, and we'll return in a moment for more of our conversations and reflections after we hear the word from our sponsors. The paperback should be phenomenal, because hers is about three and a half million, or something. That's interesting so, this may be, perhaps, your book as a first novel, "Village of Vice," may be one of the wildest

Cathy Zmuda You know, that's what the publisher said, too he said it's the most exciting thing in the world to be the discoverer of new talent, you know, a first novelist and everything, it was -- I felt quite humbled when he said it.

Studs Terkel It was like, I suppose, Willa Cather writing her first -- You know Willa Cather?

Cathy Zmuda I beg your pardon?

Studs Terkel Willa

Cathy Zmuda Willa Cather? Is she writing

Studs Terkel She was a writer, you know, she came from the West, you know.

Cathy Zmuda Did she live

Studs Terkel

Cathy Zmuda I thought we might rebroadcast a conversation with a young novelist. It was a broadcast that received an unprecedented response. First novel a smashing success. Candy Armstrong-Jones and her book, "The Village of Vice," published by Parthenon. Her thoughts or observations, reflections on having written a sudden and instant bestseller first time out. In a moment, the conversation with Miss Armstrong-Jones after we hear of the word from our sponsors. A novel comes along, a book that becomes a runaway bestseller despite what appear to be [unintelligible] and adverse criticisms by some of the reviewers, literary critics, though the public for one reason or another has latched onto such a case as that of the new novel, "Village of Vice." We've never had the author before, I think it's maybe your first book, Candy Armstrong-Jones, Parthenon the publishers. Miss Armstrong-Jones, this is your -- Is it hyphenated? Yes, that's right. Is it your first novel? Yes. Well, suppose we start from the beginning. I've been reading it's been listed on some bestseller lists and not on others. I noticed some papers don't list it. Why is this? Well, none of the Chicago papers have listed it on the bestseller list. Two of them did review it, though, when it came out two months ago. Well, why don't they list it? Well, you know, we've got bluenoses all over the place. Oh, is it considered somewhat racy, somewhat gamy? A dirty, filthy book. Yes. Do you -- Pardon me. You think some people consider it this. Do you feel that about it? Well, it is a filthy book. Yes. Just one moment. Do I call you -- Miss Armstrong-Jones, may I call you Candy or just Miss Armstrong-Jones? Well, I guess you can call me Candy. I don't want to confuse you 'cause then -- You know, with the heroine of the Terry Christian [sic] and his collaborators' book, "Candy." Oh. But back to the book. Do you, yourself -- Pardon me, this is rather interesting. Do you, yourself, would you describe this as a filthy book? You use that Well, yes, I said it is a filthy book. That doesn't mean it's not great literature, you know. Before I ask you about the title itself, "Village of Vice," what it means and of course what's happened to you since, and how you write the book, influences on your life. You say, you said it's it could be great literature and still be a filthy book. Yes. You mean in the manner of "Ulysses"? Yes, well you see people always say that filth, you know, it isn't an important book if it's a filthy book. Well, I just wonder who's to say that filth isn't important, you know, to people who like it it's a very important thing. And you know, you can sneak in some inspirational words and thoughts and ideas and grab people who read filthy books and you know, give them a little moral with the story. Let me understand that; in other words, there's sort of a boring from within through filth. Is the idea -- is this what you mean? You could say that. Well, Yes, you did. No, I'm just thinking about this matter of -- Do you think it's -- That's my point, Miss Armstrong-Jones, Candy. Did you think this is -- Did you deliberately set out to write what you described as a filthy book? Oh, dear, you're going to make me sound very mercenary, but yes, I did, because filthy books make money, let's face it. Well, think of some of your colleagues today, they've been reviewed as well as you have, and they also had some rough times with reviewers, are also among the bestsellers, such as -- Well, you're a girl writer, is there one -- I understand that Parthenon, your publishers. Yes. And they're very excited, and I Oh, yes, they're delighted, they're really delighted. Have you been around various -- You've been traveling to see various and various stations? Oh, no. You don't do this. I didn't -- I haven't had to. Because of the book itself. Yes. Well, how do you explain it's catching on this way, despite the fact that it's attacked? Well, you see, like with a Broadway play, a critic can kill it, you know. But a book, a critic, you know, for instance, one reviewer said like, you know, and thank God today the reviewers are reviewing pornography. Years ago, you know, they just ignored it. But now they're reviewing it and he said like it was the worst piece of trash that he had ever seen. And he, you know, he went on to describe certain scenes and things. Well, you know, this is better than a payday. I'm in the New York Times Book Review section. Pardon me, as an author, weren't you hurt when you read this? the review, that it was the worst piece of trash he read? Well, I was, from one standpoint, because he did miss the great parts of it. You know, he was so obsessed with the filth that he didn't look beyond, and there really, it is -- Well, it's just very inspirational. It's a really true American book. Before I ask you about the book itself and the two key figures, the hero and heroine, Mark and Margot, I believe, who work in an advertising agency -- Right. Well, before I ask about that, this is remarkable, how you do this, you feel you deliberately wrote it filthy, but at the same time inspirational. That's right. Yes. And have you been told by -- I suppose people stopped you, those you've met at parties here and there, about their reactions to this book, people you've met? Well, most of the people that I first met since the book just loved it, you know, and they're marvelous people. However, some of the friends, so-called friends that I had before I wrote the book, you know, were -- I was amazed at their reaction to it because, you know, I've seen them some of these people in action and I couldn't imagine for the life of me what they'd be so excited about. You know, there was nothing they read in the book that they didn't know existed before. So, I was very surprised about, and hurt, several times. These are friends of yours, you mean. These are the people, you know, that I have known before I wrote the book. They're no longer friends of yours? Well, some of them are. That's what I say. The ones I've met since I wrote the book are all people, you know, who just loved it and were delighted to meet me and everything. Well, may I ask you this about these former friends of yours, or close to you, is the fact that, were you in the manner of Thomas Wolfe and "Look Homeward, Angel," do you recall, I don't know if you read that or No, I'm afraid I -- Tom Wolf? No, not Tom Wolfe, Thomas Wolfe, who wrote "Look Homeward, Angel." Perhaps he was before my time. He's a little before your time, yes. And he -- Asheville, the town he wrote, he's from Asheville, North Carolina, people recognized themselves and were furious. Was this so with your book? No, it couldn't possibly be so, the book is so made-up, you know, you couldn't Let's ask you about that, before I ask you about the title itself, "Village of Vice," the locale I know is Chicago, isn't Yes! Where, Old Town, or? Well, it's that whole near north area, and mid-north; no, not mid-north, near north. Is that your -- Oh, yeah, that's my territory, yeah. I notice in the publisher's blurbs that -- No, not blurbs, the publicity I received from -- okay, what was the name of, I forget the publicity woman of your company, that have notes here, where you live, you describe yourself as as a swinger. A swinger. Yeah. Well that's what I What do you mean by a swinger? Oh, dear, that's kind of hard to describe. You know, if you're not a swinger, I can't tell you. It's a person who enjoys life, you know, and who likes to do interesting, marvelous things. Well, for instance. Oh, well, you know, going to Old Town a lot and doing all this very 'in' things to do. I was at Maxim's several times, you know. Poor Michael Butler's place closed down, I wanted to see that and never got a chance to. In Oak Brook. The polo place? Oh, you mean the, the His Club. Discotheque, yeah. The "Cheetah." No, no, no, that's not his, that's Stevenson's. Oh, you're up, oh, you go to the discotheques Oh, yes, they're marvelous, marvelous. Maxim's. You say that's the swinger, then, someone as -- What's the word you use here? Fun? Well, fun people. Fun people. You -- You're part of the fun people. Yeah. Is that the basis? Is that -- That's the locale of "The Village of Vice," then. Yes. It's not the beautiful people, I wish I was, you know, but I'll settle for fun people for a while. So it's the fun people, and they are the characters in this book, in a way. Village, too, I notice you live -- It's interesting, very moving, here, apparently, you live in Sandburg Village. That's right. And something happened that, would you mind telling us about this, since the book has come out? Well, there's something that I might say as a prelude to that, if you don't mind. I don't know if you're aware of this, but all the buildings in Sandburg Village are named after writers, you know. Well, that in itself is such an inspiration. You couldn't believe it, you know, what an inspiring thing to live and have your typewriter sitting on a desk, you know, in this building that it's named after a great writer. Well, the thing that you're alluding to is after my book came out two months ago, a committee from our building came and they had a petition. They wanted to rename the building "The Candy Armstrong-Jones Building." Well, can you imagine, you know, "Wow!", so, oh, I was delighted and, of course, felt very humble about the whole thing, but I really don't think anything will come of it. You know, there might be a problem with the management because then any time a writer moves in, you know, they're going to want to rename the building and so on. So I think they don't want to start that, even, you know. But just the thought that they, you It's your first book, too, it's your first novel. Candy, do you think there's a possibility -- You mean some of your fellow