2005_02_danyelsmithlarge.jpgBliss is just what today's Gothamist Interviewee found. Author Danyel Smith is featured the New York's Observer's "Countdown to Bliss" engagement column.

The Basics.
Astrological Sign.
I’m a Cancerian.

Day job.
Day and night, I work/write from home.

Bad Habit.
Marlboro Lights.

Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I grew up in Oakland, California. I wrote about it in my first novel, More Like Wrestling. I currently live on the LES.

Two For You.
From one pop culture junkie to another, please tell me how can I be a talking head on Vh1 like Toure?
Um … get old?

What is Bliss to you?
What is Bliss to you? Second novel, and a hard one to write. Here’s the deal: Woven through with the R&B and hip hop of the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s, Bliss unfolds at a music industry convention on the Bahamas’ Paradise Island. Record label exec Eva Glenn, thirty-four—soulful, sexual, accomplished, and possibly pregnant—is readying for a comeback showcase of her singing sensation, Sunny Addison. Persuaded by a professional crisis, as well as a desire to avoid her tumultuous feelings about romance and commitment and family, Eva flees touristy Paradise with her sometime lover for the petite, pastoral Bahamian Cat Island. What seems an idyllic, How-Stella-Gets-Her-Groove-Back break from her fading self-confidence, guilt over past choices,and pressing decisions to be made about her body, career, and love life becomes an intense sojourn that brings Eva to terms with much more than she expected. Bliss is a story about the power and interconnectedness of pop music. It’s about the good, the bad and the very ugly music business. Bliss is about women who believe in work and mastery and success in business. Bliss is about figuring out how to live with money. It’s about sex, as well as the ease and pain and psychological karma of abortion. Bliss is about the politics of sexual relationships in the new, passionate, moneyed, warily multi-cultural hip hop milieu. Bliss is about finally deciding it’s okay to ask for help, and deciding to take the risk of giving it. Bliss is about living with pain-- not about forgiving or forgetting it. Bliss is about being able to have it all, just not all at the same time. At least that's what I tried to write.

Who would you stalk if you were guaranteed NOT to be caught?
Don Cheadle. For *professional* reasons. :)

What's the best place in New York for semi-public sex?
Outside of New York.

How many take-out menus do you have in your apartment?
We don’t really believe in take-out at our apartment. We have about three menus, to be used in case of emergencies, only.

What makes your mouth water?

If you could have dinner with three famous New Yorkers, who would it be?
Bill Clinton, Gloria Naylor, Isiah Thomas.

Danyel novel's Bliss will be out this summer, check her profile of Mos Def in the May issue of Elle, and you can read her blog, Naked Cartwheels.