Zara Lisbon is a writer of short fiction and poetry. She was born in the West Village, raised on Venice Beach, and dreams of a flat overlooking Hyde Park in London.
She loves and adores everything about Lana Del Rey, even the “terrible” SNL performance. Here are some more things she loves: nail art, air conditioning, abstract impressionism, artificial winter wonderlands, and falling asleep listening to the owl outside her window. She has short fiction published in Attic Salt, La Miscellany, and Cheap Pop. Follow her onTumblr, Instagram and Twitter, @ZaraLisbon.
Hometown: Venice, California
Where I live now: The Miracle Mile part of LA (No stalkers, please).
Fave book of ALL time: I have many, many books that I could at any given time cite as my favorite, but there are two that constantly haunt me and stand out above the rest. The first is actually a children’s book called Kasper In the Glitter, written by British author Philip Ridley. It’s about a kid who lives with his alcoholic, emotionally abusive mother and joins a band of runaways with their own set of disturbing emotional issues. The language is exquisite, terrifying, and way too dark to be intended for children, which is partially why I love it so much. The second is a book of poetry called The Destruction Myth by Mathias Svalina. In a new and radically unique way, each poem hypothesizes what the beginning of the universe looked like. The imagination put into these poems truly blows my mind.
Person who inspires me the most: Lana Del Rey
What made me want to become a writer: First, when I was around seven, I wanted to be an actress, but I was extremely shy and quickly realized that it would be more enjoyable to be the person behind the scenes, in control of the story. Ever since then I’ve been passionate about creating stories, and I’ve found it’s the only thing I’m really good at in life so I’ve embraced it wholeheartedly.
Music I listen to when I write: I don’t know how people write with music on, I need silence. Actually, sometimes I enjoy working in public where I can overhear people’s conversations, but music is distracting for me. I have some sensory integration issues so too many different sounds make it impossible for me to focus.
Fave place to work: In reality, it’s my bedroom. But in a fantasy world I would have a cabin overlooking some body of water where I could do all my writing.
Writers I look up to: Joan Didion, Margaret Atwood, Ayn Rand, Gillian Flynn, Anais Nin, Don DeLillo, Miranda July, Aimee Bender, Sylvia Plath, Brett Easton Ellis, J.K Rowling, Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler), Mathias Svalina, and Phillip Ridley. To be honest there are so many more, I could never name them all. But these are my main literary inspirations.
Favorite GIF ever:
I love this gif because it concisely sums up everything I love about Lana Del Rey, and the key quality in her music that draws me to her. She has conflicting desires and beliefs battling it out in her brain, and I deeply relate to that. My mind is a messy place, I always feel like I’m being pushed and pulled around by it. This gif (and the entire music video it comes from) embodies this experience and is therefore very comforting to me.
This is the best meme: In my humble opinion, the best meme is one I created with Ali Segel, Liana Maeby and Selena Rox. It’s a picture of a Blobfish, and we put captions on him…you probably have to see it to understand:
This particular caption is based on something we all noticed which is that nobody who goes to Burning Man is capable of saying even one thing they loved about it so much. They just say over and over again how you have to go, you have to go, it’s so cool. Okay, if it is so cool surely you can think of ONE THING that makes it so cool.
My favorite story I wrote/made for HelloGiggles is… The first one I wrote is still my favorite. “5 Reasons Lana Del Rey is My Spirit Animal”.
The title of my memoir would be…
“Z-List Celebrity”. Growing up in LA I’ve always felt like the one non-famous person. At the same time, there’s a part of my brain that thinks I’m the biggest celebrity there is…it’s very confusing. Long story short, I don’t recommend LA as a place to raise your kids.