Monday, December 24, 2007

Interview: Julie Swayze - The Metropolis Bookstore

Daood interviews Julie Swayze, the owner of the Metropolis Bookstore in the Historic Core of Downtown LA.

Daood: Welcome to, Ms. Swayze.

Julie Swayze: Thank you

Daood: How did you come to the creative title of Metropolis for the bookstore?

Julie Swayze: I love the 1922 Fritz Lang movie, and I have always thought of New York as Gotham, and L.A. as Metropolis, and since the store is located in the Historic Core of Los Angeles it seemed fitting.

Daood: Could you share with us the thoughts and ideas that brought forth Metropolis bookstore?

Julie Swayze: I wanted to open my own business, and I wanted it to be a bookstore. Downtown is a very underserved market for so many things, and I liked the idea of opening a bookstore in an historic area that has been featured in print, film and articles for years.

Daood: Provide for us a pictorial of the bookstore?

Julie Swayze: I would say that Metropolis is probably the most unusual bookstore. We have 15 foot walls, because we are located in the old Canadian Consulate which was built in 1909. The walls are a warm terracotta - there are lots of plants nad fountains - and all the walls are lined with bookcases. We have a "living room" area which comes in handy for author events. The best feature would be the very large train station looking wall clock hanging on the back wall.

Daood: Since the grand opening ceremony of December 15 of 2006, who are some of the authors who have graced Metropolis?

Julie Swayze: Let's see - Edgar Award winner Naomi Hirahara, Gene Cartwright, Jeffery Lewis, Andre Coleman, Laura Levine, Paula Samuels-Young, Linda O'Johnston, David K. Lynch, Joan Del Monte, Bridget Morrow, Diana Wagman, Gary Phillips, Jim Pascoe, eight authors/historians from the Arcadia Publishing company. Our next event June 30th will feature Antoine Wilson, signing his new book, The Interloper. The L.A. Times just gave it a great review.

Daood: Are there as well book club events, poetry readings, and writing classes?

Julie Swayze: We do have a book club with about 12 members right now [and events such as poetry readings that started this past summer].

Daood: Currently is there any book/s that you are reading that you would highly recommend?

Julie Swayze: My favorite as of late is The Traveler By John Twelve Hawks, the second book in the series comes out in July. Also Deep Storm By Lincoln Child, and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See.

Daood: What are the keys to your success?

Julie Swayze: Provide excellent customer service, have the books in the store people want to read, always be up on the next great writer and have interesting events.

Daood: Is there a website for Metropolis Bookstore and where exactly downtown Los Angeles is the bookstore located?

Julie Swayze: Our website is and we are located at 440 S. Main St. between 4th. & 5th street.

Daood: Thanks for taking the time out of your day, for this beautiful experience!

Julie Swayze: Thank you.

-Daood, ExperienceLA Blog Contributor

This interview was conducted in May 2007.

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