Meet Lucy Hansen. She’s the richest teenager in the world – and possibly the shyest. She doesn’t flash her business to the paparazzi as she’s getting out of limos or send selfies while smoking salvia.
No, Lucy hides behind her frizzy bangs, environmental causes and organic hemp-blend sweats. Her one true friend (and secret crush) Holden is the poorest kid in Beverly Hills – and probably the scrappiest. He interns for a famous private investigator, and when he asks Lucy to help him crack a case, her life turns from tame to tabloid, from glum to glam, from private to private eye. And when the trail leads directly to her hotel magnate father, it’s up to Lucy to solve the case by infiltrating Hollywood’s most elite and unwelcoming club: Celebutantes. Teens who are famous for, well… being famous.
I had the opportunity to interview the author of Heiress – Amanda Mahan. This was my first author interview and I think I was supposed to ask more sensible things.. still, Amanda gamely answered every question – even the lame ones!
What inspired you to write Heiress?
Paris Hilton. Isn’t she the inspiration for all writing? 😉
But she actually was the seed of inspiration for Heiress, P.I. First of all, I love trashy tabloids and always follow all the stars and celebutantes. Then, a few years ago I came across a small story about how Paris Hilton gave the police a tip that led them to solving a crime. And it just made me laugh because she seems so… well, not the brightest bulb. Now she’s helping the police?? And then I thought, wouldn’t it be funny if she was actually brilliant and her dumb celebutante act was just a ruse? That was the start of it all.
How long have you been writing for?
Depends how you define “writing.” I would say in 10th grade I started to realize that I loved storytelling and that writing was one way to express it. I would also go into my parents’ bedroom after coming home from a party and stand at the edge of their bed and do almost a nightclub act, telling them everything that went on (well, almost everything). So pretty early on I liked crafting stories. My poor parents…
What was the first thing you wrote?
I worked in LA for a long time and wrote tons and tons of spec scripts for television and movies. I also wrote a lot of short stories experimenting in various genres – most of which were probably terrible!
Do you have a writers rider list… (i.e.: a hot cup of tea, a snoozing cat on your toes and a quiet house) or can you write anywhere?
Being a mom, I have to eat, pee, and write whenever and wherever I get the opportunity. I can’t be choosy!
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Be a mom, bake, work, hike, yell at various children for not listening, read, watch too much TV.
About the book:
How did you choose your characters names?
Almost all of the characters’ names are my relatives! The characters have no relation to the relatives, it’s just fun for me to do it that way. Lucy’s dad, for example, is named Oscar after my 8 year-old nephew – who is definitely not a hotel tycoon. Yet.
Did you design your books cover?
I collaborated with a super talented designer (and friend) on the cover. She is French, so that never hurts in the chic department.
The main character of Heiress, Lucy, has to dabble in the world of fake identities, have you ever pretended to be somebody you’re not?
I probably have in a bar at some point in my life, maybe even with a (bad) English accent. But not undercover. That would be super fun. I might try it this weekend, actually.
How did you research the world of celebrity?
Tabloids!! And living in LA gave me and up close and personal window into the superficial and weirdness of celebrity. I love weirdness. And superficiality too!
If you became as wealthy as the ‘celebutantes’ you write about, what would you do with your millions?
First of all, a top notch makeover, natch. Who wouldn’t want that? Then a trip around the world for my whole family. Oh, and give to charity. I probably should’ve put that first.
*whispers* If a private investigator was investigating you, what would they find (keep it clean!)?
A really good PI might find my secret stash of candy that I hide from the kids. Although actually my kids have found it, so maybe it’s not that secret.
Paperbacks vs Hardbacks? Paperback –they hurt less when you fall asleep while reading and they land on your face.
Fiction vs Non fiction? Both! I used to be uninterested in non-fiction but then I discovered Mary Roach. So weird! So good!
Letters vs Emails? Emails – unless it’s a birthday card for the nephews.
Calls vs Texts? Texts! I am a world class texter. I defy anyone over 17 to write more or be faster.
Harry vs Ron? Ron. He seems like he might have a kinky, weird side as an adult – plus who doesn’t love a ginger?
‘Heiress’ is available on amazon kindle for just £1.83, download it here
Find out more about the author on her Goodreads page
Thanks Amanda! xx