I had an absolutely lovely time visiting the Berwyn Public Library this past Saturday. Thank you so very much to Becky Spratford, librarian extraordinaire, for facilitating my presentation, and to all the Friends of the Library members who showed up to hear me ramble on about the importance of libraries in our lives. I know I was preaching to the choir... but I hope everyone enjoyed my Snooki snark!
Thank you so very much to the Gail Borden Library in Elgin for hosting me last Thursday night and hugs and kisses to the incredible trio of librarians who facilitated my visit: Denise, Liz and Tish. You made me feel so welcome and comfortable enough to endure The Big Questions from my charming interviewer, Robert K. Elder, writer and editor-in-chief and vice president of Digital Content for the Sun-Times Media Local. Being interviewed in front of an audience must be a bit like having sex in public (not that I've ever done that!): 1) it helps if you're a bit of an exhibitionist and 2) you really feel under pressure to do it right.
And an especially BIG thank you to Rob for asking the questions that made me sound reasonably intelligent!
She's short, tan, stupid and... pregnant. Snooki (real name: Nicole Polizzi), the Jersey Shore's tipsy Guidette, has finally spilled the beans: she and her fiance (Jionni LaVelle-- really?) are expecting. Snooki published A Shore Thing last year, the quickest book to ever hit the remainders table at Barnes and Noble. We look forward to her future literary offerings:
What to Drink While Your Expecting
Dr. Snooki's Baby and Childcare... the Guido Way
Battle Hymn of the Boozer Mom
Adults Who Act Like Children... Raising Children
Pickles and Perambulators Don't Mix
A few days ago, the Remainders 4-Ever bookstore hosted a celebrity authors panel, bringing together 5 diverse women to discuss their recently published works and the mysteries of the writing process. The following is a transcript of the lively conversation.
Moderator: Welcome, ladies. First of all, the hot burning question on everyone's mind: you have all achieved a level of fame and/or notoriety in our popular culture to the degree that you belong to the pantheon of stars known by a single name. So why go into writing, a traditionally solitary pursuit conducted outside of the spotlight?
Tyra: It's all about the brand.
Moderator: The brand?
Tyra: Yes, the Brand. My brand. Expanding the brand into new markets. Look, I'm a model, a reality-TV show star, a successful entrepreneur. But that leaves a lot of world still to be conquered. The YA market is booming. I figured it was the perfect opportunity to expand my empire. Model Land, my YA novel, is the result.
Hilary: (after consulting with a pale woman sitting behind her) I am so down with that.
Moderator: May I ask, Hilary, who is that person sitting behind you?
Hilary: What person?
Moderator: The woman sitting behind you.
Hilary: There's a person sitting behind me? (looks furtively) Oh, that person. That's just Elise.
Hilary: All right, I confess. She's my ghost speaker.
Moderator: Don't you mean 'ghostwriter?'
Hilary: Well, that, too.
Moderator: So you are willing to admit that you didn't write your young adult novel, Elixir?
Hilary: (whispering with Elise) Well, I'm a horrible speller. I can't spell a lick. When we were working on the title, I was sure it was spelled 'h-e-l-i-c-k-s-h-e-r.'
Moderator: Have you ever heard of the spellcheck feature in your word processing program?
Hilary: (whispering with Elise) Well, sure, that's a tremendous help. But I'm a little weak on the keyboarding as well. (giggles) But I can text. I'm all thumbs! (whispers with Elise) Look, I had an idea and she fleshed it out. Like, totally. She's an awesome writer.
Moderator: But that's your name on the cover.
Hilary: Well, like Tyra said, I've got the brand. Actress, singer, perfume designer, I mean, people know my name. Teens and tweens know my name. I sell.
Moderator: So, in other words, if the novel had been published under Elise's name, it wouldn't have sold? On its own merits?
Hilary: (whispering to Elise, who begins to weep silently) Whatever...
Moderator: Snooki, let me ask you, was your brand on your mind when you wrote A Shore Thing?
Moderator: Your brand? Was it on your mind?
Snooki: No, I was thinking about a nice juiced hot tanned guido.
Moderator: So A Shore Thing, which you must admit, did not sell very well considering all the publicity surrounding it's publication, so it was a roman a clef?
Snooki: Huh? What the #$%!&*$% are you sayin'?
Moderator: Roman a clef. It's a literary... thing.
Snooki: Yo, I don't read books. I don't write books. But I can sign my name on the back of a check. And that's what school's done for me. Cursive writing in the 3rd grade got me where I am today.
Tyra: Now see, this is what I'm talking about. You think I was gonna hold back from expanding my brand when an empty-headed, fake-ass tanorexic like that is getting a publishing deal with Simon & Schuster? I am absolutely more fabulous-than-thou, fierce as they come, and my tan is real. I have a bod for sin and a brain for business.
Moderator: Isn't that a line from some movie?
Tyra: Do I look like I care, honey? Do you think that these tweens and teens really care? I mean, they ate up that crap that Stephenie Meyer was serving. I mean, that crap was like Uncle Ben's Instant is to real Rice. That's a joke, get it? See I know my literary stuff, too. Anne Rice? Interview with the frickin' Vampire?
Moderator: Yes, well, moving on to you, Nicole. In your memoir - er - novel, The Thing About Diamonds, the plot centers around Chloe, a beautiful girl adopted by a famous singer who grows up in the hard-partying world of Hollywood night clubs. So, where did you get your ideas?
Nicole: (giggling) You know what they say, write about what you know.
Moderator: Paris, in your book Confessions of an Heiress, did you follow that advice as well?
Paris: I don't listen to a word Miss Thing says anymore.
Moderator: Well, it's not Nicole's advice. It's advice given to writers just...
Lauren: Look, you know, it's all about the fame.
Moderator: Hmmm, isn't that one of Lady Gaga's--
Lauren: Oh, please, who's original anymore? I've been on two, that's right, Snooki, two reality-TV shows. And it's the name that counts. Didn't you see that video of the two guidettes who actually bought Spray-tan's book? They told the reporter they weren't even planning to read the thing. They just wanted it cuz of the name attached.
Tyra: Fame is the name of the game.
Moderator: (audible sigh) More plagiarism. Don't you ladies have any original thoughts in your brains?
Hilary: (as Elise whispers in her ear) All my thoughts are original.
Tyra: Honey, originality is highly over-rated. Why do you think every other book in the store is a flippin' paranormal romance right now? They want more where that came from. They want to know who else you're like ...not if you have an original voice.
Snooki: (being restrained from commiting a violent act by a security guard) Well, ain't no one like me! I am the original guidette!
Moderator: (wiping brow) Thank god for small favors.
Tyra: Don't believe it. She's a dime a dozen. That's the problem. Too many bubble-heads with brands.
Snooki: (being hauled away by security guard) Look b*%$^!h, I'm gonna use my brand for good. After I run for president, I would get $h!t done in this country. The economy would rise, everyone would be tan, and all the radios would play house music.
Moderator: That's really all the discussion that we have time for... time to sell and sign!
To find out more about me, click on the Not Your Average Jo tab.