Lola Douglas' new book for young readers MORE CONFESSIONS OF A HOLLYWOOD STARLET comes at a perfect time for me, the mom of a pre-teen whose conversations (overheard) with friends revolve around poor Brittany whose trials with Kevin Federer (okay maybe that's not his name and am I the only one who thought he was a golfer?) have functioned as a parable for I-AM-WOMAN-DON'T-F*%$-WITH-ME liberation theology. Which brings me to my point, one of many middle of the night epiphanies in which a) we aren't all headed straight for hell in a handbasket simply because we CRAVE more episodes of WIFE SWAP, SUPER NANNY and AMERICA's NEXT TOP SUPERMODEL b) might bend our infatuations with the too-thin, too-pretty, too-rich for their own good into life lessons we're really glad we didn't have to learn the hard way (i.e. experience) and c) life is short, then you die so you might as well enjoy it unless you were raised Catholic and are still worrying about using too many of the world's resources while Chad's children go without clean water like my inner critic. Anyway, all this to say that I am really an eat-your-peas kind of mom, with strong opinions about what MATTERS, and yet I cannot seem to prevent myself and my daughter from indulging ourselves in a bit (or HUGE AMOUNTS) of vicarious thrill seeking otherwise known as SCREENS. Much as I find myself appalled that my Comcast homepage is nothing but one snide celeb quiz after another, I am, over time, without having given my consent to such things, completely unable to not be aware of TOM KAT's wedding, for example, and instead of rueing such knowledge, I am hopeful it will someday come in handy (like say, when I have to prove I'm really an American instead of a Russian spy, such knowledge will function as the baseball trivia of the twenty-first century.)
ALL OF WHICH brings me back to Lola Douglas' book, which I will almost certainly buy for my daughter because it looks like just the sort of thing she will INHALE and my interview with Lola re the important and not-so-important things in life (otherwise masquerading under the title of FUN.)
Despite the topic's darker subject, since the narrative is in chatty diary form, this is light, breezy and lots of fun, especially for girls with Hollywood fantasies.
HERE's OUR INTERVIEW:
- If I had to offer two bumper sticker explanations for my novel, they’d be “Appearances are deceiving” and “Mean people suck.” Tell me what your slogans would be, and why.
Since it’s a diary-format novel, I tried to think of two bumper stickers that Morgan would deign to put on whatever kind of BMW she was driving. I could totally see her having one that read “Rehab is for quitters.” After she OD’d outside the Viper Room, she spent six months at a facility getting clean. Her ongoing struggle to stay sober is a big part of both books. And a lot of MORE CONFESSIONS focuses on dealing with some of the stuff that happened to her back when she was using.
I guess the second one could be something like, “Veni, Vedi, Visa: I Came, I Saw, I Shopped.” Because Morgan is all about the shopping. Whether she’s got her starlet-sized budget or a limited amount of cash, she makes a trip to the mall an Olympic sport.
- Your two favorite movies over the past twelve months and why?
This is so embarrassing but I almost never go to the movies anymore – I can’t even keep up with my Netflix subscription! I loved Reese Witherspoon’s VANITY FAIR – the costumes alone were worth the viewing – and oh! There was a great Lifetime TV movie on a couple of weeks ago – WHY I WORE LIPSTICK TO MY MASTECTOMY. Who would’ve thought a movie about breast cancer could be so fabulous and funny?
- What was the one thing you learned in getting your book published that you were really surprised to find out?
I always thought that being a writer was about sitting at your computer and typing. Then I became an author and found out that writing is only about ten percent of your job. Twenty, if you’re lucky. The rest is about promotion and networking and answering e-mail and a million other things that take up so much of your time. I often grow nostalgic for the days when all I had to worry about was making my daily word goal.
- If you had to pick one and only one condition (beyond computer or pen and paper) that would allow you to write would it be: a. solitude b. caffiene c. sleep d. food e. sex or f. ______.
Definitely caffeine. Preferably in the form of Diet Coke.
- Do you have a favorite genre? If so, who are your three favorite writers? If not, who are your three favorite writers and how have they influenced your work?
I’m a fan of chick lit – especially that of authors like Meg Cabot, Megan McCafferty, and Sarah Dessen. Reading Meg’s Princess Diaries series definitely influenced me in the sense that it made me want to try my hand at a diary-format novel. Also, one of the many things that makes Meg such a brilliant author is how she infuses substance into these books that, on the surface, look like fluff. In one of the Princess Diaries books, Mia’s having trouble with her English teacher. The teacher thinks that Mia’s essays aren’t academic enough because they’re about pop culture. Mia challenges her on that, saying how pop culture has its place and just because something’s accessible doesn’t mean it’s unintelligent. That’s so Meg, you just know it. The critics really don’t give her enough credit