Friday, February 20, 2009

GCC Presents: Jennifer Banash

I'm excited to do another interview and giveaway this week (remember to comment on WWRW to win a signed Civet CD) because Jennifer Banash is here on her Girlfriends Cyber Circuit tour!

Before we get to that I want to remind you of one important thing. Today is technically the last day to enter the "Inspired By" contest. Since I'm a procrastinator and my beloved fiance is an even worse procrastinator, I'm gonna give you procrastinators one last chance and say get your entry in by Sunday night because Monday is when I'll be posting the entries on my blog for voting! Details can be found here, my darlings!

Now let's meet Jennifer Banash and talk about IN TOO DEEP, the next book in her fabulous ELITE series! Here's what the book is all about

If you don’t belong here— you just don’t belong…

The Bramford building’s newest resident and small-town transplant Casey McCloy is adapting to life in the Big Apple and loving it. She’s got the look, the attitude, and a delish new boyfriend, Drew Van Allen. But she’s starting to have second thoughts as to whether the “New York” Casey is the real Casey. And she’s not so sure she likes herself much anymore. She’s not the only one.

Madison Macallister has always had her Manolo Blahniks firmly planted on the top rung of the social ladder—until that corn-fed cow Casey stole Drew away from her and made her look the fool. So what if Madison wasn’t exactly dating Drew at the time? She wanted him. And everyone knows that Madison gets what she wants, like Drew—and a little revenge.

Praise For THE ELITE series, and IN TOO DEEP:

“The Elite is Pretty in Pink for the millennium generation.”
—Romance Reviews Today

What's a Normal, Illinois girl to do when she enters the world of New York City's rich and bitchy? Hold tight, because this is one drama-filled ride."
--Melissa Walker, author of Violet on the Runway.

"In Too Deep is a seductive read."
—Innovative: A Word for the WriTeen Blog

“Fans of the drama, romance, gossip, and privileged lifestyle depicted in Gossip Girl and Blue Bloods will be drawn to In Too Deep... In Too Deep continues to showcase the glitzy and glamorous lifestyle of New York City’s privileged teens...Banash’s Elite series continues to rock above the rest.”
—The Compulsive Reader Blog

“As you know, life in the posh and drama-filled Upper East Side is never easy! Hold onto your Hermes scarves and Coach handbags, the Bram Clan is back for more action and drama!”
—The Book Vault Blog

“Banash is fabulous at creating relatable characters in over-the-top situations.”
—In Bed With Books Blog

Now let's meet Jennifer!

Jennifer Banash attended high school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and currently lives in Southern California with her Beagle, Sigmund, and her vast designer shoe collection. She is the author of THE ELITE series, published by Berkley Jam. Watch for the third installment of THE ELITE, SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE, coming in July 09! Visit her website at

Jennifer has been awesome enough to answer my usual questions for the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit:

Please list five songs that would be on the soundtrack to your book and explain how they relate to your story or characters.

Jennifer: M-83's Kim and Jesse would be the soundtrack to not only the book itself, but would be the song featured in the movie trailer if ITD was ever a film. Their CD, Saturdays=Youth is like a 21st century soundtrack to Pretty in Pink. It's fantastic.

New Order's Age of Consent. Come on--it's New Order! This song was so intrinsic to MY youth, and really brings back what it felt like to be a teen for me so vividly whenever I play it.

It's Never Over by Kate Walsh. This is very much Casey's song to Drew. It's the track that she listens to over in over in bed at night when she can't sleep.

Sour Cherry by The Kills is really representative of Madison to me--even though she wouldn't have the slightest idea who they are!

Crushed by the Cocteau Twins. This is THE song of heartbreak, as far as I'm concerned. I don't CARE that I don't know WHAT the singer is actually saying! it perfectly captures the feeling of having a crush on someone unattainable, and getting your heart stomped on--the beauty and sadness of it all. Sigh.

