7 Sep 2015

Becoming Famous by Natalie Scott

Becoming Famous by Natalie Scott
Genres: Young Adult / New Adult / Romance
Bebe Barkley has never released a sex tape. She’s not America’s Next Top Model. She didn’t get pregnant at 16, and has never auditioned for American Idol. In fact, she’s holed up in a hotel room at the Waldorf in New York City, totally depressed. She doesn’t know it yet, but she’s about to become famous. A former equestrian rider, Bebe had a bright future until a tragic accident changed everything. Now she’s unable to return to her old life, yet incapable of moving forward.
Follow her as she ventures from New York to LA, the City of Broken Dreams, where she will find everything she’s ever wanted, only to risk losing the things she truly loves. Join Bebe in her heart-stopping journey in Becoming Famous.

Can you tell us a little about Becoming Famous?
Becoming Famous is the sequel to my first novel, Rules for Riders. In the first novel, Bebe Barkley my main character was a champion equestrian rider. After a tragic accident she gave up her dreams. The second novel is about Bebe trying to rebuild her life, and in the process, becoming famous.

What inspired you to write it?
We live in such a celebrity-obsessed culture, so I thought it would be an interesting topic. It’s kind of ironic, because the main character Bebe Barkley is at a crossroads in her life, so becoming famous is really her journey of discovery.

How did you come up with the idea for the cover?

I wanted something glamorous. I love the idea of the whole red carpet. I see myself in the main character, and I just wanted to catch a glimpse of what it feels like to be famous.

If it was made into a movie, who would you like to play the main characters?
Actually, I would love an unknown actress to play the role of Bebe Barkley. How cool would it be if she became famous while playing the part?

What is it about Young Adult that appeals to you so much?
I love the intensity of young adult. Everything is so immediate. When you’re young, you think that if you don’t get everything you want, you’ll die. Then you realize you won’t. I love the drama.

What made you want to become an author?
I don’t think you really choose to be a writer, I think it chooses you. I always had a love of books and stories as a child.

How do you come up with character names?

I’m always trying to think of something different. For some reason, once I get my characters down, the name pops into my head.

Name one of your all-time favourite books?
I love Catcher in the Rye. I know a lot of people love third person books, but I love first person books. That’s why I decided to write Bebe’s voice in first person.

Who, or what, inspires you?
I’m inspired by a lot of things. But mainly music, books, and films.

Where is your favourite place to write?
I like a bit of white noise, so I’ve always liked to write at Cafes, like Starbucks, the Coffee Bean. Though I do most of my editing at home.

What is your favourite movie that was based on a book?
I’m a romantic, I love Gone With the Wind.

Name two of your favourite authors.

Jane Austen and John Green

If you could have a dinner party with any authors from any time in history, who would you choose and why?
I think it would probably turn into a séance. Like I said, I’m a huge fan of Jane Austen. I’d love to have Margaret Mitchell at the table. Did Scarlett ever get Rhett back? And finally throw in Oscar Wilde, it’s always super fun to have someone witty at the table!

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I have a wicked sweet tooth; Chocolate, ice cream. I always joke around Thanksgiving I’m going to get a pie DUI!

Who would play you in the movie about your life?
That’s a tough one, as writers, I think we like to hide behind our words. My dream would be to have my book made into a movie!

Tell us an interesting fact about where you live.
I live in Scottsdale, AZ. It’s absolutely beautiful here in the winter, but it’s hotter than hell in the summer. You really have to be inside, which is perfect when it comes to promoting my book.

What are your (writing) plans for the future?
I have another book coming out, but not until next year. It will continue Bebe’s adventures.

Tell us one thing that's on your bucket list.
I’ve always wanted to travel to Venice. I hear it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Favourite myth / fairytale?
The ugly duckling that became a swan. I think life imitates art and aren’t we all really looking for a transformation? I also think my main character goes through quite the transformation, which is why I relate to this fairy tale.

Who/What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I’m still trying to figure that out. I will get back to you!