tenants, the guests -- Yes, the people that live in my building. So I suppose, I suppose you're known as somewhat of a celebrity, I suppose, in that housing complex. Well, I guess, yeah, I have to admit that. That's interesting. You're -- I know -- You mentioned your age, you're 26. That's right. And you yourself worked at an advertising agency, or you have. You still? Oh, yes. Oh, well, this is interesting. Well, what about writing the book, how did you do -- You do, you, you do copy, advertising copy? That's right. I'm a copywriter. You describe it as a real fun place. Oh, it is, it's marvelous, wild characters, you know, and always some kind of goings on with throwing, you know, paperclips or something or other, yes. There's something you say here that's rather fascinating, you say, quoting our guest, Candy Armstrong-Jones, author of "The Village of Vice," published by Parthenon, that's one of these, you know, one of these surprise runaway best-sellers, despite, you don't mind my saying this, critical attack, really, and you don't mind it too much, then. Well, I mind it, but you know, I can't stamp out the truth, so. You say you can't stamp out -- Oh, the truth that they are -- You're not implying they're right, are Oh, no, I mean the truth of what you say that they said these things. You say, but here's what you say. This is -- May I ask you about this?This is very revealing. "All day long," writes Candy Armstrong-Jones, this is the publicity Parthenon sent us, "All day long I'm paid to write lies for somebody else. Now in my book I write lies for myself." Yes, well, that's what you asked before if any of my friends saw themselves in it, and I said no, because you know it isn't true. It's an extension of my copy-writing, you know, I just. An extension of Yes. Are you implying that the copy that you write is untrue? I guess, yes. May I ask about your habits? So you work full-time, eight-hour day, a 40-hour week Well, Thirty-five hour week. Where do you find -- How did you -- How long did it take you to write? One Well, what do you -- May I ask you how, your writing habits, did you write every night, or? No. You know, the interesting thing was, I don't know if you know who Rona Jaffe is. I've heard of Rona Jaffee. Yes. She's like the urban American female, you know, of the 20th century. The urban American female? Yes, a counterpart of you-know-who, and, well, she had a book come out several years ago called "The Best of Everything," another smash best-seller, incidentally, you know. And I had read somewhere in reading about it, I loved the book, so any time I saw her picture, anything in the paper, I'd read, you know, what she had to say and she said that she had, I don't know if she had moved to New York or moved out of her parents' apartment or something, but anyway she was in her own apartment and she decided to write a book, you know, and she thought, well, you know, how best to do it. And she thought, "Well, look, if I can get one good page a day, you know, in a year I'm going to have 365 pages, that's a book," you know, and that's what she did. Well, I thought, "My God, this girl, you know, this is marvelous, what a great idea!" And quite honestly, this is my inspiration, you know, and I thought, look, you know, I can write a book and I can get all sweaty about it and everything and just worry about it night and day and, you know, but I can't do that, you can't work and write a book and swing all at the same time and do justice to them, you know, unless you have a plan. And I did. So I decided I was going to write a page a day the same as she did, and in a year I'd have a book. So how many people do you know, you know, that write a book a year? Let me understand this: you wrote exactly a page a That's right. The thing is, to get yourself a pattern and never vary, no matter what happens. New Year's Day, you know, if you're hung over or anything, wait 'til you're wide awake and write that page, no matter what, no matter where I've been swinging the day before, no matter what I've done, I write that page a day. Well, if I follow this correctly, you write one page a day. That's right. And you said you plan to do a book a year. This book took -- When you say a year, you don't mean -- You mean exactly a year? Yes, for instance, yesterday was July 18th. That was the 199th day of the year. I've got 199 pages sitting at home in a little box, you know, and I've got 166 to go, because there's Your next -- Three hundred sixty-five days. Oh, yes, I'm working on -- I'll ask you about that in a moment. So, then, your book is 365 pages. Well, not really. You know, that's typewritten pages and it changes a little bit, you know, and -- About a page a Right. You write. It's about 365 typewritten pages. That's right. I see. So, it's that sort of discipline. Is it? Well, it's more than just saying a page a day. It's a matter of saying like, "When am I going to write that page?" Making up your mind trying to decide when the best time is. Once you decide, it's got to be then and never change. Now, in my case I do change; on weekends I do it at a different time than I do on weekdays. But every Monday through Friday, I work 'til five p.m. At the agency. At the advertising agency. So I hop on the bus and I'm home. You know how close the village is to the Loop, I'm home never later than The village, Sandburg Village, Right. "The Village of Vice." Well, you said it, I didn't. So I'm home at five-thirty, and I've got a dinner date at seven or eight or, you know, a date for something or other every night of the week. So I get home and I get undressed, and I hop in the shower or hop in the bath. And it dawned on me when I was first trying to decide a pattern for this, "My God, I'm wasting whatever time it takes to wash up," you know, why my mind isn't doing anything while I'm busy soaping up. So, while I'm tubbing or showering I decide kind of plot out that day's page and I hop out of the shower, towel off, throw on the robe and before I do anything else I go straight to the typewriter, sit down and write that page, put it on the pile in this open box that I've got, put it in there, and that's it for the day. Well, Miss Armstrong-Jones, Candy, if I may call you that, this is, this is very fascinating to me. You mean, while you're showering, or tubbing, as you put it, the idea you think about that page, is that it? Why did you say "as I put it," is that wrong, "tubbing"? No, no, tubbing, I mean, I haven't heard the phrase used You know, I like to learn, so I thought if it was wrong -- No, it's a verb, I suppose, for in the bathtub, you're tubbing, for showering, for shower but I'm just coming back to the -- You think of that page? I mean, do you have an idea for the book -- When you first -- How'd the idea of "Village of Vice" come to you? Oh, dear, well I'm a voracious reader, you know, oh, I just read -- What are some of your reading? Well, for instance, I would never miss reading a single book that, say, Irving Wallace has written. My God, what a talent, you know, and he writes these huge epics, it must take him two years, you Irving Wallace, I'm sorry, I haven't, I've heard of him, but I haven't read him. What is it about his writing that attracts you? Well, he writes these broad, for instance, "The Prize," these broad panoramic things and he brings in the history, like the Nobel Prize, you know. And yet, there is life in it, and action and suspense and sex and everything, you know. Oh, really a genius, really a So Irving Wallace is one because And I'll tell you another He brings in, you say, he brings what -- That's interesting, you say he brings in the sex and intellect and both, as you in a sense bring in inspirational stuff through filth. Well, see that's what I mean. You know, you can't say that that a filthy book is not an important book. Someone said that to me once, that's why I have this phrase in my mind, because you know it can be, it can be very important depending on what you do with it. Like, there are people I'm sure who never knew how the Nobel Prize winners were chosen before they read his book. And so, Irving Wallace acquainted people with the I must admit, his books aren't quite as sexy as mine, you know. Your as -- You emphasize that, the sexual aspects Well, you see, it just, it just seems to come out that way, you know. I don't do it deliberately, certainly, but the way the plot unravels, it just is such a natural extension, you know. Later on, perhaps, you can read an excerpt from it. I realize Oh, I would love that. I realize that some of the phrases you probably have to, for the purpose of radio, just read blank, perhaps a dash or delete. But back to -- Wallace is one. Other writers? Oh, yes. I would never miss reading anything Rona Jaffee wrote. Rona Jaffe, who wrote "The Best of Everything." Yes, and "Mr. Right is Dead," and I think she -- A new one, I forgot -- By the way, you mentioned her earlier about, come back to other writers. You said she's the urban female, the counterpart of you-know-who, I don't know who. Oh, Mr. Terkel, your age is showing! You don't know who the urban male of the world is? Well He lives right in the city, you know. Oh, Hugh Hefner, you mean? Of Oh, I'm sorry, I see, she's the urban --- I'm a little -- Not quite hip, I want to catch up. I forgive you. But tell me. So it's Rona Jaffe, Irving Wallace, and these are two writers who influenced you. Oh, so many more. I am really a voracious reader, you know, my friends -- It doesn't interfere much with my swinging, but you know, I've got time to and from work on the bus and stuff and they're always saying, "Oh, my gosh, you've always got your nose in a book!" You know, like Charles Mergendahl, I wouldn't miss reading one of his books. Or Harold Robbins or Grace Metalious. I've seen the name, Harold, why Harold Robbins? You mean "The Carpetbaggers"? Well, that was one of his first, yes. What is it about Harold Robbins that you like? Well, you see, I not only read these writers, I learn from them, you know, and I learned a marvelous, marvelous technique from his -- All of his books, really. You know, what he does is, he writes about people and he makes you believe that they are real people in the news, you know. But he covers himself brilliantly, you know, so there's no lawsuits or anything, like in his last book, "The Adventurers," which is oh, really marvelous, the scope of it, you know, it was like 20 years or something like that. And he has Aristotle Onassis and Porfirio Rubirosa, and Trujillo and the Kennedy family and everything, and Maria Callas, I say this because I know this is a fine arts station, and they cover it. He covers it so marvelously