Saturday, February 21, 2009

GCC Tours Jennifer Banash and THE ELITE series

I'm so excited to have Jennifer Banash touring on my blog this week! She is an amazing writer and the author of The Elite Series. Her latest book, IN TOO DEEP, delves deeper into the glamorous and drama-filled lifestyles of the uber-cool crowd in NYC. Fans of Gossip Girls will ADORE this series that focuses on the spoiled and privileged lifestyles of the teens of the Upper East Side. Banash-- a native of the Upper East Side who currently teaches at a private high school in California--writes from an insider's perspective.


If you don’t belong here— you just don’t belong…

The Bramford building’s newest resident and small-town transplant Casey McCloy is adapting to life in the Big Apple and loving it. She’s got the look, the attitude, and a delish new boyfriend, Drew Van Allen. But she’s starting to have second thoughts as to whether the “New York” Casey is the real Casey. And she’s not so sure she likes herself much anymore. She’s not the only one.

Madison Macallister has always had her Manolo Blahniks firmly planted on the top rung of the social ladder—until that corn-fed cow Casey stole Drew away from her and made her look the fool. So what if Madison wasn’t exactly dating Drew at the time? She wanted him. And everyone knows that Madison gets what she wants, like Drew—and a little revenge.

My interview with the amazing Jennifer Banash:

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

I have never had a writing group *hangs head in shame.* But I'd like one! SoCal YA authors hit me up! I'd really love the experience of workshopping my writing with a supportive group. The first person to read anything I write is my agent--followed by my boyfriend!

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

Alexa Young. She has gotten me through bad reviews, horrible writing moments, and just plain bad days! I also talk to Robin Benway a lot online, and am dying to meet her! We are planning lunch at some date in the not-so-far-away (I hope!) future. I've just recently become friendly with Alyson Noel--she lives really close to me, so hopefully we'll meet up one of these days. Although now that she's on the NYT bestseller list and all, she may not have time for the little people . . . :) And, of course, you, Megan have offered invaluable advice. I'm so glad we got the chance to meet on Facebook! (MKH note: Awww, you are too sweet, J. I’m so happy we’re friends too!!)

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


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).

Oscar Wilde, Bret Easton Ellis, Carole Maso, Betty Smith, Joan Didion, Anna Godbersen, Maureen Johnson, Barry Lyga, and all of the GCC!

If someone was going to join your book club, what would be a “must read” in order to join?

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. No question.

What was your “initiation” to writing?

I started writing poetry when I was about 11. I was always an enormous reader though--one of those girls with the humungous stacks of books by her bed that come up past her chest? Yep, that was me!

When did you first feel that you’d officially joined the “published writers’ club”?

Umm . . . I'm still waiting? I know, I know--I'm a dork, but I still can't believe that anyone really reads my books! It's like a miracle that happens to me every day!

What was your best/worst memory of high school?

I don't have any good memories of HS--it was a scary, confusing, and chaotic time in my life. I finished HS when I was 16 because I just wanted to get the hell out of there. Maybe in some way, it's why I write YA--I have the chance to do it all over again--albeit through my characters!

In SISTERS OF MISERY, the last place new members want to go to is Misery Island. But if you had the choice, what island would you go to and what would you take with you?

Manhattan, my hometown :) I'd take my Manolo's and my beagle, Sigmund! He's never seen it!

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.

IN TOO DEEP picks up where THE ELITE leave off. Drew and Casey are now boyfriend-and-girlfriend, but things don't always go smoothly . . Without telling you TOO much, all I can say is that the plot has something to do with reality television and a FABULOUS sweet sixteen party. You should definitely pick up ITD if you are a fan of drama-packed YA, because this book has drama to spare!

Praise For THE ELITE series, and IN TOO DEEP:

The Elite is Pretty in Pink for the millennium generation.”

Romance Reviews Today

What's a Normal, Illinois girl to do when she enters the world of New York City's rich and bitchy? Hold tight, because this is one drama-filled ride."

--Melissa Walker, author of Violet on the Runway.

"In Too Deep is a seductive read."

—Innovative: A Word for the WriTeen Blog

“Fans of the drama, romance, gossip, and privileged lifestyle depicted in Gossip Girl and Blue Bloods will be drawn to In Too Deep... In Too Deep continues to showcase the glitzy and glamorous lifestyle of New York City’s privileged teens...Banash’s Elite series continues to rock above the rest.”

—The Compulsive Reader Blog

“As you know, life in the posh and drama-filled Upper East Side is never easy! Hold onto your Hermes scarves and Coach handbags, the Bram Clan is back for more action and drama!”

—The Book Vault Blog

“Banash is fabulous at creating relatable characters in over-the-top situations.”

—In Bed With Books Blog

About Jennifer Banash:

Jennifer Banash attended high school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and currently lives in Southern California with her Beagle, Sigmund, and her vast designer shoe collection. She is the author of THE ELITE series, published by Berkley Jam. Watch for the third installment of THE ELITE, SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE, coming in July 09!


IN TOO DEEP on Amazon:

THE ELITE on Amazon:

Jennifer’s Blog:

Jennifer’s Website:



So if you haven't started reading THE ELITE series, go out NOW and buy the first two in the series (The Elite and In Too Deep) and get ready to buy the third installment coming this July, SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE. Thanks so much for stopping by Jennifer!! xoxo


cool interview!
btw: i don't think anyone enjoys highschool! ;)