I’ve recently started writing about books because VIPs read too, you know. And a lot of the really famous have tons of time to indulge in it – travelling from gig to gig, waiting on film sets or killing time ‘between jobs’. For the rest of us it’s on the commute to work or shortly before we go to bed, but if you find the right book you’ll want to read it on the sofa at night (preferably with a glass of something in hand) as opposed to watching TV.
When it comes to books, I personally switch between celebrity biographies and upbeat fiction featuring women that have a life like mine or one that I aspire to have. Think Jackie Collins and her glam Hollywood characters, Jilly Cooper’s lusty heroines and a bit of Victoria Beckham’s autobiography thrown in. What about if you could get a book that mixes biography and fiction at the same time?
Confessions of a Showbiz Reporter by Holly Forrest is part fiction and part biography and it contains anecdotes about lots of celebs. How does that work, you may ask? Well, it’s written by a real-life Showbiz reporter so all the anecdotes are things that have happened to her. But the name Holly Forrest is not real, as the reporter didn’t want any recriminations to affect her job – she’s still working in showbiz.
This book had a special significance for me because I was a showbiz reporter (and editor) for newspapers and magazines before I became a full time blogger. Without wanting to brag, I’ve definitely had enough intimate meetings and adventures with celebrities but I never knew how to structure it. This is one of the reasons, I like Confessions of a Showbiz reporter as its entertaining and you feel like you’re learning something without it having a rigid plot line. An added bonus of this is it makes it easy to dip in and dip out without stressing about what happened the last time you read it.
Each crazy aspect of being a celeb journalist (and trust me, there are a few) and each major celebrity experience gets its own chapter in this book so you can easily read a chapter at a time and feel like you’ve got a lot out of it. In that sense it’s more of a collection of short stories (or confessions than a novel). I advise reading the contents page carefully – if there is something you like the look of its perfectly fine to read that chapter ahead of others. For me, what was most interesting was ‘Holly’s’ experiences of interviewing celebrities like Justin Timberlake.
It turns out Justin is a bit of a diva. When in town to promote a movie, his publicist told all the reporters that Justin would not answer any Qs about his music. None. Nothing. Weird!
Another moody one – which I also have experience of – is Harrison Ford.
In the book, there is an embarrassing experience Holly asked Harrison what his hobbies were. ‘Well,’ Harrison growled, ‘if you’d done your research…you’d know that I trained as a carpenter and now spend a lot of time on my ranch.’ Harsh!
I also enjoyed bits where Holly feels under pressure to get a story. This happens a lot in the print industry and took me back to my days as a reporter. I could tell this book had been writing by someone who knows the Showbiz world and if you’re considering a career in journalism or you’re simply a bit curious to learn what it’s truly like to have ‘Showbiz journalist’ as your job title then you will learn a lot from this book.
Confessions of a Showbiz Reporter is currently £6.99 at Amazon. If you get it do let me know what you think. I hope you like it as much as I did!
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