Wednesday, July 30, 2008

GCC Tours More Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet by Lola Douglas

Lola Douglas's latest novel, More Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet, is a sequel to True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet, which has been turned into a Lifetime movie airing August 9th, at 9 p.m. Lola (or Lara as she is also known) will be blogging LIVE during the premiere of the Lifetime movie on 8/9 at 9 p.m. Definitely check it out!

Here's a quick summary of her newest book:

Just when Morgan Carter was falling in love with the simple life she'd built in Fort Wayne, Indiana, her true identity as an infamous Hollywood starlet was exposed. Now Morgan has a choice to make: return to her glamorous movie star existence--or stick with the wholesome life, and the new love, she's found in the Midwest. In this sequel to True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet, Lola Douglas's heartfelt prose and headstrong heroine return to delight readers.

Lola was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to answer some quick questions for me as part of the Girlfriend Cyber Circuit (GCC) tour:


In my debut novel, SISTERS OF MISERY, the main group of mean girls call themselves the Sisters of Misery since they take part in orientation rituals on Misery Island. Here are some questions for you about your own cliques (hopefully they aren’t as mean as the ones in my story!)

Do you (or did you ever) have a writing group? Who are the first people to read your book once it’s completed?

I’ve been fortunate to be part of two very wonderful – and very different – writing groups. The first consisted of classmates from the MFA program at Emerson College. Four out of five of us sold our first novels within a year of each other. The fifth member sold his after taking a hiatus to be a stay-at-home dad.

That group disbanded after a couple of years, mostly because all of us were on different pub schedules and had different needs. Now I work with a group of talented women locally. They actually all started as writing students of mine at a YMCA class. That was five years ago. Back then, I couldn’t get them to commit to writing three paragraphs for homework. These days they’re all working on novels. We call ourselves the WIPs, for Works In Progress.

I’m not private about first drafts, but I’m not eager to have a lot of eyes on them, either. My mom doesn’t get to read my stuff until the galley stage. My fiancĂ© waits until publication.

What writers do you consider your “sisters”? Are there any published writers that you hang out or tour with a lot? Call? Email? IM?

Fellow GCC’er Laurie Stolarz and I started out in YA around the same time at Emerson College. I feel like we grew up together, at least in terms of this genre and this business. My second novel, CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE, is dedicated to her and our grad school mentor, Lisa Jahn-Clough. Liz Gallagher is another student of Lisa’s who Lisa introduced me to over e-mail. Her parents lived near mine, so one Christmas when she was home for a visit we grabbed lunch. We quickly became good friends because we’re so much alike and have followed similar paths. Finally, another GCC’er, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, is my pop culture soul sister. We keep in touch mostly through our blogs, but seriously – the two of us could throw the most kick-ass slumber party ever.

Who do you find yourself being compared to or are often put together with in reading lists or book clubs?

My Lola books have been compared to Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries series, I guess because they’re funny and laden with pop culture references. Also, because of the subject matter, they’re often grouped with other books having to do with celebrity culture.

What writers do you wish would be in your “clique”? (It doesn’t have to be in your genre….doesn’t even have to be living! For example, I’d pick Alice Hoffman, Jodi Picoult, Sarah Dessen, Oscar Wilde, Stephenie Meyer, Meg Cabot, Stephen King and Joan Didion).

I’d want Sarah Dessen, E. Lockhart, and Meg Cabot, no question. Also Megan McCafferty, Jennifer Weiner, and Janet Evanovich. I know that last one seems a little out of place but every woman in my life is addicted to the Stephanie Plum series, and I got indoctrinated last spring. They are hilarious! Total mind candy.

Finally, what can you tell me about your book? Give me a quick run-down about why I’d want to pick it for my own book club.

MORE CONFESSIONS OF A HOLLYWOOD STARLET is my second installment in a series about Morgan Carter, who's loosely based on a young Drew Barrymore (and not Lindsay Lohan, as most readers assume). At 16, Morgan OD's outside of L.A.'s notorious viper room and almost dies. So her mother and agent ship her off to rehab for six months. When she emerges, she can't get any work. So her agent cooks up this scheme in which Morgan will go live with a family friend in Indiana and attend high school undercover, then emerge a year later and write a tell-all novel that will re-launch her career. This is all in the first book, TRUE CONFESSIONS OF A HOLLYWOOD STARLET, which was adapted into a TV movie that premiers on Lifetime August 9th at 9 p.m.

So MORE CONFESSIONS picks up a month after Morgan's been outed and has decided to stay in Indiana to finish out her school year. Only instead of constantly worrying about her secret identity getting exposed, now she's faced with a whole new set of problems: the paparazzi stalking her on school grounds, her love interest feeling insecure now that he knows he's involved with a famous actress, her mother pressuring her to lose weight and clean up her image, and an old co-star claiming to be involved with her because it makes for good press.

I've been a fan of Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries series since its inception, and I'd really wanted to try my hand at a diary format novel. So I tried to think of whose diary I'd want to read. Drew was the first person who popped into my mind. I chose Fort Wayne as the setting because I lived there for several months after college and it was a total culture shock. I thought, what better way to throw a teen starlet out of her element than to send her to a mostly land-locked state that's a good three-hour drive from the nearest big city?

Both books are fun summer reads – you can even buy TRUE CONFESSIONS in a splash-proof paperback version!