GETTING TO KNOW THE AUTHOR: ERIN CARLSON
If you’ve ever been in a relationship, odds are you’ve probably sat through your fair share of romantic comedies, some pretty good and others…Adam Sandler films. With the holiday season here, the pressures of the dating world and the holiday season bearing its weight on our shoulders, it’s nice to sit back, turn on your favorite romantic comedy, and pretend to have it all figured out for at least a few hours. When it comes to classic romantic comedies you’ve probably seen at least one of these classics; When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail or Sleepless in Seattle, let’s just put it this way, Nora Ephron has compiled quite the list of classics romantic comedies.
We recently had the opportunity to talk with Erin Carlson, Author of the book I’ll Have What She’s Having: How Nora Ephron’s Three Iconic Films Saved the Romantic Comedy (which by the way, is a must own for every true fan of any of these classic romantic comedies) and got to know a little about her, as well as some of her experiences while writing the book.
Tell us a little about yourself, where did you grow up? How were you like as a kid?
I grew up in a suburb of Chicago called Batavia—it’s just north of a town called Aurora, which had 15 minutes of fame as the setting of the Wayne’s World. As a kid, I was shy and nerdy. The movie theater became my happy place. I grew up reading Entertainment Weekly from front to back and watching Entertainment Tonight every day after school—I was obsessed with anything and everything about movie stars and Hollywood! I decided early on that I wanted to become a journalist and write about the entertainment industry.
What inspired you to become a writer?
A desire to write about the movies and the people who make them. Also, the 1994 film adaptation of Little Women starring Winona Ryder as Jo March, a writer with a tomboy streak who refused to conform with notions of how women should behave in society. As a young girl growing up in the early 1990s, I rarely, if ever, saw films featuring other girl characters at the center—as the heroines of their own lives. Little Women was a revelation. I wanted to be like Jo.
What was your first breakthrough?
Getting a job out of college as an editorial assistant at Inside TV, a short-lived magazine spinoff of TV Guide that targeted women who love television. Shortly after Inside TV folded, I landed a gig as an arts and entertainment reporter at The Associated Press in New York. The rest, as they say, is history.
What continues to inspire you?
A mission to tell stories about bold, gutsy and creative women—like Nora Ephron, a descendant of Jo March.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
None! Because there are no guilty pleasures.
What’s next for you? Any upcoming projects we should look out for?
I have something cooking but I can’t say just yet!
Tell us about a funny or interesting moment that happened during the process of writing your book?
There was the time I interviewed Tom Hanks and had to cut things short because the interview went really long and I had scheduled a haircut. WHO AM I AND WHY DID I MAKE A HAIRCUT APPOINTMENT.
If you could give anyone reading this advice, what would it be?
Do not make an appointment for a haircut following a very important interview with Tom Hanks.
Which writers inspire you?
Nora Ephron, Jennifer Armstrong, Lin Manuel Miranda.
What’s the first thing you do after you finish a project?
Binge-watch all the shows I missed during the project. Catch up on good books. Go to the mall (you can take the girl out of the suburbs, but you can’t take the suburbs out of the girl…).
What’s one thing you can’t live without?
When you took the tour you mentioned Rob Reiner, what would you say was the biggest takeaway from your experience meeting/talking with him?
He’s super-charming and a lot of fun, not to mention opinionated. (See: his Twitter feed.) I interviewed him in November 2015. At that point, Trump was campaigning for president amongst a field of other Republican candidates. I asked Rob, a loud and proud Hillary Clinton supporter, if Trump had a chance of winning. Because even though I disagreed with everything Trump stood for, his popularity represented the rise of reality TV and I could see him upsetting Clinton. Rob didn’t want to hear that. “Not gonna happen,” he said, dismissing Trump as emblematic of the “Kardashianization of America.” That phrase stuck with me. I admire Rob’s humanity, idealism and good faith in the American people. In another life, maybe he would have gone into politics.
What was your first impression of him?
Who do you think is the next Nora Ephron?
It’s hard to say because her writing voice and directing style were so singular. She’s not like anybody else. In terms of how she saw the world (simultaneously though arched eyebrows and rose-colored glasses), I would say Mindy Kaling, who has that Nora-esque balance of sweetness and bite. And, more importantly, she knows how to make romantic comedies. She learned that from watching Nora’s movies.
We want to give special thanks to Erin for chatting with On Location Tours as well as joining us on our When Harry Met Seinfeld Tour.
You can follow her on
As special thanks to you, we are giving away a copy of Erin’s book I’ll Have What She’s Having: How Nora Ephron’s Three Iconic Films Saved the Romantic Comedy.
All you have to do to win is:
-Follow us on @onlocationtours
-Find our Instagram post with the above picture
-Tag a Fan of Any of These Movies
When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail, and Sleepless in Seattle
(Winner will be announced Jan 5th, 2018)
If you’re a fan of these classic Nora Ephron films and would like to relive your favorite moments from these movies in real life, check out our When Harry Met Seinfeld Tour to see filming locations from When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail, and Sleepless in Seattle, Seinfeld and much more.