Monday, November 20, 2006

I Must Confess!

Hello, blog-readers and welcome to Lola Douglas, my Girlfriends Cyber Circuit pal and author of the successful "Hollywood Starlet" series for Young Adults! Superstar Lola took the time out of her busy starlet life to catch up with the paparazzi (that would be me) and answer a few questions! Big movie star air-kisses to Lola!


When she was five, Lola Douglas wanted to be an actress like her then-hero, Drew Barrymore. Instead, she became a supermarket checkout girl, a video store clerk, an administrative assistant, a features reporter and a textbook development editor before deciding that writing teen novels was her real forte. Lola has lived in seven of our great United States, including Indiana, and says that during her five-and-a-half month stint in Fort Wayne no one ever forced her to see the movie Hoosiers. She was, however, coaxed into auditioning for a part as an extra in a Neil LaBute film (Your Friends and Neighbors, to be exact), but was rejected during the first round. When not watching too much reality television, reading Gawker, or obsessing over all things Marc Jacobs, Lola can be found working on her next super secret project, which will be published in 2008.

To this day, she remains fascinated with Drew Barrymore.



Razorbill/Penguin Young Readers Group

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.


Kirkus Reviews
The continuing travails of 17-year-old Morgan … come across with delightful zing, yet address serious subjects. … Douglas manages the lightest of styles while delving into deep issues for adolescents. Fun, breezy entertainment with thoughtful undertones.

More gossipy stuff for all those YA readers who love to think about celebrities and dream about their lives. ... This sequel [is] appealing.

Saving the World Daily Through Information (blog of YA librarian “Cedarlibrarian”)
The sequel does not disappoint. … This book has a lot more serious content than the first, but it's by no means gloom and doom. There's lots of girly brand-dropping, Hollywood gossipy angst, and romance. Verdict: Style and substance.

A Chair, A Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy (blog of YA librarian Liz B.)
If I didn't know better, I'd say Lola is the pseudonym of Drew Barrymore. Maybe someone 'in' the industry would be able to point out howlers and mistakes galore, but the essence is what is important: Lola respects these teens, the Britneys and Lindsays, MaryKates and Ashleys and Mischas. She respects Hollywood and the entertainment industry, yet is not seduced by it. This isn't a rosy picture of tinsel town. But it is a wake up call to the public not to judge teenagers by ridiculously high standards; to the adults in the profession to be adults, not business managers; and to the teens themselves, saying, you have choices.


Razorbill/Penguin Young Readers Group

Teen star Morgan Carter's mom is trying to kill her. At least, that's what Morgan thinks when she's sent to Ft. Wayne, Indiana after a near overdose outside LA's Viper Room.

Morgan's going to recover out of the spotlight. Way out. She's given a major make-under, a new name, and a completely different identity. Morgan's plan? To write a tell-all book about her experience and stage a comeback. But when this LA girl finds love and a new life in Middle America, will she abandon it for another shot at superstardom?


School Library Journal
This tell-all journal-style story is nearly as amusing and compelling as Meg Cabot's "Princess Diaries" and Louise Rennison's "Georgia Nicolson" series.

Kirkus Reviews
Despite the topic's darker subject, since the narrative is in chatty diary form, this is light, breezy and lots of fun, especially for girls with Hollywood fantasies.

(Starred Review) An absorbing read. Who has not imagined themselves in the ranks of the wealthy and famous, the mundane life a mask for the glamorous persona fighting to get out? The themes of finding the joys of the simple life, making true friends, accepting responsibility, and overcoming drug addiction are also well realized.

RomanticTimes Book Club
Told via the heroine's humorous journal entries, this cute tale shows the downside of being a young star. Readers will root for Morgan and yell at her when she veers off track. With a charming ending that leaves a few loose ends for the
book's sequel, due in the fall of '06, this unpredictable tome is pure enjoyment.
Morgan is charming (even when she's obnoxious), witty, fun, and most importantly, a multifaceted person who has to overcome a lot of garbage in her life. Meg Cabot fans, this is the book to pick up while you're waiting for the next Princess Diaries installment.

The Tampa Tribune
Written in a confessional journal style, with plenty of real-life name dropping, Lola Douglas' teen novel, "True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet," has mass appeal.

The Des Moines Register
This funny, diary-format novel ... is a satisfying read, with more depth and heart than most chick lit. Teen Review
A great read!! I could not put it down. Morgan told her story through journal entries, and she told it very well. I found myself laughing at her various experiences and firsts as she tried to play the part of an average American girl. I found myself overwrought with sadness and sympathy for "Claudia" with all the secrets she had to keep, and all of her thoughts she had that she didn't belong anywhere. All I can say is, I can't wait until the sequel comes out! Anyone looking for a good book, read "True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet!"

Children's Literature
Morgan's story, told in journal form, is one in which a spoiled Hollywood brat transforms into a charming, at times obnoxious, yet witty and fun character who overcomes a lot of garbage in her life to discover who she really is. Overall, it provides a great read.

The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Douglas does a remarkable job of rejecting caricatured stereotypes of either midwestern teens or Hollywood starlets, instead creating realistic, complex characters who just happen to move in worlds so far removed from each other that misunderstandings are inevitable. (Recommended)

The first of what will become a popular series. (4Q/4P)

1. How did you get this idea for this book? Please describe how
the book grew from a glimmer of an idea into a whole novel.

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. 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.

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 now, instead of constantly worrying about her secret identity getting exposed, now she’s faced with a whole new set of problems: dodging paparazzi 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. The same old co-star that’s been haunting Morgan’s dreams since the night he date-raped her several years prior.

I’ve been a fan of Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries series since its inception, and I 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 a 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?

2. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Just to keep writing. Have faith in your own words, and don’t give up no matter how many rejections you receive. Work your craft, have patience and perseverance, and it will happen.

3. What's your writing day like? Any tips or tricks for getting organized?

*snort* That’s like asking Pig Pen for cleaning tips. I’m totally disorganized and don’t have any kind of set schedule. The only constant I have is that I must consume mass quantities of caffeine when I write.

4. What's been the most exciting thing about publishing? The most

It’s all very exciting, and it’s all very frustrating. Exciting when people read your words and tell you that they made them laugh or cry or think. Frustrating because in this publishing climate, it’s difficult to get your book into readers’ hands.

5. Do you think you might write a follow-up to this book? If not,
what else is in the works?

I’d love to write a third installment – I have the story roughed out and everything. Currently, though, I’m working on a book about a girl named Gretchen and her involvement with a TV show called SILVER SPRING. But that’s about all I can say about that for now!

Thank you so much, Lola! Lola's books are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your best choice, your indy retailer.