because he'll have somebody, for instance, that you know is Trujillo, you know, and someone will say, "My God, he's going to be as powerful as Trujillo was," you know, and then that way he's covered, you know, nobody can sue. Like you said, that was me, because each one of these characters he has a declaimer, a disclaimer Disclaimer. Yes, you know. Well, that's fasci-- Other writers of the past, like, here you, a woman writer, girl writer, you're 26, Miss Armstrong-Jones, I suppose Jane Austen, you read Jane Austen, I suppose, or Edith Wharton or Willa Cather. I don't recognize those names, I'm sorry. George Eliot, I suppose. I don't know who he is. Oh, if you're talking about like older writers before my time, yes, you know, I love women writers. Besides Rona and Grace Metalious and Kathleen Winsor and Margaret Mitchell and all those. You like Kathleen Winsor. Oh, I love all of them. Margaret Mitchell. But there is one old-time woman writer that I loved. You know, I'm not much for poetry but really when I read Joyce Kilmer's "Trees," for the first time, I tell you shivers just ran, you know. Joyce Kilmer. Yes, she [sic] was marvelous! You know, "I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree." It's so beautiful, actually I think her [sic] poem was as lovely as a tree, you know. Since you mentioned Joyce Kilmer, do you like a poet -- Poetry, you see, like Edgar Guest? Have you ever heard of Edgar Oh, yes, very inspirational. And in fact, I would imagine that my prose is very very much like his poetry. But he wasn't -- The one thing that matter -- The word 'filth' could never be applied to No, I will say that, but I'm talking about the inspiration aspect of my book. The optimism, the "Look, do it yourself," you know, the, the 'get up and go,' you know. This is your philosophy? By the way, what is -- Do you read Ayn Rand, bu the way? Well, I did read her once. I love it becau-- You know, any time a woman can make it writing books, I'm all for it, you know. But, oh, I don't know, there was just a little something about her. I have read some of her, but I do believe in like, "Look, this is mine and leave it alone, you know, what's mine is mine," and I love her pulling yourself up from the bootstraps. I love her heroes, you know, and I know an interesting thing about that. You know, did you ever notice her heroes, they're always, have the initials "H. R.," like Hank Rearden and Howard Roark. You know, one of "The Fountainhead," and one of -- "Atlas "Atlas Shrugged." And the women are always "D." Dagny Taggart in one case and Dominique something or other in another. Then you are acquainted with her heroes and heroines. Oh, I've read that, yes. Oh, I love -- Her heroines I think are just not quite feminine enough, you know. Now, I'm a career woman and I know you have to push sometimes. But they rather sometimes lose their femininity, I think, you know. But the men, oh, her heroes are magnificent. You know, they come out of a steel mine and ten years later they're making a new kind of steel nobody ever heard of before, and you know, they work with their hands and they build these quarries or dig them up or whatever. Oh, that I do like, yes. She does move you, then. Yes. I just wish she wouldn't with the politics, you know, because she confuses people, I What do you mean? In what way do her politics? You know, there are often sections of her book that I know she's -- Proselytizing is the word? That's a good word. Yes, that is a good word. And, you know, I have to skip over sometimes six, seven By the way, since we're on that subject, you yourself don't believe, your stuff doesn't deal with serious, heavy themes, do they? Oh, my God, if people want that, let them go out and buy a newspaper, you know. But they're not looking for that. No, they don't need that in my book. Would you describe your thing as escape literature? I hate to use that phrase in reference to your. No, I really wouldn't, because you know, there's, there's filth in it. I was very honest about that. You can't say that I denied that, and there's -- But to me there is such inspiration and there is really such a moral, you know, like, for God's sakes, get up and you can do it, there are worlds to conquer all over the place, so conquer them already, you know. In the way, I'm thinking -- You know, some of -- Your book is 365 pages. We know now and then there's a fashion for heavy books sometimes, like Ayn Rand's books are heavier than yours. I mean, there are twice as many pages, you know. Has the thought occurred to you that you might do, I don't know if you can, that's a pretty rough pace, a page a day, thought of, perhaps speeding up the tempo a bit? You think that's possible to do perhaps a 600-page book or something like that, a page and a half a day? Oh, no, you see, you know, then then what's this whole plan all about? Then either I'm going to start leaving work early, and that just isn't fair to the boss, you know or I'm going to start saying, "Well, I can't make that dinner date, and this one, and that one." And then, you know, then I'm going to be sitting alone, and all I'll have left is my typewriter. No, I don't need that, no. What are you, still -- This is interesting, you still work doing copy. Yes, I want to do it for, you know, a year or so. Let's see how this is going to go. Well, it's going quite well. Yes, I know. Do you know what? The first ten weeks I sold 32,474 copies. That's -- Wow! In other words, the first five weeks, 16,237 copies. That's right. And this is 32,474. And that's just the first ten weeks And later on there's paperback, of course. This is hardcover. Oh, well, that won't come out for a year. I suppose -- Has there been talk of, "Village of Vice," before I ask you, has there been talk of film of this? Yes, isn't that great? Yes. Tell us about it. Well, you see that's the thing, that's the big thing. You know, if people read your book and they love it that's so great, meeting people and having them write to you and everything. But Lord knows, that the money is in Hollywood, you know, the big money to be made on books. And I think my publisher, he added, oh, what, like three days, you know, and he called me and said, "Look we've got an offer, you know, what shall we do?" And I said, like, "Don't do anything, you know, let let me hear what they have to say." And he talked to them and to several other studios and stuff like that, and yes, it's going to be made into a film not, though, however, until until the paperback comes out, because you know they don't want to -- Well, it's Margot and I guess that pushes the paperback. Margot and Mark are the hero and the heroine. That's right. Is there an actress that you prefer, like to see play Margot? Oh, I don't know. I'd kind of like to see Natalie Wood do it, Natalie Yes, I think she has that strength and yet she's feminine and sexy. You know, I've never seen her in anything, though, that's kind of, you know -- You mean you've seen pictures But I have this idea of her being right for it. What about Mark? I don't know. You know, they mentioned Warren Beatty, I guess is his name. Well, he's, I don't know, a little too animalistic, don't you think, for an advertising executive? I don't know, I mean, may I ask you this question? Since you work in advertising, you don't find advertising executives at times after a martini or two, animalistic? Well, you see, but that's, you know, after a mar-- I'm looking at the whole picture, the way you see them, say -- I know who would be great. What about the young guy that used to play Doctor Kildare? Lew Ayres? Oh, no, no, no, no, no. Lew Ayres? Oh, I'm a little behind in my times. No, he's much older than -- You mean Chamberlain. Yes. I don't know Now he's -- Richard Chamberlain. Yes, Now, he's clean-cut looking and I bet he'd wear gray flannels marvelously. Well, this is in-- So there's a picture, a paperback coming out, your first novel -- Oh, how did this come about? What'd you do-- You wrote it, you sent in when you finished -- Did you send in -- How did you know to send it to what publisher, or did you send in the whole book or what? Well, no, I didn't send the whole book. After I had worked on it, oh, four months, I guess, that's 122 pages or something like that. I have a friend who's a television executive here in Chicago, you know, and we were in Old Town, you know, at one of the pubs and talking about, and he said, "Look, I have a friend at a publisher, a friend of a friend of a friend," and whatever. So he was able to, you know, get me introduced to certain people and they bought it on the basis of the first 122 pages. Just like that, they saw something. Well, they gave me an advance, which meant I was obligated to them, you That's interesting, you have a friend in television. This, this reminds me of something. I -- Incidentally, he, too, was marvelous because he worked as an intermediary in this whole Hollywood thing, he knew some people at Well, this is very similar to the story, I believe, of Jacqueline Susanne, when they [gather?] "Valley of the Dolls," her husband is a television executive. Yes, well, yeah, I'd rather not talk about Miss Susanne, if you don't mind. Why, didn't you care for "Valley" -- Did you read "Valley of the Dolls"? Oh, I'd rather not even say if I did or not. You'd rather not. I see. One thing I will say is, I can't understand how her book gets listed on the best-seller list And yours doesn't. Why doesn't -- The fact of the matter is in those 10 weeks, you know, I outsold her book, really tremendously. We'll continue with this theme of books outselling one another's, this is Candy Armstrong-Jones at the moment dismissing the thought of Jacqueline Susanne and the "Valley of the Dolls." We're interviewing Candy Armstrong-Jones, young novelist, "Valley of the Dolls," [sic] her book that's become an instant bestseller. It's a rebroadcast of it, and we'll return in a moment for more of our conversations and reflections after we hear the word from our sponsors. The paperback should be phenomenal, because hers is about three and a half million, or something. That's interesting so, this may be, perhaps, your book as a first novel, "Village of Vice," may be one of the wildest of You know, that's what the publisher said, too he said it's the most exciting thing in the world to be the discoverer of new talent, you know, a first novelist and everything, it was -- I felt quite humbled when he said it. It was like, I suppose, Willa Cather writing her first -- You know Willa Cather? I beg your pardon? Willa Willa Cather? Is she writing today? She was a writer, you know, she came from the West, you know. Did she live --. From In Did

