If you’re shocked that the girl from Laguna Beach grew up to have several books on the New York Times best-seller list, join the club. Lauren Conrad is too.
“We were doing the inside cover of the beauty book I’m working on, and under ‘also by’ it listed all my other books. I was like, ‘When did this happen?’”
Three years after she made her writing debut with the L.A. Candy series, she’s back on shelves with the first book in a new trilogy. The Fame Game, in stores tomorrow, follows a Heidi Montag-like character Madison Parker, an Audrina Patridge-like character, and two other Hollywood hopefuls as they star in a new spin-off series and adjust to life as reality TV celebrities.
There’s a soap opera’s-worth of drama, a fake-it-for-the-cameras relationship, and a whole lot of mascara-tears. How much of it did she pull from real life? Quite a bit, which is fine by me. The entertainment value in Conrad’s page-turners for the YA set isn’t about exceptional writing or unpredictable plot points. In the same way that her reality shows spurred us to endlessly debate how much was scripted, reading the books is about separating the moments based on Conrad’s behind-the-scene anecdotes from pure fiction. That’s the part that the Laguna Beach-native takes the most pleasure in.
“The most fun for me is being able to tell all the little tricks that people do in the media,” Conrad said. “Mostly, the shameless ones in terms of calling their own photographers and leaking their own stories, the little things that people don’t really know about but everyone in the industry knows.”
The characters in this novel are pretty shameless so it’s no wonder even the 26-year-old’s own editor struggled with playing the fact or fiction game.
“My editor would always go, ‘I don’t know if this seem realistic. Is this something that could actually happen?’ I would say, ‘that did happen. That’s a real story.’”
Riddle or not, let’s face it: Conrad’s tale doesn’t require any deep thinking. You’re just going along with Madison and the other girls for the ride. It’s a good thing the novel isn’t trying to be particularly provocative. The former reality star just wants you to be entertained.
“One of my biggest goals, especially with writing YA novels, is just to have people enjoy reading,” she said. “I remember being in high school and it was so forced because everything I read through most of school was assigned reading. I love the idea of giving girls a book that they can read and enjoy reading.”
The second book in the trilogy, Starstruck, and Conrad’s Beauty book are due in November.
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