Liane Bonin is a nationally recognized journalist, author, radio producer, and produced screenwriter. She has written thousands of articles which have appeared in Entertainment Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, Mademoiselle, Budget Living, Writer’s Digest, Daily Variety, People, Teen People, The Hollywood Reporter, Detour, Teen, Flaunt, the Writers Guild of America West’s Written By, Maxim and other publications. As a producer for public radio, her work has aired on the “Weekend America,” KCRW, BBC Radio, Seattle’s KUOW, and transom.org. She lives with her husband and three dogs in the Los Angeles area.
Nowadays, Taylor Christensen is gorgeous, rich, and one of the biggest stars around, but the day Erin Kim met her, Taylor was on the middle school D-list, with the headgear to prove it. Erin, under her own stress from her traditional Koreanborn parents who don’t want her to change, was there for Taylor when she needed a friend way back when, and she was there for her when the braces came off and the whole world noticed.
Sure, Taylor had the “it” Hollywood was looking for, but someone had to help her deal with the ups and downs of superstardom. Erin didn’t mind-especially since it helped her get her mind off some tough problems at home. Through it all, Erin was Taylor’s one true friend. But as Erin watches her best friend self-destruct, she knows that telling Taylor the truth about what she’s become could end their friendship once and for all.
AT THE MOVIES: We walk into the theatre and see the poster for CELEBRITY SKIN: THE MOVIE. What’s the movie’s logline?
It’s Not Easy To Be BFFs With An A-List Diva
Why the title CELEBRITY SKIN?
It’s the name of a song by one of my favorite 90s grunge bands, Hole. It’s all about how Hollywood can chew you up and spit you out. Taylor achieves enviable success, but she’s quickly transformed from a regular girl into a teenager who’s seen too much and barely lived to tell the tale.
Fill in the blank: “After reading CELEBRITY SKIN, you’ll rethink what you think you know about celebrities.”
What was the initial spark that created CELEBRITY SKIN?
I’ve been an entertain ment journalist for ages, and if you can think of a celebrity I’ve probably interviewed them. Of course, along the way I found out a lot of things I wouldn’t want to print or literally couldn’t print, either because I’d get sued or because personally, I have never wanted to write gossip column material. The only way I could really write about the truly scandalous things that happen in Hollywood every day was to write fiction.
Since the release of CELEBRITY SKIN, have you had any celebrities wonder if you’re writing about them within the pages of your fiction?
No one’s asked me directly , but when I do interview celebrities, I don’t mention the book, and they don’t, either. I think we’re all operating on a don’t ask-don’t tell policy! I think it could be pretty awkward for all involved.
What is one of the overall goals you have in developing this series?
Everyone who reads Us Weekly or TMZ.com thinks they know all the dirt on Hollywood, but that’s really just the surface. I wanted to show people why celebrities go spinning out of control, and shine a spotlight on not just the glam our, but the challenges, too.
You have written thousands of articles for publications such as People, Teen, Mademoiselle, and Entertainment Weekly. Talk to us about what led you to move into a writing career, particularly a career that focused on entertainment and celebrities.
I came out to Los Angeles to study film, and I got involved with journalism while I was in college. It was a natural combination!
What are THREE adjectives that best describe CELEBRITY SKIN?
Glamorous, revealing and real.
What are THREE adjectives that best describe YOU?
Funny, dedicated and loyal.
Liane Bonin: The Soundtrack: What tracks might we see on the soundtrack of your life? Why?
Strange Angels by Laurie Anderson. It’s just a beautiful, ethereal song and I think in our lives we do stumble across “strange angels,” people we don’t expect to influence or help us, but who do.
What are some things you’re doing to promote CELEBRITY SKIN?
I’ve had book signings, a very cool book party at Leap Shoe Lounge (a store where celebrities like Kim Kardashian and the cast of Desperate Housewives shop) in Calabasas, Calif., attended book fairs and have done interviews like this one.
Many people believe that good writers are also voracious readers. What are three of your favorite books, and why do they make the list?
Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon and Ghost World by Daniel Clowes. They’re all completely different books, but what they share in common is a strong sense of story, compelling characters and vividly portrayed worlds.
Looking back on your writing journey, what authors or books have influenced and/or inspired you as a writer? Why?
Friends like Nina Malkin (6x: The Uncensored Confessions) and C. Leigh Purtill (Love, Meg) have been an inspiration because there’s nothing better than having good friends who know exactly what you’re going through.
CELEBRITY SKIN: The Movie. Who would play Taylor Christensen and Erin Kim?
Taylor Christensen would be played by Miley Cyrus, whike20Erin’s a little tougher – I’d always envisioned Keiko Agena (Gilmore Girls) in the role, but she’s probably too grown up now.
What’s currently going on in your WRITING LIFE?
I’m working on a new novel that’s completely unrelated to celebrity stuff. It’s in more of a supernatural vein. That’s all I’ll say, but it’s a lot of fun!