Studs Terkel Oh, yes. But the discovery when she first -- Tell me, but your interest is more in the contemporary or in -- Not early American literature

Cathy Zmuda Oh, well, look, this is where we're living, you know, tell it like it is, the way they say.

Studs Terkel Where we're at, tell it like it is, well, on that subject, "Village of Vice", tell it like it is, wh-- how come the title? "The Village," if I may ask you, this is the general area of Old Town. How did you arrive at this title, "Village of Vice"?

Cathy Zmuda Well, I like short, punchy titles, you know, and forget these long, involved titles. I never, never in the book is the village named, you know, it's just in the village where these people live. Chicago, naturally, is the locale, but we don't mention the name of the village because I'm not after, you know, lawsuits either. But the reason, you know, "Village of Vice," is because we learn, you know, these people in New York, any time you mention village, they think they know what you're talking about, you know, that it's, you know, that kooky village out there. Greenwich Village. Well, they think it's that. So, all right. So before they buy the book, you know, they're buying a book to read all about what's going on at Greenwich Village and everything, and they're like, you know, 10 pages in before they find out it's Chicago. So that helps the sales there, you know, I only wish Haight Ashbury were a village, you know, that wouldn't

Studs Terkel You're acquainted with Haight

Cathy Zmuda Well, I know they probably buy a lot of books out there. Those kids, you know, they're intellectuals or whatever.

Studs Terkel You think they'd go for your book, the young kids and the diggers in Haight Ashbury?

Cathy Zmuda Well, you know, the thing is you never know 'til you start reading a book what it's about, so how would they know whether they'd like it or not? They'd buy

Studs Terkel We haven't said anything about the cover, by the way. Your cover, the cover of your book is not at all

Cathy Zmuda Yes, you noticed that,

Studs Terkel Yes, what did you have in mind when

Cathy Zmuda Well, to tell you the truth, this was my very own idea and the publisher was like so excited when he heard this, he gave me a bonus, you know. You know, I work in a large building where those little secretaries and everything go down to the lunchroom downstairs, you know, the drugstore, the little cafeteria or whatever. And they have the paperback books and stuff. And I realized, you know, these kids, I'd see them sometimes in their office with the door closed reading these dirty books. But when I went down there and was standing at the counter at the drugstore, they'd always be buying, you know, just plain old books, you know, with real nice covers and all. And I thought, "Look! You know, I could increase the sale of these books if I would just make it look respectable to buy it." So all that he has is like spires, you know, in a village and, you know, a scene of a village and the title very prominently because you got to get that. But see, then if they're down there with three other girlfriends and they reach for the book, the girl, other girlfriend isn't saying, "Hey, lookit, so-and-so's buying another dirty book," you know. So it's very respectable. It's not going to help much in the hardback sales but I'm sure it's going to, you know, mean 20 percent more in paperback.

Studs Terkel Well, this is obviously great foresight on your part. In other words, say a girl, or a young guy, or an old woman, for that matter, is on a bus going

Cathy Zmuda I never thought of that before. Sure.

Studs Terkel And they could be reading this book.

Cathy Zmuda Yeah, and no one would know they're reading a dirty book, you know. Do you ever see people on a bus, they're reading a book and they got it all turned inside out, you know, with the cover in? Well, everybody knows they're reading a dirty book, this way you don't have to do that, you look very respectable.

Studs Terkel What's refreshing about our guest, Miss Candy Armstrong-Jones, the author of this first novel that's a runaway best-seller, "Village of Vice," Parthenon publishers, is her -- It's refreshing, your frankness, you say outright you wrote a dirty book.

Cathy Zmuda Yes, well, I wouldn't deny it. But I also add that it's very inspirational and in many ways very moral, you know.

Studs Terkel I know there's a, there's a sequence you're about to read that has a combination of both, I believe, you know, the inspirational aspects when Margot and Mark, there's a key moment here. But before that I got to ask you what's happened to you since. I mean, obviously your life has altered somewhat,

Cathy Zmuda Oh, you know it has. This is so exciting. You know, I've often thought if I ever arrived, how would I know it, you know. So about three weeks ago, this was when the book was out, you know, just a little over a month. I get in the mail an invitation, and it's oh, it's this beautiful buff creamy-colored paper, beautiful paper, and engraved like so gorgeous, to a swimming party and, like, you guess where. You just guess. Try.