Name some of your main character's favorite musicians or bands.

Jennifer: Drew really likes the band M-83. He's actually borderline obsessed with them. Madison doesn't really like music at all per se, and thinks that pop music is especially stupid. Phoebe likes obscure French bands like The Plastecines, and her favorite song ever is Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot's Bonnie and Clyde. Her favorite CD is Charlotte Gainsbourg's 5:55. Sophie's musical tastes are pretty mainstream--she likes Beyonce, Britney, Rihanna, Madonna--al the usual suspects. Casey is really eclectic, but especially LOVES 80's music. Her favorite films are John Hughes teen comedies from that time period, so it's only natural that she also love the music from those films especially!

Who are some of your favorite musicians or bands?

Jennifer: Here's the playlist I listened to obsessively when writing IN TOO DEEP--it should give you a pretty good idea of my musical tastes:

That’s Not My Name: The Ting Ting’s
Kim and Jesse: M-83
The Song That We Sing: Charlotte Gainsbourg
What Will Give: The Radio Department
Starlet Johannson: The Teenagers
Sour Cherry: The Kills
My Sister: Juliana Hatfield
Run: Air
Incredible: Madonna
One Time Too Many: Phoenix
A&E: Goldfrapp
2 Hookers and a Mexican: Mickey Avalon
Age of Consent: New Order
Thirteen: Elliot Smith
Nolita Fairytale: Vanessa Carlton
Don’t Bother Me: The Blakes
Phantom: Justice
Jealous Girls: The Gossip
Face To Face: Daft Punk
Chocolate, Raspberry, Lemon & Lime: Muscles
Crushed: Cocteau Twins
Sleep: Azure Ray

Even though music plays in so heavily into my storytelling, I rarely can actually listen to it while I'm writing. Can you? How does music fit into your writing process?

Jennifer: I have to listen to music when I write--but only with headphones. I sort of have to create my own little universe with its own soundtrack when I write :) I often listen to the exact same song over and over again when I'm writing a scene--and often the song itself will make it's way into the pages of the book--literally!

While music is my muse, I know other writers find their muse in theater, sports, art, the great outdoors, etc. What is your main muse?

Jennifer: Films and television. I'm obsessed with media culture in all its forms but especially film and TV.

Thanks Jennifer. And most of all, thanks for volunteering to give away a copy of IN TOO DEEP to one of my lucky blog readers! We'll do this the same way we do Women Who Rock Weds. You have until next Friday to comment, and you can comment on anything you like, Jennifer's interview, how much you are dying to read this book, whatever you like! Personally I'm gonna comment that I think Jennifer has awesome musical taste and my favorite song on her playlist is My Sister by Juliana Hatfield. I loooooove that song!


thebluerose said...

I like Vanessa Carlton too, but A Thousand Miles, not Nolita Fairytale. Nolita Fairytale seems conceited...

For me to write, I have to listen to music too. If I don't have music, I hear music in my head.

Erika Powell said...

that is a great playlist. and I am dying to read this book!

Liviania said...

*don't enter me*

My Sister by Juliana Hatfield is definitely a favorite with me. (Mostly because the first time I heard it I instantly thought of my sister.)

sweetmelissa818 said...

Sour Cherry by The Kills is a great song! And My Sister by Juliana Hatfield is very nostalgic for me!

nadine said...

I like Shut Up and Let Me Go better than That’s Not My Name by The Ting Ting’s but that's a good one too. Their type of music is pretty cool, differnt from what I'm used to.

Nora said...

I'll agree with having film and tv as a muse. Something about seeing lives on screen is always giving me "what-ifs" to think about.

jpetroroy said...

I was pretty impressed at Scarlett Johannson's voice!

Diana Dang said...

Jennifer is awesome! =) I still have to get around reading The Elite. x)

La Pagina de Mona said...

im really interested in reading this book!

Debs Desk said...

Please include me in your drawing. I would love to read this book.