Monday, January 15, 2007

Libby Street, Accidental IT Girl

A long time ago, I was going insane trying to run a celebrity gossip site. I had to stay on top of the very latest celeb gossip and post those paparazzi photos of stars outside without makeup and looking all messy and normal, gosh I love those pictures. I was also working on my book which would later turn out to be A Thousand Dollars for a Kiss.

A friend suggested I make the main character into a female paparazzi, an agent told me the same thing. As tempting as it was, I refrained from changing my story but guess what? The Accidental IT Girl by Libby Street (two authors, one name) is about a female paparazzi. Sadie Price has the terrible job of trailing stars and catching them walking down the street or eating dinner or doing something they shouldn't be (Britney, I'm talking to YOU!) doing. Sadie gets a dose of her own medicine when a handsome celeb starts stalking her to show how it feels to move through life with a camera lens in your face, the click click click of the shutter never far behind.

A fun book, Accidental IT Girl gives the reader a glimpse of what it's like to have your photos splashed in the tabloids along with fabricated stories. You will tear through this book quickly, it's the perfect novel to read on a lazy afternoon. It's quick and humorous and those of you who cannot live without your daily dose of celebrity gossip sites will appreciate it.

Who are your favorite celebrities to read about? What do you think was the juiciest gossip of 2006?

Sarah and I both enjoy a good George Clooney story. He seems to live an old Hollywood lifestyle that's particularly attractive to us. He doesn't take himself too seriously, and manages somehow to float through the mayhem of the industry with a wry wink and a smile. Plus, stories about him are few and far between these days, which makes them a real treat to savor when they pop up.

As for the juiciest gossip of 2006. . .that's a tough one. Last year wasn't packed with the "secrets revealed" kind of gossip, which is what I think of when you say "juicy." I would say the story of the year was the TomKat wedding. I found the whole thing fascinating--almost like investigating a bizarre foreign culture. Their lives are so far out of my frame of reference that it ceases to be gossip and enters the realm of anthropological study. You know? At a certain point, some famous people begin living by a whole new set of rules. Literally anything is possible for them. I love to see what they do with that.

Kevin Federline: gangsta rapper or joke? Where do you imagine he will be next year this time?

Well, I hate to put anyone down--gives me the creepy crawlies--but I have to say that Sarah and I both agree on this one. K-Fed is a joke. He seems to be the kind of guy who craves fame at any cost. I don’t get the feeling that rapping is something Kevin has had a passion for all his life, and dreamed about since he was little. I think this time next year K-Fed will probably be knee-deep in litigation over a tell-all book he's peddling to publishing houses.

Sometimes I think the paparazzi go to far, like zooming into someone's backyard or following them to the point they feel threatened. But part of being a celebrity is having your photo taken when you are walking down the street or eating lunch at The Ivy. What do you think?

It's a very fine line that the paparazzi and celebrities walk. They're so symbiotic. Celebs need publicity to succeed, but they need a private life to stay sane. It's a real coup when a celebrity can structure his or her life so that there's a balance.

If you could trade places with a celebrity for a day who would you switch lives with?

Hmmm. That's a toughie. I know I should say someone fabulous and glamorous like Nicole Kidman or Beyonce or something, but really I think I'd like to trade places with J.K. Rowling. Firstly because, well, she's richer than the Queen of England and I do love to shop. And second, because I'm dying to read the next book--even a tatty first draft.

How do you girls write together? What is your writing schedule? Do you ever get in arguments about how a scene should play out or what a character should say or do?

We write back and forth with each of us reading, editing, and adding to the work of the other. I write during the week, while Sarah's at her day job. Sarah works on weekends, holidays and sometimes nights. One or the other of us is always working on it.

Amazingly, we haven't ever really argued about story or character. When we have a difference of opinion on something we'll talk it out, and each lay out or respective case. We always manage to come to a consensus about what should be done. Often times we'll come up with something even better than either of our individual ideas.

Sure, the paparazzi are given a bad rap. But without them, we wouldn't be able to see Angelina shopping with Maddox or Jen on the beach gazing forlornly out into the ocean. Paparazzi: good people or necessary evil?

Well, one of the things Sarah and I came to realize while writing Accidental It Girl is that being a paparazzi is just a job, like any other job. They're working to pay their rent and put their kids through school just like the rest of the world. I mean, they do tend to be adrenaline junkies who don't mind occasionally staying up all night, but other than that, they're just people making a living. And, so are celebrities. It's hard to choose sides. Especially when you realize that all the paparazzi are doing is filling a demand.

If we, the public, didn't want to see pics of Angelina shopping with Maddox, they wouldn't shoot them. By the same token, I understand how bad it must feel to never be allowed to do the simplest thing without someone watching. And then you have to consider that the movie industry is set up to encourage the promotion of stars as a commodity and all actors know this when they sign up for the job. It's a total conundrum. When we began writing Accidental It Girl, Sarah and I thought we could maybe find the answers to some of these puzzles. Sadly, it just made us more confused.

How has life changed since your first book was published?

Very little, to be honest. The only real difference is that when I write something now I'm pretty sure someone will read it. When we wrote Happiness Sold Separately Sarah and I slaved away in our little rooms hoping against hope that someone other than our mothers might look at it. Writing could sometimes feel futile, like "what if I spend four months chained to this computer and then no one even reads this?" It's much less depressing now--good for the sanity. Oh, and I have a lot more friends on MySpace. Ha!


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