The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

AP story section

October 9, 2013

Jessica Lange pens debut children's book

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Screen legend Jessica Lange says the secret to her longevity in Hollywood is simply trusting her instincts.

“As you can tell from looking at my career, there was no plan!” the 64-year-old said with a hearty laugh. “It’s never setting out with a goal in mind or project or whatever. It’s what kind of captures my imagination in the moment.”

Lange’s gut feeling recently led her to a new path as a children’s book author. “It’s About a Little Bird” follows two young sisters who discover an antique birdcage at their grandmothers’ farm.

“It felt natural and organic and simple and kind of charmed,” Lange said of creating the picture book based on her real-life experiences and featuring photographs she took and tinted by hand.

In an interview Monday, the two-time Academy Award winner discussed the book, which began as a handmade Christmas gift for her granddaughters, and the new season of her not-so-kid-friendly FX series “American Horror Story: Coven,” premiering Wednesday.

AP: How did you go about writing “It’s About a Little Bird?”

Jessica Lange: I didn’t do it in that kind of deliberate way. It wasn’t something that I had determined to do. It started really because I’m a photographer and I shoot black-and-white film. So that’s kind of how it started, working on some of my own black-and-white imagery and hand-tinting them. ... And then one morning I woke up, I was up at my farm at upstate New York and I woke up and this story just kind of came to me and I thought, “I’m going to write this for my granddaughters, make this a story for them.” ... And then from there it was one of those things where somebody said “why don’t you print this?”

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