Lauren Lipton interviews Cindy B.Lauren Lipton is a totally cool chick with a great sense of humor so it's natural that I asked her to do an interview for this blog. I couldn't very well interview myself now could I? I appreciate every single person who has read the book and emailed me or posted a review online, the positive reviews mean a lot. The negative ones crush my soul like a lead weight to the chest. You must keep in mind that the main character is a celebrity obsessed, tabloid reading girl who is at times, unlikable, but aren't we all sometimes? The book is light and humorous, if you are looking for a heavy serious read, please - this isn't the book for you. Try The Old Man and the Sea or something.
If you find yourself paging through US Magazine or sneaking peeks at Star on the checkout line at the grocery store, or if you can't begin your day without looking at celebrity gossip, blogs and websites well, then I think you will enjoy this little story of a woman who can't stop obsessing about Hollywood.
I was flattered when Cindy Bokma asked me to be a guest interviewer on her blog, Conversations With Famous Writers. After all, Cindy is one of the wittiest, most creative interviewers I’ve met. She asks questions beyond the typical “Where do you get your ideas?” and takes the time to actually read the book she’s discussing. (You’d be surprised how many interviewers don’t.)
Now it’s Cindy’s turn for the spotlight: She’s written her first novel, A Thousand Dollars For a Kiss. It’s a Hollywood satire with a heroine who’s a lot like Cindy and a villainess who’s a lot like…well, you be the judge. Here are my questions—and Cindy’s thoughts on fame, Phantom Of the Opera, and force-feeding the Olsen twins.
author of It’s About Your Husband
In A Thousand Dollars For a Kiss, heroine Barrett Greer wants to be famous so badly she can taste it. She’s in it for the free stuff and the parties. What aspect of fame most appeals to you?
Besides the big house, the fancy car, the endless designer clothes, worldwide travel and the fact I could send both kids to a fabulous college? Nothing.
Seriously, I would like to never have to worry about money and to be able to do wonderful things for people who need help. Being able to change people’s lives would be better than attending the Oscars while wearing a Valentino gown and being driven around town in a fully loaded stretch Hummer with my best girlfriends.
Why is our society so obsessed with celebrities? Do people really worship these stars and want to be like them? Or do we actually just love to mock them? And where do you fit on this continuum?
They live a charmed life that we may never experience so the best we can do is live vicariously. I can only imagine being Victoria Beckham and shopping for a multimillion-dollar house in Beverly Hills with a circular driveway made of imported Italian stone. Some people probably want to be like the stars, that’s why so many young girls dress like an Olsen twin. Since celebs live such outrageous lives, the best we can do is mock them for their crazy spending and habits and behavior.
You had a lot of authentic-sounding gossip in your book. How much time do you spend on AwfulPlasticSurgery.com and Gawker?
I ran a gossip website for a year and that satire writing comes easily to me; it’s so much fun. I will admit to checking dlisted.com every morning, noon and night to see the latest gossip and photos. And who doesn’t love those “before” photos on Awful Plastic Surgery!?
If it’s true that every woman in Los Angeles has had work done, then perhaps you’ve had a little Botox or teeth-whitening—or a complete body- and face overhaul. Okay, kidding about that last one,
but will you cop to any artificial enhancements?
Yeah, very funny! Since I don’t live exactly in Los Angeles, I didn’t have to have the required plastic surgery to fit in. No enhancements here, although I would be very happy to receive a free boob job. However, I do brush my teeth with a tooth-whitening toothpaste and wear a padded bra.
Oops, Cindy, the paparazzi have just caught you doing something slightly ridiculous. Where are you, and what are you doing?
I am singing my head off to my Phantom Of the Opera soundtrack with the windows of my car down. Or else looking at myself in the reflection of my knife at a restaurant and applying lip gloss. Sorry, I always wear panties and seldom go out at night so I wouldn’t be caught doing anything terribly exciting or Page Six-worthy.
Barrett wants to make over half the women she meets, including her mousy co-worker Arvis and, most of all, the skanky pop star Kat Savage. (Hmm. Whom did you model her after?) Which person—famous or not—would you most like to get your hands on?
I would force-feed the Olsen twins and Nicole Richie, making them eat hero sandwiches and ice cream bars until the scale tipped 105—individually. I would dye Hilary Duff’s hair back to blond and make Nicole Kidman stop with the Botox already!
You’re such a steady and devoted blogger. How has your blogging helped with your book? Do you procrastinate on your novel-writing by working on your blog instead? Because that’s what I’d do.
I should be working on my sequel to A Thousand Dollars for a Kiss, but instead I’ve been updating my blogs this afternoon.
Blogging really has helped with my writing because I am forced to blog—I have to keep updating the sites or I will lose my audience. Writing my gossip site definitely helped me to become more creative and descriptive. Making myself sit down and be disciplined with writing is the key to getting better at it, I hope.
The great thing about the Internet is that anyone can post his or her opinion about your book. What’s the funniest or most edifying comment from a complete stranger you’ve read so far about A Thousand Dollars?
When I hear from people who aren’t friends or relatives telling me how great the book is, that is the best feeling in the world—seriously better than a hot stone massage. The fact that someone stayed up all night reading a book I wrote is a pretty amazing compliment. I love it. Someone wrote to tell me she thought she was the only one addicted to celebrity gossip, and that she totally identified with the character of Barrett. That was awesome to read.
What are you working on now? Tell me we’re going see Arvis in your next book, actually happily settled in Omaha with a handsome husband and two adorable kids.
Arvis doesn’t really figure into this book, but look for her to resurface in book three. The sequel to A Thousand Dollars for a Kiss will heavily feature Marilyn Monroe. I have long been a fan of Marilyn’s and I came up with a plot to write about Barrett and Marilyn. I’m going really slow with this book because I want to do it right.
What’s your dream job? Or are you doing it now?
I would be very content if my author interviews and /or beauty reviews (www.hellodollface.com) were featured in a magazine every month. Besides that, I dream of taking good books and turning them into movies. Working for a production company where I could help cast the movie versions of books, driving my Infiniti FX35 to work every day, would be a dream.
I shouldn’t discount the fact that I can sit at my computer in my relatively clean home every day and write, rather than working at a sewage plant. But I still really want that new car. And a job in the movies. Behind the scenes, of course.