One of my favourite people, the divine Elise Allen, has her book POPULAZZI is now out in paperback. If you haven’t already read it then it’s time to hustle yourself off to the bookstore.
Elise stopped by to answer some questions:
1) Tell us something fun about your new book, it can be a character detail, something that inspired the story, or a behind the scenes story from the writing process.
Other than the fact that the MOST AWESOME AUTHOR EVER, Eileen Cook, blurbed it?
Okay, here’s one. Populazzi is totally a work of fiction. With the exception of Riley (who is one hundred percent my own dog, and he’s cool with being exploited), none of the characters are based on real people. I did, however, use a couple locations from real life. Like the house of Cara Leonard’s dad, Leonard (I know; Leonard Leonard’s such an easy joke, but it makes me laugh every time), which is based pretty closely on the layout of my own dad’s house. He still lives there, along with my five stepsibs, the oldest of whom was one of my earliest readers. Rhee was curled up on the couch scrolling through the manuscript, having a lovely time… until she suddenly realized she was reading a detailed description of the exact spot where she was sitting. She was simultaneously thrilled… and totally weirded out.
2) What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
I like to get my butt out of the house and do anything outdoorsy, ideally with my daughter. And my husband, but since he works regular hours, it’s more likely just myself and Miss M. Bike riding, hiking, swimming, playing at Disneyland until we shut it down… these are a few of my favorite things.
3) If you weren’t an author- what job would you choose?
I’d say I’d stick with my other non-author jobs: writing for TV, DVDs, Internet shows… but that’s cheating, since it’s all writing. If I couldn’t write at all… wow…
Okay, here’s something I actually toyed with for awhile. I wanted to be a TV show host. Specifically, I wanted to be the Rachael Ray of Marathons, and host a TV show for the Travel Channel or ESPN 2 or some random channel like that. The premise would be ME, going from town to town during their marathon week and showcasing the best places for marathoners to stay, eat, play, and everything special that particular marathon has to offer.
I still really like the idea, but a show like that requires a lot of travel, and since I don’t like to travel without Miss M, it’s not so feasible.
Plus there’s the fact that I freeze on camera… and that no one’s clamoring for a lifestyle show about marathons. But other than that, it’s a slam-dunk!
4) Rapid fire round!
Currently Reading: Heartburn by Nora Ephron. I can’t believe she’s gone, so I’m going back and reading all her books… which only makes me sadder that she’s no longer with us.
Sweet or Salty: Sweet and salty, mixed together! Specifically, Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Pretzel Crisps. The bag says four servings; it’s one.
Morning or Night person: NIGHT.
Coffee or Tea: Coffee, but I love tea too and I’m trying to make the switch.
Favorite Holiday: Passover. I can eat my weight in charoset, and I have a true passion for gefilte fish loaded with horseradish.
Favorite TV Show: Ever? Moonlighting. Currently on TV? Glee. The storylines haven’t been great lately, but I can watch Kurt and Blaine all day and night.
Favorite Indulgence: Massages. The Massage Place here in L.A. charges $67 for a ninety minute massage. It’s insane not to get a massage at that price!
About the book
WHAT WOULD YOU DO if you had the chance to erase your past and reinvent yourself as the person you‚ve always wanted to be? Would you grab it? Would you stick with it, no matter what the consequences?
Cara Leonard always wished she could be one of those girls: confident, self-possessed, and never at a loss for the perfect thing to say. One of the Populazzi.
It always seemed impossible? but now could be her chance.
When Cara moves to a new school just before junior year, her best friend urges her to seize the opportunity and change her life? with the help of The Ladder. Its rungs are relationships, and if Cara transforms herself into the perfect girlfriend for guys higher and higher on the Popularity Tower, she can reach the ultimate goal: Supreme Populazzi, the most popular girl in school.
The Ladder seems like a lighthearted social experiment ˜ a straight climb up ˜ but it quickly becomes gnarled and twisted. And when everything goes wrong, only the most audacious act Cara can think of has a chance of setting things even a little bit right.
Some reaction to the book:
“In her first solo novel, Allen offers a smart mix of hilarity and tragedy in this MacbethˆmeetsˆMean Girls tale. — Publisher’s Weekly
“The story unflinchingly depicts the dark and dangerous side of high-school popularity, making it a captivating read.”˜Kirkus Reviews
Named a “Great Summer Beach Read” by Shape Magazine
One of Justine Magazine’s “Chick Lit Picks”
Named one of the “Top Hits of the Summer” by Girl’s Life Magazine