Happy Tuesday -- and happy release day for Something Real (check out the book report here.) Here's the official scoop on Heather Demetrios' debut novel:
There’s nothing real about reality TV. Seventeen-year-old Bonnie™ Baker has grown up on TV—she and her twelve siblings are the stars of one-time hit reality show Baker’s Dozen. Since the show’s cancellation and the scandal surrounding it, Bonnie™ has tried to live a normal life, under the radar and out of the spotlight. But it’s about to fall apart…because Baker’s Dozen is going back on the air. Bonnie™’s mom and the show’s producers won’t let her quit and soon the life she has so carefully built for herself, with real friends (and maybe even a real boyfriend), is in danger of being destroyed by the show. Bonnie™ needs to do something drastic if her life is ever going to be her own—even if it means being more exposed than ever before.
THE REVOLUTION WILL BE TELEVISED
Get a sneak peek of SOMETHING REAL here.
You're SO there, right?! As if you need any more convincing, here's an interview with Heather by tabloid extraordinaire and Baker's Dozen expert, Haute Cocoa (Perez WHO?!) -- and he's brought tons of goodies with him! Take it away, Cocoa!
Hello, beautiful people! I am so excited to be guest starring on Forever Young Adult today. Seriously, it’s the most exciting thing that’s happened to me since mimosas with Paris this morning. Where else can you get the low-down on everything from Peeta’s scrumptiousness to book-themed drinking games? Love. So, today is your lucky day because yours truly got to sit down with YA author Heather Demetrios and listen to her dish about the book of the year, the controversial reality TV memoir Something Real. It’s her debut “novel” (she’ll tell you she made it all up, but there’s a disclaimer at the beginning of the book: hello, I can read!). It’s all about Bonnie™ Baker, of Baker’s Dozen: Fresh Batch fame, which is my über guilty pleasure. It’s the kind of show you watch at, like, three in the morning when you need a little reminder that other people’s lives suck. It’s the ultimate pick-me-up. For those of you that haven’t seen it, MetaReel’s Baker’s Dozen is the gift that keeps on giving: thirteen kids + one crazy ass mom = dysfunction to the max. That’s my kinda math. Plus, without Jon and Kate Plus Eight, how else am I supposed to get my injection of voyeuristic cray cray? Heather and I sat down in a hipster Brooklyn coffeehouse to chat about boys, books, and Bonnie ™.
HC: So, you’re originally from LA. Is that what inspired you to write Bonnie™’s story?
HD: Okay, first: she doesn’t like being called by that name—she goes by Chloe now, remember?
HC: How could I forget? I watched that clip of her mom crying over the name-changing fiasco like fifteen times. One of my readers made a hilarious Gif of it—you should check it out.
HD: Anyway, I think growing up in a city that’s so focused on fame definitely played a part in me wanting to tell Chloe’s story. But, really, she and I just saw eye-to-eye on how messed up reality TV culture can be, especially for kids and teens. I mean, look at the recent thing with the Gosselin kids on the Today show.
HC: Omg, that look of panic on Kate Gosselin’s face when the girls wouldn’t talk was TV gold.
HD: I think what you mean is that it really sucks to be the Gosselin twins right now, right?
HC: Totes. It’s like, epically tragic. Anyway, I want the deets on your book—p.s. isn’t our convo totally meta? This is the kind of stuff Bonnie™, I mean Chloe, hates doing, right?
HD: Exactly. Which is why I’m doing it for her.
HC: So, what—your people called Chloe’s people?
HD: I guess you could say that.
HC: Not to be totally ADD right not, but I can’t hold this in any longer. Two words: Benton™ Baker. I can’t even. He totally replaced St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss as my book boyfriend. I know Benny’s taken, but for real, I want to be with Chloe’s brother like Kristin Stewart wants to be talented.
HD: [laughs] You know, one of the coolest things about hearing from my readers is the way people have responded to the relationship between Chloe and Benny. He’s her brother, but he’s her BFF, too. In a family of thirteen kids, you have your alliances, you know? Benny has her back but he’ll tell her what’s what when she needs to hear the hard stuff.
HC: And then there’s Patrick Sheldon. Normally he wouldn’t be my type, but you had me at this description: “He looks like the kind of boy who would jump trains, strum guitars, and pass a joint.”
HD: Ladies, I have dibs! Well, actually, Chloe does. But seriously, what I like about Patrick is that he’s a really passionate guy—and smart. To me, passion is the sexiest quality in a person. Lucky for Chloe, he’s cute, too.
HC: And he’s willing to put up with the drama in Chloe’s life.
HD: I think one of the things she loves about Patrick is that he sees through all the bullshit in the reality TV world. He’s the “something real” in her life. But he won’t be Chloe’s punching bag—he’s got the strength to walk away if he has to.
HC: The readers need to know: boxers or briefs?
HD: Cocoa, you’re so bad! You’d have to ask Chloe that, but I always thought he was a boxers kind of guy.
HC: Let’s talk a little bit about the world of reality TV. Pros and cons?
HD: We’d be here all day if I went into the cons, though I think The Amazing Race is kind of cool and I had way too much fun spending a night watching Qui Sera Le Prochain Grand Patissier? in a hotel room in Casablanca. [Laughs] Although all that did was make me want to eat about ten thousand pain au chocolats. But, Cocoa, here’s the deal on reality TV: I think we can do better as a society. I don’t want reality TV to be my generation’s cultural legacy to the human race. I want the Enlightenment. I want Beauty.
HC: You’ve got it right here, sister!
HD: [Laughs] I mean, you’re definitely giving the Brooklyn kids a run for their money in that getup.
