With The Oscars coming up this Sunday, I have been indulging in a bit of guilty, Hollywood reading pleasure (while simultaneously indulging in chocolate of course). Blame It on the Fame is the debut novel of the talented Tracie Banister, and it is the perfect read to get you in the mood for the red carpet and some behind-the-scenes Hollywood gossip! In Blame It on the Fame, we follow five best actress hopefuls in the weeks leading up to The Oscars, and in the process, we get a glimpse into their exciting, scandalous, and sometimes disastrous lives. I was amazed at how well Tracie developed all five leading ladies and their stories—so much so that I couldn’t help but envision this story on the big screen. The dialogue was fresh and funny, the romance was steamy, and the scenes were jam-packed with emotion, making it difficult to put down! I especially loved the scenes with Philippa and Miles—two British actors who have an explosive on-again/off-again romance, and I adored how Tracie tied it all up in the end at the big ceremony. I can’t tell you who wins or how it ends though . . . you will just have to read it yourself!
For my own little red carpet interview on Chocolate for Writers, we have Tracie here with us to answer a few questions!
1) Tell us a little bit about your new release, Blame It on the Fame.
Blame It on the Fame tells the story of the five women who are vying for the Best Actress award at this year’s Oscars. These are five very different ladies, ranging in age from 24 to 48, and they are all at very different places in their lives and careers. For some, this nomination is a dream come true. For others, it’s a nightmare. All of them will experience tremendous highs and lows on their journey to the ultimate red carpet event.
2) Reading your book was like a true, behind the scenes (read: juicy!) look at what goes on in Hollywood. Have you always been fascinated by the Hollywood scene? When and how did the idea for Blame It on the Fame come to you?
I've always loved movies and the glamour of Hollywood. When I was a child, I would stay up late and watch classic films on TV and I devoured the biographies of screen greats like Vivien Leigh, Ava Gardner, Cary Grant, and Audrey Hepburn. I even stood in line for hours to get autobiographies signed by Ginger Rogers and Lauren Bacall. As an adolescent, I was more interested in reading People and Rona Barrett’s Hollywood than I was in Tiger Beat. And when Entertainment Tonight premiered; it immediately became appointment TV for me. I put off doing my homework every night until I'd gotten my celebrity scoop. My fascination with Hollywood continues to this day - checking entertainment websites while I eat my breakfast is standard operating procedure for me.
My mother was the one who put the bee in my bonnet about writing an Oscar-themed book. I was actually surprised when I looked into it and discovered that no one had written a novel about the Best Actress nominees. That just seemed like a natural to me. Five different woman all thrust into the world's most glaring spotlight at the same time? How much fun could I have with that premise? A lot, as it turned out.
3) Have you ever wanted to be an actress?
Ha ha. No way. I hate to be the center of attention. Plus, I have no natural affinity for performing (I learned that the hard way in the one and only drama class I took) and I don't like doing something unless I can do it really well. Writing has always been my forte.
4) I love how you chose actresses for each of your main characters on your blog. Who would you choose to play the leading lady in the story of your life, if it were to be made into a movie?
Thanks. I always find it fascinating to read who my favorite authors envision as their characters, so I thought I'd do the same for my readers. As for who I'd want to play me in the story of my life, I'd say Reese Witherspoon since we have a passing resemblance to each other and she's a sassy, Southern gal like yours truly.
5) Favorite actor and actress? If you could meet any actor or actress, who would it be?
EEK! It's so hard to choose just one. Truth be told, I transferred my Kenneth Branagh crush (So brilliant! So charming!) to Philippa in Blame It on the Fame. And my fondness for the quirkiness of Johnny Depp to Jordan. Meryl Streep is definitely my favorite actress, and she seems like such a funny, together lady in real life. I'd love to sit down and have a chat with her.
6) What's next on the horizon after Blame It on the Fame?
My next release will be a Chick Lit novel about a Latina psychologist, which is set in Miami. I think it'll be a great beach read for the summer, so I plan to get that out in May. I'm currently working on the first book in a series that I'm classifying as "Regency Chick Lit" as it will focus on the romantic trials and tribulations of the young ladies in an aristocratic English family circa 1814.
For anyone interested in checking out Tracie’s novel, you can find it on Amazon and Smashwords, and check her website for the latest on her upcoming novels. Also, Tracie will be tweeting live during The Oscars this Sunday, so if you’re into the glitz and glam of Hollywood and want to join in on the Twitter party, you can find Tracie on twitter.
Thanks for the fabulous interview, Tracie, and for the amazing, juicy read. I cannot wait for your next book!