Studs Terkel Shall I? Try?

Cathy Zmuda You go ahead.

Studs Terkel I would tell you: Hefner's pad.

Cathy Zmuda You know it. You said it. Now, if anybody has to decide, you know, like when did I arrive, boy, that's it. When you've got an invitation to Hef's pad, you know that you arrived. So I went, he wasn't going to be there himself, incidentally, he has some something or other, a business trip or going up to Expo or something or other, but you know, it's still his -- And I walked in and they take you on a tour of this place. You know, it isn't just like go in and have a drink, they take you on a tour and it is unbelievable, you know, and then, you know, like sitting around and standing around are all these terribly bored-looking gorgeous men, you know, these gorgeous women. Of course, nobody went swimming, you know, that was kind of a joke but it's -- A pool was there if you want -- We all slid down the rail, that was lots of fun, you know, but oh, my God, can you think of anything more exciting than being bored at Hugh Hefner's house?

Studs Terkel That said, you were so -- so in a sense you were -- You arrived, then you were there. I suppose there were other -- 'Cause you're now, you're as you know, a celebrity,

Cathy Zmuda Oh, that's what it was. Sure. And you know, this is the thing. You know, my friends at the village and friends that I work with, they think "There's Candy, the writer." But to look at somebody you like that you've admired for years, you know, like a certain newspaper columnist was there and he said, like, "There is Candy, the writer, our little writer," you know. Well, my God, how exciting that is.

Studs Terkel You've been mentioned in columns quite often, Candy Armstrong-Jones, the hyphen for the name, is -- By the way, is that your pseudonym or is that your real name? Or perhaps I'm probing too much.

Cathy Zmuda Is is my what?

Studs Terkel Your pseudonym. Is it your assumed name?

Cathy Zmuda No, that's my real name.

Studs Terkel Armstrong-Jones. Are you of British descent?

Cathy Zmuda Well, I'd rather not talk about it.

Studs Terkel Well, Miss Armstrong-Jones, forgive my probing. Coming back to the matter of the book. One of the leading bookstores says it ordered 4000 copies of your book in the first two weeks, sold out and it's been out now what, about a month or so?

Cathy Zmuda No, it's been out, well, 10 and a half weeks, something like

Studs Terkel And I haven't. I'm a little slow, but I'm -- Do you mind if I read one, will it hurt you very much, it's ungallant, to read a review?

Cathy Zmuda Well, you know, it is ungallant, and it would hurt me, but I told you before, I can't stamp out the truth, I want your listeners to hear the whole truth and let them make up their own mind.

Studs Terkel Well, this is -- Perhaps I shouldn't read

Cathy Zmuda In fact, you know what? Please read it. You'd be doing me a favor.

Studs Terkel Really?

Cathy Zmuda Yeah.

Studs Terkel You mean it would help sell books.

Cathy Zmuda Well, yeah.

Studs Terkel Well, this is again from the publishers and it shows how frank they are as well

Cathy Zmuda 'Cause even people who listen to fine arts stations, you know, they're not -- Adverse?

Studs Terkel Adverse.

Cathy Zmuda To a little filth once

Studs Terkel Averse. To reading

Cathy Zmuda Averse. All right.

Studs Terkel Averse to reading it. The reviews and other reactions, and this is -- By the way, refreshing candor on the frankness on the part of the publisher. I must say this. The reviews have been fantastic. This is quoting you: "I could kiss every one of them." And you quote a noted critic and you say he, for example, reviewed it for the Tribune and called it "the most vile piece of prose" he ever read. Weren't you

Cathy Zmuda He did call it prose, though. I guess that counts for something.

Studs Terkel Can you imagine what that did for sales? Even though you were hurt. Your ego, I suppose was a little bruised.

Cathy Zmuda Well, you know, you hurt in the heart and you're laughing in the pocketbook, so.

Studs Terkel It's a good way of putting it. "Hurt in the heart and laughing in the pocketbook," it's a very well-turned phrase.

Cathy Zmuda A little metaphor I made up or something.

Studs Terkel "Actually, it isn't too many years ago the papers wouldn't review pornography," quoting our guest, Candy Armstrong-Jones. "Well, now they do. And I was very careful to say what a lousy rotten book it is." Gee, perhaps I shouldn't read any further. You think I should?

Cathy Zmuda Please go ahead.

Studs Terkel "Well, of course you know what that means," quoting my guest. "Why, the other day one of the talk show guys on," again an AM station in Chicago, says, "You know, the one some people call the little housewife?"

Cathy Zmuda Yes.

Studs Terkel Oh, is that?

Cathy Zmuda We won't tell, though, will we?

Studs Terkel Well, I don't know who, but there's some -- I see.

Cathy Zmuda Well, you know, I say about this man. He's a nice little old married man with tons of kids. But every time I hear him, I always think to myself, "My God, I'll bet he, you know, I bet he wishes his wife would take his job so he could stay home with the other little housewives."

Studs Terkel Well, he said he had been sent a copy by the publisher and he had thumbed through it and told his listeners "This is the sickest," quoting him, "Most despicable piece of filth I've ever seen," unquote. "You know what happened," says Candy Armstrong-Jones. "My editor at the publishers told me that every suburban bookstore in the area was swamped with phone orders and women who stopped asked for, quote, 'That dirty book,' naming 'The Village of Vice,' of course."

Cathy Zmuda Yes.

Studs Terkel Oh, "that dirty book that so-and-so talked about this morning."

Cathy Zmuda You know, it's such a hard title. They couldn't remember it.

Studs Terkel "One man said she was," "One woman said," pardon me, "she was from an anti-dirty book organization, she wanted to read it to see if they should publicly denounce it and picket stores that carry it. Gad! I hope

Cathy Zmuda Oh, if only she does, you know it, yes.

Studs Terkel "Gad" is the phrase you used. "Gad."

Cathy Zmuda Yes.

Studs Terkel That's an old-fashioned phrase.

Cathy Zmuda Well, you know, in advertising we tend to be flowery and flamboyant.

Studs Terkel "If the poor," I'm quoting Miss Armstrong-Jones again, "If the poor old biddy's eyes don't fall out of her head trying to find every dirty thing in it." So you really know, don't you?

Cathy Zmuda Well, you know, I know about these lily anti-dirty book ladies.

Studs Terkel May I ask you about where you live in the community, in the village, before you, before you read? That's an interesting cigarette holder you have, by the way.

Cathy Zmuda Thank you, I love it. Yes, a friend bought it for me in Mexico.

Studs Terkel A friend in Mexico? In Cuernavaca, I assume?

Cathy Zmuda Taxco.

Studs Terkel Taxco. Tell me, where, is there a specific part of -- In Old Town that you live? What where you call?

Cathy Zmuda In the village.

Studs Terkel It's a complex of buildings, though.

Cathy Zmuda Yes, and each one is named after a famous author.

Studs Terkel Well, what's the village in which you live? The name of

Cathy Zmuda The name of the building I live in is the Marquis de Sade.

Studs Terkel The Marquis de Sade?

Cathy Zmuda Yes, and you know what a prolific writer he is, my God, I only hope I can write as much, you know.

