Author Interview: Kevin Dickson

blind itemCan you tell us a little about your background as a Hollywood Insider?

After years of legitimate celebrity journalism, I found myself working at a tabloid in 2002, and in the course of that work, I befriended a bunch of celebrities. In the years since, I’ve juggled both worlds. I got to see what it takes to send a story viral in the weeklies, and the flip side of that, how a variety of famous people function in private. I became fascinated by the mechanics of fame, and the power of its illusion over people who have it, want it or despise it.

What made you decide to work on writing Blind Item?

My co-writer Jack and I had worked together for many years. He is a publicist, and quite often he worked crisis PR, taking on clients who were embroiled in a scandal at the time and guiding them through it. His clients were like gold for the tabloids, and I was always calling him and bugging him for stories. We would meet and discuss the problem at hand, but as he came to trust me, we would exchange hilariously lurid anecdotes that we’d seen or heard. We knew they couldn’t be published but we always joked that one day we’d write a book that incorporated them. In late 2013, I burned out on the tabloid grind, and I knew it was time to begin work on the book that became Blind Item. There were a couple false starts and for a long time we really didn’t know what we were doing but eventually we landed at Imprint and they immediately loved our little book.

How did you get started as an entertainment journalist?

There was a Simpsons episode in which Homer Simpson kisses his male assistant. I’d heard about it before it aired in my native Australia, but when the episode finally aired, the Aussie network censored the kiss. I called a newspaper in Sydney and complained about it. The editor asked me to prove it, so I went in to meet him, wildly over-caffeinated and apparently equally opinionated. At the end of the meeting, he asked me to write the story, and simultaneously offered me a weekly TV column. Within a year, I went from being a computer programmer to doing celebrity interviews for Cosmo, and then became the national TV critic for The Australian. I moved to Los Angeles in 1997 and the rest is history.

kevin dicksonWhat has been one of your most memorable celebrity experiences that you can share with us?

There are so many, both good and bad, but a firm favorite is the night I spent with a very pregnant Mariah Carey. We’d arranged to do a photoshoot with her at 1pm on a Friday. We heard she was running late, so the photographer and I arrived at her house at 3pm. We were handed a cup of coffee and told to wait for her to summon us. Which she eventually did, ten hours later, at 1am. She was amazing – sweet, earthy and completely bonkers, all in the best way possible. She was also massively pregnant and deathly afraid of looking fat in the photos. She didn’t know how to pose to minimize her size. I offered to help, but needed her permission to touch her to get her into position. She agreed happily, and so, from 1am until the shoot ended at 5am, while an endless mix of her own music played, I hoisted Mariah Carey’s butt and big pregnancy boobs into various photogenic positions. She was delightful and funny the whole time. It was a great night. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized I had forgotten to get a photo with her.

Why was Blind Item a novel you wanted to publish?

From the outset, we wanted to write a novel that would make people happy. We wanted to touch people and make them laugh. And we loved the idea of folding in a series of real-life scandals that people can read and then go and call their best friend and try to figure it out. Finding out the identity of a blind item is never as much fun as guessing with your friends, and that’s what we were aiming for: a book to enjoy on your own, but also to laugh about with your friends. Times are tough enough right now, we wanted to give people a fun, guilty pleasure.

Can we expect another novel from you?

Why, yes you can. We are currently at work on a sequel to Blind Item that will be released in 2018. Once that is done in a month or so, I am planning to get to work on at least two standalone novels that aren’t connected to Blind Item. I’m so in love with the characters in Blind Item but they’ve been living rent-free inside my head for four years now, and I’d like a little break from them, especially Gaynor. Nobody needs Gaynor inside their brain for any length of time.

#NewRelease: A Fairytale of Possibilities by Kiki Archer

kiki fairytaleAbout the Book

Wedding planner Lauren Hilliard weaves fairytales out of possibilities. It’s her business and she’s good at it. Her brides love her for making their dreams come true but she’s not managed to make the magic happen for herself – yet.

Trouble is, Lauren’s in love with her best friend and has been for eleven hopeless years. Years in which she’s secretly imagined the fairytale of possibilities if she had the courage to speak… which she hasn’t. So she doesn’t. And she won’t.

But what if the feelings are mutual?

Cue the latest magical rom-com from best-selling, award-winning author, Kiki Archer.

 Get Yours! 

#NovelSpotlight: The Beta Mum: Adventures in Alpha Land by Isabella Davidson

the beta mumAbout The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land

When Sophie Bennett moves from a quiet, sleepy suburb of Toronto to glitzy west London, she doesn’t know where she has landed: Venus or Mars. Her three-year-old daughter Kaya attends Cherry Blossoms, the most exclusive nursery in London, where Sophie finds herself adrift in a sea of Alpha mums. These mothers are glamorous, gorgeous, competitive and super rich, especially Kelly, the blonde, beautiful and bitchy class rep.

Struggling to fit in and feeling increasingly isolated, Sophie starts The Beta Mum, an anonymous blog describing her struggles with the Alpha mums. But when her blog goes viral, she risks ruining everything for herself and her daughter. How long will it be until they discover her true identity? Is her marriage strong enough to survive one of her follower’s advances? And will she ever fit in with the Alpha mums?

Author Bio:

Isabella Davidson is the author of the popular blog, Notting Hill Yummy Mummy. Through the blog, she has written for The Times, The Saturday Times Magazine, Corner magazine and has also been interviewed by The Financial Times, The Spectator, The Times, Harper’s Bazaar, Tatler and many more.

Prior to starting her writing career, she worked as a doctor for the National Health Service in the UK. She started her book during a 6 – month novel writing course at the Faber Academy in London after the birth of her second daughter. She has lived in seven countries, over four continents. She now lives in west London with her husband and their two children. The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land is her first novel.

isabella davidsonBook Links:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beta-Mum-Adventures-Alpha-Land/dp/1781326525

https://www.amazon.com/Beta-Mum-Adventures-Alpha-Land/dp/1781326525

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35051159-the-beta-mum-adventures-in-alpha-land

Author Links:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16357369.Isabella_Davidson

www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

www.isabelladavidson.com

https://www.facebook.com/Notting-Hill-Yummy-Mummy-485953751528011/

https://twitter.com/NHyummymummy