HC: Let me state for the record: Reader, I’m wearing a seriously fab Alexander McQueen coat that Steven Tyler would probably kill me for. Okay, next question: if there were a reality TV show about writers, would you be on it?
HD: Oh my god, that would be the most boring reality TV show ever—at least until someone broke out the booze. Don’t you think it’d just be a bunch of people grimacing at their laptops? I heard there was going to be one in Italy called “Masterpiece” and that the grand prize is a book deal. If there’s an American version, I think it might kill my soul a smidgeon. Then again, maybe I’m just being a snob.
HC: Being a snob is my bread and butter! If Something Real had a theme song, what would it be?
HD: “I Hate Camera” by The Bird and the Bee. Or Garbage’s “Not Your Kind of People.” You can hear them on my YouTube channel.
HC: Please tell me you’re posting MetaReel vids of Chloe fighting with her mom. For reals, every time I think of Beth Baker-Miller, I mentally hug my mom.
HD: I know, right? And to answer your question, no, I do not post videos from Baker’s Dozen. My job is to get Chloe’s story out there in her words, that’s all.
HC: I have to ask you the question I ask all the stars I interview: what’s your favorite celebrity sighting?
HD: Being from LA, I’ve definitely had my fair share of celebrity sightings. I think my favorite was Robert Downey, Jr. I used to work at the Starbucks at Hollywood and Highland and I made him his drink. Actually, a different barista made his drink, but she screwed it up so I re-made it.
HC: Shut the front door! Is he as hot and mysterious in person as he is onscreen?
HD: Pretty much, yeah.
HC: Before I go, why don’t you tell me a little bit about your next book? I hear it’s set in LA and is totally different than this one, but in, like, a really good way.
HD: It is! It’s called Exquisite Captive and it’s coming out in October from HarperCollins. It’s a modern fantasy about jinn who are being trafficked to Earth in bottles and sold to human masters. It’s dark but pretty sexy, too, if I do say so myself. It’s the first in a trilogy. The second book takes place in Morocco. I just got back from doing research there and I’m working on that book right now.
HC: Hello, Hollywood! I can’t wait to see the casting for that. Speaking of, I’m off to meet RPatz for drinks. TTYL?
HD: For sure. Thanks, Cocoa.
Readers! I am about to blow your mind with more fabulousness. Before Heather and I parted ways, she left me with a little somethin’-somethin’. Let’s just say book club night just got a little more fun: check out this custom Something Real cocktail created by Kate Farrell, the book’s editor over at Macmillan. To keep the partay going, I’ve added a few drinking games, too. But people—drink responsibly: more Meryl Streep, less Lindsay Lohan. Friends don’t let friends wear electronic ankle bracelets.
The Vow of Silence
Re: page 333 of the book. Let’s just say there is some badassery that occurs and this drink sums it up best. It’s made with bourbon, Benny Baker’s drink of choice, but the kick goes down sweet, ‘cause despite all the craziness in Chloe’s life, there’s still Patrick Sheldon, oh he of many swoons. Of the fab drink Kate says, “For The Vow of Silence, we made a variation on a classic Boulevardier cocktail. It's perfect because it has a good belt of whiskey for when you have sorrows to drown like Chloe and Benny, plus a mixture of bitter and sweet that is just like their lives! We added a little citrus, for California, and because it tastes good.”
Here’s how you make it:
2 oz bourbon (Chloe and Benny drank Maker's Mark, so we do too)
1 oz Campari
1 oz sweet vermouth
squeeze of lemon juice
dash of grapefruit bitters
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon.
Something Real Drinking Game
Take a sip every time:
• You see a ™ symbol
• There’s a camera in a scene
• Benny lights a cigarette
• Patrick says “Excellent”
• Lexie™ says something bitchy
• A pack of Skittles appears
• A “Vulture” (paparazzo) is around
• Patrick and Chloe kiss
Take a shot every time:
• A member of the Baker family successfully evades the paparazzi
• You see a Twitter feed, television script, article—basically, something Chloe hasn’t written
• Chloe’s mother does something super heinous (this is subjective, but I trust you)
• Pumas Guy is filming a scene in the Baker home
• The words “janitor’s closet” are mentioned
• Spearmint gum is in a scene
• Someone refers to 1984
• When Matt wears a certain red shirt—keep drinking until he reaches Benny
• When you finish the book: keep going until your glass is empty.
About the Author:
Heather Demetrios, originally from Los Angeles, now lives in Brooklyn and various imaginary locales. She is the recipient of a PEN New England Discovery Award for her debut YA novel about reality TV “stardom,” SOMETHING REAL (Macmillan/Henry Holt), and is the author of the upcoming EXQUISITE CAPTIVE, a smoldering fantasy about jinn in Los Angeles (#1 in the DARK CARAVAN fantasy trilogy from HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray), both out in 2014. She is currently working on her second novel for Macmillan, a love story about a young combat veteran and a girl trapped in their small town, both struggling to escape the war at home. When she’s not hanging out with her characters, Heather is working on her MFA in writing for children and young adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Thanks for stopping by, Heather (and Cocoa and Kate)! Check out Heather's website, or find her on Twitter (@HDemetrios). And if you're in NYC this weekend, check out the Something Real events near you (Music! Cocktails! Photo Booth! Reading!).
Want to win a copy of Something Real? To enter this giveaway, leave a comment with the name of your fave reality show and why you love it so much; flaunt those 'guilty' pleasures, y'all! (Or, if you don't have a fave, describe a reality show that you'd be interested in.) A winner will be randomly chosen on Monday, February 10th. (U.S. or Canada only -- sorry, everyone else!) (contest closed)