Friday, March 21, 2014

Showcase: Heiress, P.I. by Amanda Mahan

19300504

About the book:  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. 

Along the way, “LuHan” endures wardrobe malfunctions, fake romances, compromising videos-turned-YouTube hits, unflattering mug shots and – worst of all – a makeover. Now Lucy has to save her father, dodge the paparazzi, and keep her IRL ID on the DL – all while maybe, almost, possibly having her first real kiss. 

If you’ve ever read the tabloids and wondered, “What was she thinking?” then HEIRESS, P.I. offers one possible answer.

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Amanda Mahan


Amanda Mahan is the author of Heiress, P.I. -- think "Veronica Mars meets Gossip Girl" -- which tells the story of the richest girl in the world getting made over and going undercover to solve a mystery.

Amanda is the People’s Choice Award winning Green Mommy blogger and worked on two NBC sitcoms. Both of these influences can be seen in Heiress, P.I. which features an environmentally-friendly protagonist and humorous dialogue.

Known for her love of trashy tabloids, her hopelessness with her own hair, and her addictive red velvet cupcakes, Amanda lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two small (but surprisingly loud) children.




Q.  What inspires your writing?
A. In the case of HEIRESS, P.I., I saw a story about how Paris Hilton gave the police a tip that helped them solve a crime. And I thought it would be funny if it turned out that all of her party-girl antics were really just a cover, and actually she was secretly a private investigator. I wish I could say I was inspired by a thought-provoking museum exhibit, but in this case it was a tabloid.
Q.  What is your favorite thing about being an writer?
A. When I was a little girl my dad would record me telling stories -- most of them were about me living in houses made out of candy and chocolate -- so I think making things up is my favorite part. Come to think of it, title of my next book? Candy House. So many possibilities. ;)
Q.  What is the toughest part of being an writer?
A. Finding the time to do it. I recently read about a successful author who wrote a book in ten days. I never have time blocks like that! If I disappeared for even one day my kids and husband would go hungry and my co-workers would get grouchy...
Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A. Creatively I would have to find another outlet, another way to tell stories. Work-wise, I'm pretty happy with what I do - which is digital marketing. It can be creative and fun.
Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. Everything Took Longer Than I Wanted But Eventually I Got There
Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?
A. I have two: Everything is Illuminated and The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay --both stuck with me. But I also love classics like Handmaid's Tale and Lolita -- and new ones like Where'd You Go, Bernadette and Gone Girl. All genres intrigue me. Basically I will read anything that isn't about sports.
Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A. I just finished What Alice Forgot and saw a lot of myself in the character. It really showed how having kids and life can slowly change you over time -- and not always for the better so you have to pay attention.
Q.  What character from all of your book are you most like?
A. I think all of my characters have parts of me in them -- either sense of humor or perspective or emotion. Ruby from UNCLAD has some of my past experiences so I feel close to her, but I also care deeply about the environment like Lucy from HEIRESS, P.I. -- and we both have a hopelessness about ourselves when doing our own hair and make up.
Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A. I read Little Women at age 12 and cried at the end because I wanted to live inside that book. I loved those girls. Any Jane Austen book would be fun too -- because of the clothes. In a completely other direction, maybe Mary Roach's nonfiction Packing for Mars because I love everything about space. But that might be gross too, so maybe I'd just vacation there for a day.
Q.  What is your favorite season?
A. Winter! I grew up in Florida and we didn't really have one so I love snow and coming inside after being really cold outside and drinking hot chocolate. Mostly it's just excuses to have hot chocolate. Also hail! That stuff is crazy. I woke my daughter up in the middle of the night once to watch a freak hail storm that covered our lawn with golf ball-size hail. That will either be her favorite memory of childhood or she'll be in a sleep clinic because of it...
Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A. There is a scene in HEIRESS, P.I. where she gets arrested and I knew I wanted to do something fun with that. Also, there's a famous, irreverent mug shot of Steve McQueen that I've always loved where he's doing the peace sign -- so I tried to do the girl version of that.
Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. The number one thing that people ask me is "how did you find the time?" because I work and have two kids. And the funny part is that I seriously do not remember. I have no memory of when I wrote it. Obviously at night, when the kids were asleep -- but now it's a repressed memory. I have writer's amnesia.
Q.  Are you working on something new?
A. Yes! The previously mentioned UNCLAD, which is an adult novel about a former private investigator who gets burned out and becomes a masseuse -- only to be dragged back into sleuthing by a murder in the spa. Do you see a theme? I'm obsessed with private investigation. I love people who unravel secrets to get to the heart of something. And I'm working on a sequel to HEIRESS, P.I. -- the next one in the series.
Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A.  I can't tell you how scared I was to put this book out there. Even to just tell my family... Terrifying! And now several friends have said that seeing me do it has inspired them to do something they've been wanting to do. So I would say don't let fear stop you from being creative and putting yourself out there. Just do it! (And a glass of wine before hitting "send" certainly doesn't hurt...)


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