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Friday, April 4, 2008

Author Visit: Debbie Reed Fischer

Please welcome the author of Braless in Wonderland...

and the upcoming Swimming with Sharks...

Debbie Reed Fischer!

Did you have an “ah-ha” moment that made you decide to write a book about the model biz? What was that moment?

I had many a-ha moments working as a booker. It’s a wacky, surreal business. At different times in my career, I repped all kinds of talent: Models, actors, comedians, athletes, kids, animals. How could I not be inspired to write? With models, I guess what struck me the most was the discovery that a lot of my preconceived notions about them were dead wrong, especially the most common belief, that models are stupid. They’re not stupid. Many are just really young, from small, rural towns, very wide-eyed at the glitz and glamour of it all. When people ask me if models are dumb, I answer, “How smart would you be if you were a teen making $1500 a day, in a city for the first time, away from your family and on your own?” It’s true that many young models do miss out on a college education, but there is no shortage of intelligence. I repped models who had been accepted to Harvard, who were law students, who had their own businesses at the age of eighteen. Models are a varied bunch; they just happen to have the right height and bone structure, as well as that illusive “X” factor, the mystery gene that makes them photograph well. The college issue is not an easy choice for some of them, though, and it’s something that definitely inspired a lot of BRALESS IN WONDERLAND.

So…South Beach. :) Beautiful people, lots of talent. Do you have a wacky or memorable moment to share during your time as a model booker?

Too many to count, but the one that comes to mind is the time I had a booking for a gorgeous French model/dancer named Florence. It was for a film and the scene was a hip South Beach dance party. She was told to wear something sexy and fun. I let my assistant take care of the booking because I was really busy that day casting drag queens for the film The Bird Cage. So my assistant sent Florence, only she sent the wrong Florence. You see, we represented two Florences: the French beauty, plus another lady who was approximately 90 years old and had been a Zeigfield girl way back when. The ancient Florence, who was very excited to have a booking after so many years, especially one that wasn’t for Metamucil or a cruise line, showed up to the set in a limo wearing a ballgown and feather boa. Luckily, the client had a sense of humor. He was cool about it and actually let her stay and do the job. The other Florence never found out she lost a booking.

What was your writing process for BRALESS IN WONDERLAND?

I was always taking notes on everyone and everything when I was a booker. Years later, I still had those notes and used them when I was writing the book. It makes every scene really authentic. Also, one of my closest friends is still in the business and I often ran bits of the book by her since some things have changed in the last few years. Her name is Allee. I named my main character after her.

Tell us about “the call”—the moment you learned BRALESS IN WONDERLAND was going to be published.

I was home when my agent called to tell me he had an offer for me from Dutton. I shook, I cried, and I yelled stupidly, “HOW DID YOU DO THAT?!” Then when my kids came home that day, we released balloons into the sky and talked about how dreams can come true. We decided to celebrate June 14 as our own family holiday every year because that’s the date I got the call. Except we don’t release balloons any more because it’s bad for the ozone layer. We just eat cake and discuss our goals and dreams. The kids also discuss how weird I am to invent a holiday based on a phone call.

What’s the coolest thing about being an author?

Meeting other authors like you. :) Being part of the writing community is wonderful.

Your author photo is gorgeous! How do we (meaning the style challenged) get model-blown hair in our author photos?

LOL - find a good hairstylist! A good photographer helps too. That photo was taken by Niki Taylor’s mom, Barbara Taylor. She is a photographer in addition to being a Supermodel mom. And to tell you the truth, my hair is usually in a pony tail.

What’s one tip you could share with aspiring writers that you’ve learned recently.

Read what blows your skirt up, write as much as you can, take workshops, attend conferences, meet as many other writers as you can, and most importantly, never, ever give up. The biggest reason why writers don’t get published is because they give up. Keep going. For writing tips, I have a lot on my website: www.debbiereedfischer.com. Feel free to add your own writing tips there. I love being inspired by other writers.

JB: I’ve got to agree with Debbie about reading what you love. Study your favorite novels and take notes on how the stories progress, the characters evolve and how the author managed to hook YOU.

What’s next? Any new projects on the horizon?

My second YA comes out in September. It’s called SWIMMING WITH THE SHARKS. The main character is Peyton, who has finally earned a coveted spot on the varsity cheerleading squad. For her, it’s the end of standing on the social sidelines and the beginning of being in the Alpha Clique. The problems start when Lexie, the charismatic and powerful squad captain, orders Peyton and her team mates to drive another girl off the squad by bullying her. As the cruel hazing spirals out of control, Peyton is torn by her conscience, yet seduced by the chance to have everything she wants.

Now, because Debbie is so fabulous, she's giving away a killer prize package! ONE lucky commenter will win a signed copy of BRALESS IN WONDERLAND and a pair of adorable Havianas in your choice of size and color. Just leave a comment on BlogSpot, LiveJournal or in both places to win. You have until Sunday (April 6) at 10pm EST to enter. The lucky winner will be announced on Monday and she/he will have 48 hours to follow instructions posted on Monday and contact me about claiming the prize.

Good luck!