Studs Terkel It's called the Marquis

Cathy Zmuda Yes, he wrote tons of books, you know, volumes and

Studs Terkel He wrote a certain kind of -- Have you been -- Have you -- You've heard of him, you've read

Cathy Zmuda I know vaguely, you know, he wrote dirty books, too. I -- You know, I did an interesting things, thing, and my friends are always saying what a nut I am, and this, you know, really cinched it, but I had heard something about whips or something or other, you know, as referring to the Marquis de Sade. So I went out and I bought a whip and I've got it on brackets, you know, over the sofa in the living room. Well, if you don't think that that is a conversation piece, you know. I've often heard friends say like, "Oh, I want to get a little conversation piece." Well, I have found the conversation piece of all times. I had trouble like crazy getting one, you know, I called Fields, and I said, you know, asked for the information lady, because you can never walk in there and find anything. And I said, "Do you sell whips?" Well, first of all she gives me the candy department. And they got some kind of chocolate whips or something, you know, and I thought she was crazy, so I got her back and I said, "Look, lady," you know, "I want like a whip that you whip something with." And she hung up on me. Like, she didn't say yes, she she didn't, you know, she didn't -- She hung up on me. So I found this marvelous little shop out in Old Town that sells whips and I -- You know, and chains.

Studs Terkel And so you bought this

Cathy Zmuda Yes,

Studs Terkel It sells chains, too? You buy -- You said chains.

Cathy Zmuda Oh, this is -- You know, these darling curio shops that they have out there, well this one, oh it's got like, you know, everybody in the -- Has in their window a special display of his -- This is the most magnificent thing you've ever seen. I mean it's like an eye-stopper. You're walking on, this is the other end of Wells, you know, where there aren't too many shops, you know, and it's got like a man on a rack in the window, you know, and he's all stretched out and bruised and bleeding and everything, you know. And so I went in there, I said, look anybody that's got racks in the window, he has to sell whips, and they did, and they had ch-- Balls and chains, and incidentally he said they do a marvelous volume in whips, you know, not so well in balls and chains

Studs Terkel You bought a whip, then.

Cathy Zmuda Yes, I've got it mounted over my sofa.

Studs Terkel You say it's a conversation piece. What happened when guests of yours, friends visit?

Cathy Zmuda Oh, yes, they walk in, they say, "Oh, my God, you know, there's a whip!" and, you know, jokes and things like that, and I always say, "Of course, well, in the Marquis de Sade building, what do you expect, you know?"

Studs Terkel Oh, that's in-- That's fascinating. So

Cathy Zmuda I think it's, you know, darling. A friend of mine says 'gauche,' but you know.

Studs Terkel You like it. By the way, did you see the play "Marat/Sade"? You know, the persecution

Cathy Zmuda Oh, is that the one with that real long title?

Studs Terkel Yes, they couldn't -- Finally called it "Marat slash Sade."

Cathy Zmuda Yes.

Studs Terkel You

Cathy Zmuda No.

Studs Terkel You go to theater much?

Cathy Zmuda Well, I love these little summer theaters, you know, oh, we go to Drury Lane