Excerpt
My name is Bebe Barkley. I’ve never released a sex tape. I’ve I’m not America’s Next Top Model. I didn’t get pregnant at sixteen and I’ve never auditioned for American Idol. In fact I’m holed up at the Waldorf totally depressed. But, even though I don’t know it yet, I’m about to become famous. This is my story and how it all went down.
Let’s face it: At the moment I’m a hot mess. How do I know this? I haven’t showered or gotten out of bed for three days. I’ve been watching reruns of Keeping Up with the Kardashians and a lifetime marathon about women who kill. I know how they feel. Thank God for room service or I would’ve starved to death by now!
In order to figure out my screwed up life, my mother’s best friend Georgie is letting me use her suite while she’s in London. But without her here getting on my case, and her eccentric husband Harry walking around half-naked, it just doesn’t seem like home.
I guess the best thing about modern technology is that you don’t actually have to talk to anyone. Unfortunately, the worst thing about modern technology is that you don’t actually have to talk to anyone! I’m so damn lonely I could cry. Still, I keep texting everyone back home, telling them I’m just fine.
My life wasn’t always like this. I was a champion equestrian rider with a bright future, before tragedy struck. If only they hadn’t shot king—things might have turned out differently. He was my horse, and I loved him more than life itself. I don’t know how to move forward, but I can’t go back.
Thinking about it, I can’t breathe. I feel like I’m having a major anxiety attack. Maybe I need to go outside and get some air. I throw on a white tank and some jeans. I’m about to leave when a card falls out of my pocket.
The last time I was in New York, I met this hairdresser, Antonio. Thank god for small mercies—his number’s still in the pocket of my jeans. After I’m fully dressed, I walk outside, pull out my cell phone and call him.
It goes straight to voicemail, story of my life! But as I start walking, my cell phone rings.
“Hey there,” Antonio says, “who is this?”
“Hi, it’s Bebe,” I say. “Remember me? Georgie Astor’s friend?”
“Hey sweetie! How are you? What can I do for you?”
“I’m holed up at the Waldorf and Georgie’s gone back to London. I don’t know what to do with myself.
“Oh my God! White girl problems! You know what, doll? You’re probably just lonely! You need some company.”
“Hey Antonio?” I ask, “I was wondering—do you know if anyone needs a roommate?”
“Well, I’d let you stay with me, but I have this really jealous boyfriend. You know how that goes.”
I smile to myself. “Only too well.”
“Wait a minute,” he says, “I have an idea. I finish work at around six tonight. Can you meet me?”
I laugh. “Let me check my hectic schedule. Sure!”
“Girl, you’re so crazy!” he says. “I’m not working at the salon on Fifth Avenue anymore. I’m at Frederick Fekkai in Soho between Bloom and Spring.”
“No worries, I’ll Google it!”
######
I meet Antonio at the salon at six o’clock on the dot. I’d forgotten how handsome he is. He looks like a coffee-colored genie from the Mr. Clean commercial.
“So, where are you taking me?” I ask.
“It’s a surprise!” he says, smiling. “You’ll see.”
We walk a few blocks till we reach the building. I flashback to the party with Georgie and the night I’d met Luis—my drug-dealer ex-boyfriend who convinced me to go to Puerto Rico and then tried to kill me. God, my life sucks!
Antonio looks concerned. “Are you okay, Sweetie?”
“I’m fine,” I say, trying to feign enthusiasm.
“Well, come on then, girl! You’ll love Blue. Everybody does.”
We take the elevator to the top floor. The door’s open, so we walk in. Immediately, I’m assaulted by the beautiful paintings displayed on the wall. The last time I met Blue I fainted. How embarrassing! Today, he has his back to us while he furiously works on a large white canvas in the middle of the living room.
“Hey Blue, we’re here!” he calls out.
When Blue turns around, I’m once again facing the spitting image of my dead brother. Except he smiles at me this time—the kind of smile that lights up a room. It’s both comforting and disturbing—my brother hardly ever smiled.
“Hi,” he says, walking over, “Blue Benson. We met briefly at my party just before you passed out.”
“Oh my God I’m sorry,” I say, averting my eyes. “It’s just that you remind me of someone I used to know.”
Antonio cuts in, taking charge of the situation as usual.
“Bebe’s looking for a place to stay; I instantly thought of you.”
“That’s great,” Blue says. “I’ve got plenty of room. Stay as long as you like.”
“Just like that?” I ask.
“Just like that,” he says. 

Natalie Scott enjoys writing young adult contemporary romance novels. She published her debut novel Rules for Riders in August 2014. Rules for Riders is a fast paced coming-of-age novel set in the competitive world of equestrian riding. Becoming Famous, the long anticipated sequel to Rules for Riders, was released in July 2015. 
Natalie is originally from Australia and has lived in New York and Los Angeles. She currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Connect with Natalie on TwitterFacebook, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to her website 

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