About Debbie:

Author Debbie Reed Fischer is no stranger to the modeling business, having worked for many years as a model booker in Miami, where the daily dramas of the weird and the beautiful inspired her to write Braless in Wonderland. Other job adventures from her past include hosting a cable TV show for teens, picking melons on a kibbutz, teaching middle and high school English, and singing in a USO troupe. She grew up in a sleepy Florida town much like Cape Comet (where Allee Rosen grew up) and has also lived in England, Greece, and Israel. In high school, Debbie spent a lot of time in math class writing stories, songs, and long notes to her friends, which explains why she can never figure out the check in restaurants. A graduate of the University of Miami's screenwriting program, Debbie currently lives in Boynton B each, Florida, with her husband and two kids, where she feeds them a steady diet of take-out. Her second teen novel, Swimming with the Sharks, will be released in September.

Summary of Book:

BRALESS IN WONDERLAND: A funny, honest peek at the crazy and glamorous world of professional modeling from an industry insider.

Allee Rosen is a lot of things: high school senior, overachiever, feminist, brainiac. The one thing she’s not is super model material. She leaves that to pretty people like her little sister (a.k.a. “The Fluff”). That’s why it’s a complete shock when Allee, not her sister, is the one spotted by modeling scouts at the mall and signed by a major modeling agency in Miami.

It’s classic GEEK-to-CHIC – but it’s not like it’s going to change her right? She’s just doing it for the money that will pay her way through college. Very soon, however, Allee is swept up in the whirlwind of go-sees, designer labels and photo shoots. Will her elusive “It Girl” status lead Allee to drop her dreams and forget who she really is?


BRALESS BOOK TRAILER:

33 shout outs:

The Story Siren said...

yay a contest! i can't wait to read this book! and i do love flip flops!! please sign me up!

The Book Muncher said...

omg, i totally want to read Braless in Wonderland!!!!

The Book Muncher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

ooh, sounds like my kind of book. enter me please!!

-Samantha

Anidori-Isilee said...

I've been wanting to read this book since I first learned about it.

Who doesn't love flipflops? ;)

Chelsea said...

I've SO been wanting to read this, and the shoes are adorable. Enter me please! :)

Tali said...

Same here! Flip flops + summer + good book = good times :)

awesome.
and I liked this post, it made me laugh

tetewa said...

Enjoyed the interview today, count me in!

Shari said...

Great interview. Thanks! And yay for contests! New flip flops + awesome book = happiness!

Amanda said...

Ooo - great interview, intriguing book and generous giveaway! Please enter me to win. I'm a size 7 and I would love Havianas in violet.

email - vanillagliter@gmail.com

PJ Hoover said...

Great interview, Deb and Jessica! I can't wait for the books :)

marjolein said...

what a lovely contest!and a very cool interview !

Reader Rabbit 2 said...

Wow! Great interview. I can't wait to read this book and Swimming with the Sharks.

Anonymous said...

I'm here!! *waves hands wildly* Count me in. You know I love flipflops, and I can't wait until Deb's book is out!!
-Nancy Viau

paperxxflowers said...

This book sounds pretty cool.

Chelsie said...

That was an amazing interview =D Now I really want to read Braless in Wonderland! Sign me up!!!

~Chelsie~

windycindy said...

Greetings, What an interesting life she has led! I enjoyed the story
about the two "Florences!" I would have never known what a "booker" was, either! Her books sounds fun to read. Please enter me in your drawing.
Many thanks.....Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

stephhale said...

Great interview, Jess!
Debbie, you are so gorgeous! Happy early release. I can't wait for Braless. And we celebrate 6/14 around my house too, it's my oldest son's bday! :)

Tempestt said...

The book sounds interesting, I would love to read it, great contest!

Anonymous said...

awesome interview!! I really wanna read this book now. Count me in!!

Grace L

aBookworm said...

Now that's an intriguing title! I was hooked even before the Iread the rest of your post :-) Count me in.

I also have tons of giveaways listed on both my blogs, A Book Blogger’s Diary and A Bookworm’s Diary. Hope you'll drop by.

Thanks,
callmeabookworm at gmail dot com

Melissa N said...

Great interview-I definitely want to read Braless in Wonderland. Enter me please :)

Breanna said...

Oooh a book and flip flops, how great is that? Sounds like a great book, and of course this is a great contest! =)

Sherry said...

I loved the author interview! Enter me in please ^_^.

bibliokrick said...

yum. yes, please.

Bunny B said...

Cool prize! I'd love to win this! Thanks so much for the opp.


bunnybox9 [at] lycos [dot] com

softindierocker said...

Braless in Wonderland looks really good! Contests rock! As do books! And flip-flops!

Thanks a ton! =)

Nicole B. said...

Sign me up! ^^ I love flip flops... now the question is, do they have one for people with huge feet? -looks down guilty- XD

keri mikulski :) said...

Great review! Can't wait to read BRALESS IN WONDERLAND! And, I am a huge Niki Taylor fan.. :)

Aimee C said...

The book sounds great and thanks for the wonderful interview!

Hillary said...

This book sounds GREAT! I want it! I'm entering! Yay! And the Flip Flops are really REALLY cute! I really want this book!

Breanna said...

Balloons can also make their way to the ocean and sea turtles eat them thinking that they're jelly fish and die! I learned this in the third grade and it has stuck with me ever since. So I'm glad Debbie doesn't release balloons every June 14th!

Melissa Walker said...

Sounds like another smart model is in the mix--yay! Can't wait to read Braless!

 
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