And now her book above a teen movie star has become a Lifetime movie starring some current and future teen movie stars – and a once-teen movie star, Valerie Bertinelli. How sweet is that? Many books are optioned, but few are actually filmed. The movie premieres August 9 at at 9 p.m., and Lara will be live blogging here – revealing secrets, stories, and reactions – during the movie!
Click here for more info and links. You can also visit Lara on the web here.
Kirkus says the books are “fun, breezy entertainment with thoughtful undertones.”
But as for me, I always like to ask authors questions that have to do with what I write: mysteries and thrillers.
So here goes:
A: What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened to you? Bonus question: have you used it, in any way, in a book?
L: One night several years ago, my friend Candace and I were hanging out with a mutual friend who had a total meltdown while driving. With us in the car. She started going 90 on the Interstate, screaming at cars, riding people's bumpers and swerving from lane to lane. She was sober but something had snapped, and I really thought we were done for. I'm pretty sure I cried a little. When she finally dropped Candy and me off at my apartment and drove off, Candy actually got on her knees for a minute and said a little prayer. I've never used that moment in a book, and I probably never will because it's one of those random things that sounds almost fake when you tell people about it.
A: Mystery writers often give their characters an unreasoning fear – and then make them face it. Do you have any phobias, like fear of spiders or enclosed spaces?
L: I have a couple of phobias. One is that I don't like tall, steep stair-like things that are open. Like, bleachers: I can climb up bleachers just fine, but going down freaks me out. I'm fine on elevators but going down one of those Big Daddy escalators into a London tube station is terrifying. This stems from an incident that happened when I was maybe twelve years old. My dad and I used to go to baseball games at Vet Stadium in Philly pretty regularly. One time I lost my balance heading to our seats, and I reached out for this seated guy's shoulder to stabilize myself. He must've thought I was a thief or something, because he shrugged me off hard and I went flying. The only thing stopping me was the concrete barrier at the end of our level. I had to go to the infirmary to get checked out and everything. The cool part was they let us sit on the 100 level when my check up was done!
A: Do you have a favorite mystery book, author, or movie?
L: All of the women in my life are into Janet Evanovich, and I was indoctrinated into the Plum series this past spring. She's hilarious. I love watching mysteries on TV, especially stuff like THE CLOSER. I find watching mysteries really helpful in terms of my writing, because even though I don't work in that genre it forces me to think about plotting in a way that I don't normally.
A: At its heart, every story is a mystery. It asks why someone acts the way they did – or maybe what will happen next. What question does your book ask?
L: It's kind of abstracted, but I think the biggest question of the book is about identity. Morgan's trying to figure out who she is and where she belongs. Is it Hollywood, where she grew up? Is it Fort Wayne, where she went to try and reinvent herself? Is she an actress, a tabloid star, a cautionary tale? More importantly, who does she want to be going forward?
A: Is there a mystery in life that you are still trying to figure out?
L: Time management mystifies the hell out of me. Especially when it comes to Internet stuffs. Between my blog and Facebook and MySpace and e-mail ... Let's just say if I stayed on top of all of that, I'd never write another book.