Studs Terkel -- Did

Cathy Zmuda

Studs Terkel I thought we might rebroadcast a conversation with a young novelist. It was a broadcast that received an unprecedented response. First novel a smashing success. Candy Armstrong-Jones and her book, "The Village of Vice," published by Parthenon. Her thoughts or observations, reflections on having written a sudden and instant bestseller first time out. In a moment, the conversation with Miss Armstrong-Jones after we hear of the word from our sponsors. A novel comes along, a book that becomes a runaway bestseller despite what appear to be [unintelligible] and adverse criticisms by some of the reviewers, literary critics, though the public for one reason or another has latched onto such a case as that of the new novel, "Village of Vice." We've never had the author before, I think it's maybe your first book, Candy Armstrong-Jones, Parthenon the publishers. Miss Armstrong-Jones, this is your -- Is it hyphenated? Yes, that's right. Is it your first novel? Yes. Well, suppose we start from the beginning. I've been reading it's been listed on some bestseller lists and not on others. I noticed some papers don't list it. Why is this? Well, none of the Chicago papers have listed it on the bestseller list. Two of them did review it, though, when it came out two months ago. Well, why don't they list it? Well, you know, we've got bluenoses all over the place. Oh, is it considered somewhat racy, somewhat gamy? A dirty, filthy book. Yes. Do you -- Pardon me. You think some people consider it this. Do you feel that about it? Well, it is a filthy book. Yes. Just one moment. Do I call you -- Miss Armstrong-Jones, may I call you Candy or just Miss Armstrong-Jones? Well, I guess you can call me Candy. I don't want to confuse you 'cause then -- You know, with the heroine of the Terry Christian [sic] and his collaborators' book, "Candy." Oh. But back to the book. Do you, yourself -- Pardon me, this is rather interesting. Do you, yourself, would you describe this as a filthy book? You use that Well, yes, I said it is a filthy book. That doesn't mean it's not great literature, you know. Before I ask you about the title itself, "Village of Vice," what it means and of course what's happened to you since, and how you write the book, influences on your life. You say, you said it's it could be great literature and still be a filthy book. Yes. You mean in the manner of "Ulysses"? Yes, well you see people always say that filth, you know, it isn't an important book if it's a filthy book. Well, I just wonder who's to say that filth isn't important, you know, to people who like it it's a very important thing. And you know, you can sneak in some inspirational words and thoughts and ideas and grab people who read filthy books and you know, give them a little moral with the story. Let me understand that; in other words, there's sort of a boring from within through filth. Is the idea -- is this what you mean? You could say that. Well, Yes, you did. No, I'm just thinking about this matter of -- Do you think it's -- That's my point, Miss Armstrong-Jones, Candy. Did you think this is -- Did you deliberately set out to write what you described as a filthy book? Oh, dear, you're going to make me sound very mercenary, but yes, I did, because filthy books make money, let's face it. Well, think of some of your colleagues today, they've been reviewed as well as you have, and they also had some rough times with reviewers, are also among the bestsellers, such as -- Well, you're a girl writer, is there one -- I understand that Parthenon, your publishers. Yes. And they're very excited, and I Oh, yes, they're delighted, they're really delighted. Have you been around various -- You've been traveling to see various and various stations? Oh, no. You don't do this. I didn't -- I haven't had to. Because of the book itself. Yes. Well, how do you explain it's catching on this way, despite the fact that it's attacked? Well, you see, like with a Broadway play, a critic can kill it, you know. But a book, a critic, you know, for instance, one reviewer said like, you know, and thank God today the reviewers are reviewing pornography. Years ago, you know, they just ignored it. But now they're reviewing it and he said like it was the worst piece of trash that he had ever seen. And he, you know, he went on to describe certain scenes and things. Well, you know, this is better than a payday. I'm in the New York Times Book Review section. Pardon me, as an author, weren't you hurt when you read this? the review, that it was the worst piece of trash he read? Well, I was, from one standpoint, because he did miss the great parts of it. You know, he was so obsessed with the filth that he didn't look beyond, and there really, it is -- Well, it's just very inspirational. It's a really true American book. Before I ask you about the book itself and the two key figures, the hero and heroine, Mark and Margot, I believe, who work in an advertising agency -- Right. Well, before I ask about that, this is remarkable, how you do this, you feel you deliberately wrote it filthy, but at the same time inspirational. That's right. Yes. And have you been told by -- I suppose people stopped you, those you've met at parties here and there, about their reactions to this book, people you've met? Well, most of the people that I first met since the book just loved it, you know, and they're marvelous people. However, some of the friends, so-called friends that I had before I wrote the book, you know, were -- I was amazed at their reaction to it because, you know, I've seen them some of these people in action and I couldn't imagine for the life of me what they'd be so excited about. You know, there was nothing they read in the book that they didn't know existed before. So, I was very surprised about, and hurt, several times. These are friends of yours, you mean. These are the people, you know, that I have known before I wrote the book. They're no longer friends of yours? Well, some of them are. That's what I say. The ones I've met since I wrote the book are all people, you know, who just loved it and were delighted to meet me and everything. Well, may I ask you this about these former friends of yours, or close to you, is the fact that, were you in the manner of Thomas Wolfe and "Look Homeward, Angel," do you recall, I don't know if you read that or No, I'm afraid I -- Tom Wolf? No, not Tom Wolfe, Thomas Wolfe, who wrote "Look Homeward, Angel." Perhaps he was before my time. He's a little before your time, yes. And he -- Asheville, the town he wrote, he's from Asheville, North Carolina, people recognized themselves and were furious. Was this so with your book? No, it couldn't possibly be so, the book is so made-up, you know, you couldn't Let's ask you about that, before I ask you about the title itself, "Village of Vice," the locale I know is Chicago, isn't Yes! Where, Old Town, or? Well, it's that whole near north area, and mid-north; no, not mid-north, near north. Is that your -- Oh, yeah, that's my territory, yeah. I notice in the publisher's blurbs that -- No, not blurbs, the publicity I received from -- okay, what was the name of, I forget the publicity woman of your company, that have notes here, where you live, you describe yourself as as a swinger. A swinger. Yeah. Well that's what I What do you mean by a swinger? Oh, dear, that's kind of hard to describe. You know, if you're not a swinger, I can't tell you. It's a person who enjoys life, you know, and who likes to do interesting, marvelous things. Well, for instance. Oh, well, you know, going to Old Town a lot and doing all this very 'in' things to do. I was at Maxim's several times, you know. Poor Michael Butler's place closed down, I wanted to see that and never got a chance to. In Oak Brook. The polo place? Oh, you mean the, the His Club. Discotheque, yeah. The "Cheetah." No, no, no, that's not his, that's Stevenson's. Oh, you're up, oh, you go to the discotheques Oh, yes, they're marvelous, marvelous. Maxim's. You say that's the swinger, then, someone as -- What's the word you use here? Fun? Well, fun people. Fun people. You -- You're part of the fun people. Yeah. Is that the basis? Is that -- That's the locale of "The Village of Vice," then. Yes. It's not the beautiful people, I wish I was, you know, but I'll settle for fun people for a while. So it's the fun people, and they are the characters in this book, in a way. Village, too, I notice you live -- It's interesting, very moving, here, apparently, you live in Sandburg Village. That's right. And something happened that, would you mind telling us about this, since the book has come out? Well, there's something that I might say as a prelude to that, if you don't mind. I don't know if you're aware of this, but all the buildings in Sandburg Village are named after writers, you know. Well, that in itself is such an inspiration. You couldn't believe it, you know, what an inspiring thing to live and have your typewriter sitting on a desk, you know, in this building that it's named after a great writer. Well, the thing that you're alluding to is after my book came out two months ago, a committee from our building came and they had a petition. They wanted to rename the building "The Candy Armstrong-Jones Building." Well, can you imagine, you know, "Wow!", so, oh, I was delighted and, of course, felt very humble about the whole thing, but I really don't think anything will come of it. You know, there might be a problem with the management because then any time a writer moves in, you know, they're going to want to rename the building and so on. So I think they don't want to start that, even, you know. But just the thought that they, you It's your first book, too, it's your first novel. Candy, do you think there's a possibility -- You mean some of your fellow tenants, the guests -- Yes, the people that live in my building. So I suppose, I suppose you're known as somewhat of a celebrity, I suppose, in that housing complex. Well, I guess, yeah, I have to admit that. That's interesting. You're -- I know -- You mentioned your age, you're 26. That's right. And you yourself worked at an advertising agency, or you have. You still? Oh, yes. Oh, well, this is interesting. Well, what about writing the book, how did you do -- You do, you, you do copy, advertising copy? That's right. I'm a copywriter. You describe it as a real fun place. Oh, it is, it's marvelous, wild characters, you know, and always some kind of goings on with throwing, you know, paperclips or something or other, yes. There's something you say here that's rather fascinating, you say, quoting our guest, Candy Armstrong-Jones, author of "The Village of Vice," published by Parthenon, that's one of these, you know, one of these surprise runaway best-sellers, despite, you don't mind my saying this, critical attack, really, and you don't mind it too much, then. Well, I mind it, but you know, I can't stamp out the truth, so. You say you can't stamp out -- Oh, the truth that they are -- You're not implying they're right, are Oh, no, I mean the truth of what you say that they said these things. You say, but here's what you say. This is -- May I ask you about this?This is very revealing. "All day long," writes Candy Armstrong-Jones, this is the publicity Parthenon sent us, "All day long I'm paid to write lies for somebody else. Now in my book I write lies for myself." Yes, well, that's what you asked before if any of my friends saw themselves in it, and I said no, because you know it isn't true. It's an extension of my copy-writing, you know, I just. An extension of Yes. Are you implying that the copy that you write is untrue? I guess, yes. May I ask about your habits? So you work full-time, eight-hour day, a 40-hour week Well, Thirty-five hour week. Where do you find -- How did you -- How long did it take you to write? One Well, what do you -- May I ask you how, your writing habits, did you write every night, or? No. You know, the interesting thing was, I don't know if you know who Rona Jaffe is. I've heard of Rona Jaffee. Yes. She's like the urban American female, you know, of the 20th century. The urban American female? Yes, a counterpart of you-know-who, and, well, she had a book come out several years ago called "The Best of Everything," another smash best-seller, incidentally, you know. And I had read