Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Miss Match Winner and GCC Interview with Jennifer Banash

Happy Tuesday! Did you have a good President's Day weekend?

Thanks once again for dropping in during out LOVE FEST week. The winners of the finale with Wendy Toliver are:
Heart cell phone charm: Brooklyn

Please send me a note at gerb @ lindagerber . com with your mailing info and we'll get those sent out to you!

Meanwhile, I'm very happy to welcome GCC sister Jennifer Banash to the blog. You may know Jennifer as the author of THE ELITE series, but did you know that she is obsessed with reality TV and has a beagle named Sigmund? Read on.

In case you've been living under a rock and haven't
heard of THE ELITE series before, here's the official blurb:

If you don’t belong here— you just don’t belong…

The Bramford building’s newest resident and small-town transplant Casey McCloy is adapting to life in the Big Apple and loving it. She’s got the look, the attitude, and a delish new boyfriend, Drew Van Allen. But she’s starting to have second thoughts as to whether the “New York” Casey is the real Casey. And she’s not so sure she likes herself much anymore. She’s not the only one.

Madison Macallister has always had her Manolo Blahniks firmly planted on the top rung of the social ladder—until that corn-fed cow Casey stole Drew away from her and made her look the fool. So what if Madison wasn’t exactly dating Drew at the time? She wanted him. And everyone knows that Madison gets what she wants, like Drew - and a little revenge.

I love the covers for these books. They're very striking, don't you think? (If you want to know more about the design, Melissa Walker did the Cover Story in October on her blog.) The books themselves have also gotten a lot of attention, earning comments from critics such as 'posh,' 'glamorous,' 'drama-filled' and 'The Pretty in Pink for the Millennium Generation.'

If you'd like to read more about Jennifer and the books, check out THE ELITE website and her blog. You can also find her on myspace and facebook. Meanwhile, enjoy the interview!

Edited to add: Jennifer has just offered to choose one lucky reader to receive a copy of IN TOO DEEP! To enter, just leave a comment below about anything Jennifer discussed in her interview. We'll leave this open until Friday.

What inspired you to write THE ELITE series?
I went to high school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, so that’s really where the inspiration for THE ELITE came from. My writing teachers always told me to write what I knew, so when I got the opportunity to create my own series, it just seemed natural for me to set it in that world. IN TOO DEEP, the sequel which is in stores now, is also heavily influenced by my obsession with reality TV.

Are any of your characters based on real people that you know?
Yes. Drew Van Allen is based on someone very close to me. It's not a direct translation, but Drew definitly shares many character traits with this real-live person!

What excites you?
Passion. Intensity. Edginess. Darkness. Escapism. People who really love what they do and put everything they've got into it as a result.

What turns you off?
Boredom. Apathy. Whining.

What's the biggest lie you ever told, and what happened as a result of the telling?
I don't usually tell "big" lies. My lies are for the most part, the kind of little white lies we all tell on a daily (hourly?;) basis. But the biggest lie I've ever told was probably when I was married--I had an affair and lied about it. It was heartbreaking, painful, awful, and easily the very worst period of my life. It's probably WHY I don't tell big lies anymore--I've seen first hand how they blow up in your face, the destruction they cause.

What's the most suspenseful thing that's happened to you in real life?
Probably waiting for my books to be made in to a TV series or film. Ummm . . . I'm still waiting. Paging the CW . . . :)

If you could invite anyone you wanted - living or dead - to hang out with you at a weekend retreat, who would you invite and why?
Marilyn Monroe. I'm just obsessed with her vulnerablity and absolute luminosity. She wore her emotions so close to the skin.

What's one thing most people don't know about you?
That I can be really, really shy if I don't know someone well.

What's your favorite quote?
Don't have one :)

Milk Chocolate or Dark?
Dark. Is this even a question?