A huge Murderati welcome to Alison Gaylin who’s sitting in for me today. Her new hardcover from NAL debuted in September and it sounds absolutely tantalizing:
From Publishers Weekly
Gaylin’s giddy hardcover debut follows young reporter Simone Glass on her short but shocking infiltration of Hollywood’s sleazy side. Simone, a recent Columbia journalism grad, heads for L.A. to work for a slick weekly that goes out of business almost immediately. She grabs a position at the L.A. bureau of the trashy tabloid Asteroid and plunges into the world of celebrity gossip. Reluctantly rummaging through TV superstar Emerald Deegan’s garbage, Simone discovers a shoe belonging to the recently murdered comeback kid Nia Lawson. Then Emerald becomes the next victim, and one of her bracelets is found in another future victim’s trash. When Simone carelessly wears the bracelet to a party, she catches the killer’s eye as a potential target. Gaylin (You Kill Me) has tremendous fun with stereotypical tabloid fodder, from a closeted gay superstar and a desperate, underage stripper to wild Hollywood parties and car chases. The hectic pace and huge cast of extras keep the reader guessing right to the end.
And now for Alison’s fun blog:
The best thing about promoting my new book, TRASHED, is that I get to talk about what inspired it: the wacky nine months I spent – after college and before graduate school – as a reporter for The Star. This was not the glossy Bonnie Fullerized Star you see today. It was a serious, down-and-dirty supermarket tabloid whose main competition was the National Enquirer, and encouraged its reporters to do anything and everything to get celebrity scoop.
So, these days, when I’m doing speaking engagements, I don’t really spend a lot of time discussing my writing schedule or how I come up with ideas or my relationship with my editor or what it took to get published… Instead, I get to go into the specifics of posing as an extra on the sets of bad TV movies. I can talk about chatting up bouncers and sneaking into celebrity weddings and funerals and the waiting rooms of plastic surgeons offices. At most of these engagements, I like to detail my first night on the job, driving through Beverly Hills, feeling terrified and amazed — and sort of nauseous – the backseat of my car filled with Roseanne Barr’s fresh, stinking garbage bags.
Here’s what I find most interesting about all this. At every single speaking engagement I’ve done where I’ve mentioned my trash-stealing exploits, no one has asked me, How could you do something like that? No one has said, Did you have trouble sleeping at night? But the one question I’ve gotten every single time is this: What was in Roseanne’s garbage?
During that whole strange and smelly ride back to The Star’s West Coast office, I was thinking, Why am I doing this? And now, all these years later, I finally have my answer. People want to know.
Well, most people. There are those who tell me they couldn’t care less about celebrities… but they usually follow that up with a caveat involving Britney or Lindsay (not that they care or anything, but what is up with those girls?)
I look at my own books – all that time I spend trying to invent interesting characters and surprising plot twists and scary, dramatic murders, all in the hopes winning over a few thousand new readers… and then I look at the 1.5 million people who buy the magazine I now work for every single week, just so they can find out why Angelina snapped at Brad in an elevator.
I wish I could get to exactly what it is that fascinates people about certain celebrities. If I could, I would bottle it and pour it all over my manuscripts and watch the money and fame roll in. And here’s the best part: Since I’d be a rich famous author, no one would care about what was in my garbage.
Are there certain celebrities you want to know everything about? I’d love to hear which ones, and why (and, since I’m still in entertainment journalism, I might be able to provide you with some information!)
PS The most surprising thing we found in Roseanne’s garbage was several copies of the National Enquirer. It really pissed off my boss.
Alison Gaylin is the author of the Edgar-nominated HIDE YOUR EYES and its sequel YOU KILL ME. Her first hardcover, TRASHED, is out now on NAL/Obsidian. Her website: www.alisongaylin.com. She regularly blogs at First Offenders. www.firstoffenders.typepad.com.