somewhere in reading about it, I loved the book, so any time I saw her picture, anything in the paper, I'd read, you know, what she had to say and she said that she had, I don't know if she had moved to New York or moved out of her parents' apartment or something, but anyway she was in her own apartment and she decided to write a book, you know, and she thought, well, you know, how best to do it. And she thought, "Well, look, if I can get one good page a day, you know, in a year I'm going to have 365 pages, that's a book," you know, and that's what she did. Well, I thought, "My God, this girl, you know, this is marvelous, what a great idea!" And quite honestly, this is my inspiration, you know, and I thought, look, you know, I can write a book and I can get all sweaty about it and everything and just worry about it night and day and, you know, but I can't do that, you can't work and write a book and swing all at the same time and do justice to them, you know, unless you have a plan. And I did. So I decided I was going to write a page a day the same as she did, and in a year I'd have a book. So how many people do you know, you know, that write a book a year? Let me understand this: you wrote exactly a page a That's right. The thing is, to get yourself a pattern and never vary, no matter what happens. New Year's Day, you know, if you're hung over or anything, wait 'til you're wide awake and write that page, no matter what, no matter where I've been swinging the day before, no matter what I've done, I write that page a day. Well, if I follow this correctly, you write one page a day. That's right. And you said you plan to do a book a year. This book took -- When you say a year, you don't mean -- You mean exactly a year? Yes, for instance, yesterday was July 18th. That was the 199th day of the year. I've got 199 pages sitting at home in a little box, you know, and I've got 166 to go, because there's Your next -- Three hundred sixty-five days. Oh, yes, I'm working on -- I'll ask you about that in a moment. So, then, your book is 365 pages. Well, not really. You know, that's typewritten pages and it changes a little bit, you know, and -- About a page a Right. You write. It's about 365 typewritten pages. That's right. I see. So, it's that sort of discipline. Is it? Well, it's more than just saying a page a day. It's a matter of saying like, "When am I going to write that page?" Making up your mind trying to decide when the best time is. Once you decide, it's got to be then and never change. Now, in my case I do change; on weekends I do it at a different time than I do on weekdays. But every Monday through Friday, I work 'til five p.m. At the agency. At the advertising agency. So I hop on the bus and I'm home. You know how close the village is to the Loop, I'm home never later than The village, Sandburg Village, Right. "The Village of Vice." Well, you said it, I didn't. So I'm home at five-thirty, and I've got a dinner date at seven or eight or, you know, a date for something or other every night of the week. So I get home and I get undressed, and I hop in the shower or hop in the bath. And it dawned on me when I was first trying to decide a pattern for this, "My God, I'm wasting whatever time it takes to wash up," you know, why my mind isn't doing anything while I'm busy soaping up. So, while I'm tubbing or showering I decide kind of plot out that day's page and I hop out of the shower, towel off, throw on the robe and before I do anything else I go straight to the typewriter, sit down and write that page, put it on the pile in this open box that I've got, put it in there, and that's it for the day. Well, Miss Armstrong-Jones, Candy, if I may call you that, this is, this is very fascinating to me. You mean, while you're showering, or tubbing, as you put it, the idea you think about that page, is that it? Why did you say "as I put it," is that wrong, "tubbing"? No, no, tubbing, I mean, I haven't heard the phrase used You know, I like to learn, so I thought if it was wrong -- No, it's a verb, I suppose, for in the bathtub, you're tubbing, for showering, for shower but I'm just coming back to the -- You think of that page? I mean, do you have an idea for the book -- When you first -- How'd the idea of "Village of Vice" come to you? Oh, dear, well I'm a voracious reader, you know, oh, I just read -- What are some of your reading? Well, for instance, I would never miss reading a single book that, say, Irving Wallace has written. My God, what a talent, you know, and he writes these huge epics, it must take him two years, you Irving Wallace, I'm sorry, I haven't, I've heard of him, but I haven't read him. What is it about his writing that attracts you? Well, he writes these broad, for instance, "The Prize," these broad panoramic things and he brings in the history, like the Nobel Prize, you know. And yet, there is life in it, and action and suspense and sex and everything, you know. Oh, really a genius, really a So Irving Wallace is one because And I'll tell you another He brings in, you say, he brings what -- That's interesting, you say he brings in the sex and intellect and both, as you in a sense bring in inspirational stuff through filth. Well, see that's what I mean. You know, you can't say that that a filthy book is not an important book. Someone said that to me once, that's why I have this phrase in my mind, because you know it can be, it can be very important depending on what you do with it. Like, there are people I'm sure who never knew how the Nobel Prize winners were chosen before they read his book. And so, Irving Wallace acquainted people with the I must admit, his books aren't quite as sexy as mine, you know. Your as -- You emphasize that, the sexual aspects Well, you see, it just, it just seems to come out that way, you know. I don't do it deliberately, certainly, but the way the plot unravels, it just is such a natural extension, you know. Later on, perhaps, you can read an excerpt from it. I realize Oh, I would love that. I realize that some of the phrases you probably have to, for the purpose of radio, just read blank, perhaps a dash or delete. But back to -- Wallace is one. Other writers? Oh, yes. I would never miss reading anything Rona Jaffee wrote. Rona Jaffe, who wrote "The Best of Everything." Yes, and "Mr. Right is Dead," and I think she -- A new one, I forgot -- By the way, you mentioned her earlier about, come back to other writers. You said she's the urban female, the counterpart of you-know-who, I don't know who. Oh, Mr. Terkel, your age is showing! You don't know who the urban male of the world is? Well He lives right in the city, you know. Oh, Hugh Hefner, you mean? Of Oh, I'm sorry, I see, she's the urban --- I'm a little -- Not quite hip, I want to catch up. I forgive you. But tell me. So it's Rona Jaffe, Irving Wallace, and these are two writers who influenced you. Oh, so many more. I am really a voracious reader, you know, my friends -- It doesn't interfere much with my swinging, but you know, I've got time to and from work on the bus and stuff and they're always saying, "Oh, my gosh, you've always got your nose in a book!" You know, like Charles Mergendahl, I wouldn't miss reading one of his books. Or Harold Robbins or Grace Metalious. I've seen the name, Harold, why Harold Robbins? You mean "The Carpetbaggers"? Well, that was one of his first, yes. What is it about Harold Robbins that you like? Well, you see, I not only read these writers, I learn from them, you know, and I learned a marvelous, marvelous technique from his -- All of his books, really. You know, what he does is, he writes about people and he makes you believe that they are real people in the news, you know. But he covers himself brilliantly, you know, so there's no lawsuits or anything, like in his last book, "The Adventurers," which is oh, really marvelous, the scope of it, you know, it was like 20 years or something like that. And he has Aristotle Onassis and Porfirio Rubirosa, and Trujillo and the Kennedy family and everything, and Maria Callas, I say this because I know this is a fine arts station, and they cover it. He covers it so marvelously because he'll have somebody, for instance, that you know is Trujillo, you know, and someone will say, "My God, he's going to be as powerful as Trujillo was," you know, and then that way he's covered, you know, nobody can sue. Like you said, that was me, because each one of these characters he has a declaimer, a disclaimer Disclaimer. Yes, you know. Well, that's fasci-- Other writers of the past, like, here you, a woman writer, girl writer, you're 26, Miss Armstrong-Jones, I suppose Jane Austen, you read Jane Austen, I suppose, or Edith Wharton or Willa Cather. I don't recognize those names, I'm sorry. George Eliot, I suppose. I don't know who he is. Oh, if you're talking about like older writers before my time, yes, you know, I love women writers. Besides Rona and Grace Metalious and Kathleen Winsor and Margaret Mitchell and all those. You like Kathleen Winsor. Oh, I love all of them. Margaret Mitchell. But there is one old-time woman writer that I loved. You know, I'm not much for poetry but really when I read Joyce Kilmer's "Trees," for the first time, I tell you shivers just ran, you know. Joyce Kilmer. Yes, she [sic] was marvelous! You know, "I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree." It's so beautiful, actually I think her [sic] poem was as lovely as a tree, you know. Since you mentioned Joyce Kilmer, do you like a poet -- Poetry, you see, like Edgar Guest? Have you ever heard of Edgar Oh, yes, very inspirational. And in fact, I would imagine that my prose is very very much like his poetry. But he wasn't -- The one thing that matter -- The word 'filth' could never be applied to No, I will say that, but I'm talking about the inspiration aspect of my book. The optimism, the "Look, do it yourself," you know, the, the 'get up and go,' you know. This is your philosophy? By the way, what is -- Do you read Ayn Rand, bu the way? Well, I did read her once. I love it becau-- You know, any time a woman can make it writing books, I'm all for it, you know. But, oh, I don't know, there was just a little something about her. I have read some of her, but I do believe in like, "Look, this is mine and leave it alone, you know, what's mine is mine," and I love her pulling yourself up from the bootstraps. I love her heroes, you know, and I know an interesting thing about that. You know, did you ever notice her heroes, they're always, have the initials "H. R.," like Hank Rearden and Howard Roark. You know, one of "The Fountainhead," and one of -- "Atlas "Atlas Shrugged." And the women are always "D." Dagny Taggart in one case and Dominique something or other in another. Then you are acquainted with her heroes and heroines. Oh, I've read that, yes. Oh, I love -- Her heroines I think are just not quite feminine enough, you know. Now, I'm a career woman and I know you have to push sometimes. But they rather sometimes lose their femininity, I think, you know. But the men, oh, her heroes are magnificent. You know, they come out of a steel mine and ten years later they're making a new kind of steel nobody ever heard of before, and you know, they work with their hands and they build these quarries or dig them up or whatever. Oh, that I do like, yes. She does move you, then. Yes. I just wish she wouldn't with the politics, you know, because she confuses people, I What do you mean? In what way do her politics? You know, there are often sections of her book that I know she's -- Proselytizing is the word? That's a good word. Yes, that is a good word. And, you know, I have to skip over sometimes six, seven By the way, since we're on that subject, you yourself don't believe, your stuff doesn't deal with serious, heavy themes, do they? Oh, my God, if people want that, let them go out and buy a newspaper, you know. But they're not looking for that. No, they don't need that in my book. Would you describe your thing as escape literature? I hate to use that phrase in reference to your. No, I really wouldn't, because you know, there's, there's filth in it. I was very honest about that. You can't say that I denied that, and there's -- But to me there is such inspiration and there is really such a moral, you know, like, for God's sakes, get up and you can do it, there are worlds to conquer all over