It’s time for me to go off-topic, not only because I haven’t done it in ages but also because if I were going to detail my quirks, I’d probably have to subject you to a novella. I’d like instead to pay tribute to the shockingly amazing writers who blurbed my book — and explain how I got them. To my knowledge, nobody really talks or writes that much about blurbing — except for Barry Eisler, in this riveting post — and I know that I didn’t have a clue how to deal with this until I was flung into the middle of it.
“Imagine Bridget Jones with a byline, bigger IQ, and substance abuse issues, and you’ve entered Party Girl territory. Anna David writes with a strain of relentless, self-deprecating genius that re-casts the worn-down hooves of Prada-wearing demons with spanking new kicks … Party Girl is the kind of book it’s impossible to read without stopping to repeat great lines to total strangers, who will then try and follow you home. The writing is at once laugh-out loud hysterical and Capote elegant. … Every generation deserves an epic worthy of its own glam self-destruction and redemption. This time, Party Girl earns the crown. It’s a fantastic, beautifully written, and authentic slice of a life that looked shiny on the outside. By the end, the reader is just praying Ms. David will get back in her chair and write After-Party.”
—Jerry Stahl, bestselling author of Permanent Midnight and I, Fatty
When I made a dream list of who I wanted to blurb me, Jerry Stahl was at the top of it. I’m kind of over The Secret now that it’s been Oprah-ized but I’ll have you know that mere weeks after making the list, I randomly met him, told him how much of an inspiration he was to me and he offered to blurb before I even had the chance to formulate how I was going to ask for his email address and strategically write him until we had the kind of relationship where I would ultimately feel confident enough to ask such a thing of him. How much did his blurb thrill me? Well, let’s just say that I’ve read it enough times that I can recite it verbatim without having it in front of me.
“I love this book! Party Girl is a smart, hilarious, and sometimes poignant page-turner that takes you past the velvet ropes and into the rabbit hole of the Hollywood party scene. David addresses addiction, recovery, and modern love in such a funny, honest, caustic, and no-holds-barred way, you feel like you’ve lived it (and in the case of David’s delightfully flawed and redeemed heroine) survived it.”
—Cindy Chupack, author of The Between Boyfriends Book and a writer/executive producer of Sex and the City
I met Cindy at a dinner party for Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys, the anthology coming out in May that she and I both contributed essays to (mine was excerpted for Modern Love in The New York Times and actually, Cindy’s wonderful and hilarious essay was as well and will be running there in May). She was so lovely and unassuming and after emailing a few times, she graciously agreed to blurb despite the fact that she’s busier than her former heroine, Carrie Bradshaw.
“Simultaneously channeling Charles Bukowski and Anaïs Nin, Anna David takes on a harrowing joy-ride through the often joyless Hollywood Hills of self-destruction and redemption. Party Girl is at once fresh, heart-breaking, and downright sexy. To watch Amelia Stone struggle to transcend the booze and booty-calls that define her sense of self is to ride shot-gun with a truly authentic voice that makes Sex and the City look like Disneyland. This is the real thing.”
—Ian Kerner, New York Times bestselling author of She Comes First and Be Honest—You’re Not That Into Him Either
I’d met Ian a few years ago, through a friend who writes with him and love interviewing him about sex and relationships for magazine stories. I asked him if he’d blurb on a Monday and he’d sent this in, I believe, by Thursday. Such expedience shed some light on how he’s able to churn out bestselling book after bestselling book.
“Let the prose paparazzo’s flashbulbs explode on this stunning debut. Fiercely sexy, bracingly frank. In Party Girl, Anna David quite simply gives us back our soul in this played-out Paris Hilton era. Reality fiction never had it so good. This girl’s the real thing.”
—Rachel Resnick, LA Times bestselling author of Go West, Young F*cked Up Chick
Rachel and I both used to teach at Mediabistro and she’s wild and wonderful and as encouraging to new writers as anyone I’ve ever met. When we met, Party Girl was 100 pages of what I felt was nonsense and she was a real writer, a novelist whose book was a best-seller. Yet you’d never have known it from the way she talked to me — in her eyes, Party Girl was a viable book, something I should be thrilled about despite the fact that it wasn’t finished and I didn’t have a clue if anyone was ever going to want it, and it gave me a much-needed dose of confidence in it. Now we share the same agent and lawyer.
“Media is a twitter with stories of celebrity party girls and yet not a soul seems to understand what the lives of these young women are truly like. Well, here it is. Anna David has provided us with the real deal. A roller coaster read that transports us in to the world of the Party Girl. Once emblematic for feminine machismo and independence, the party girl of today is in fact a human being with an illness. At once uproarious and poignant, Anna David’s portrayal of the experience of addiction and nuances of recovery is the most accurate I have come across.”
—Dr. Drew Pinsky, addiction expert and cohost of Loveline
I’ve always admired Dr. Drew for the way he’s brought honest discussion about addiction to the mainstream – I’ve interviewed him for various stories over the years and he’s been a major inspiration to me in my other life as a person who gives sex and relationship advice.
“You’ll screech in amazed delight at every page of Anna David’s Party Girl. If you’ve ever stared at photos of Hollywood nightclubs and wondered, What do Hollywood’s gliterati really talk about and do when the cameras are off, Anna David has the travel guide for you. A hilarious tale of a madcap self-destructing screwball heroine—Irene Dunne with a Sidekick and Prada bag full of cocaine—careening through the glamorous palaces of Tinseltown. A Less Than Zero for the Paris Hilton age.”
—Richard Rushfield, author of On Spec: A Novel of Young Hollywood
Richard is a hilarious and tenacious writer for The L.A. Times, a fellow American Idol blogger, and a good friend. He also just sold his memoir. I love this blurb because it really sounds like him.
“Anna David’s Party Girl is acidly hilarious and thoroughly entertaining, an insider’s view on what life in Hollywood is really like, from the lavish gifting suites to hooking up with arrogant pop stars, with a poignant turn in rehab where pledges are made to be broken, with a heroine who is as sarcastic as she is vulnerable. A must-read!”
—Melissa de la Cruz, co-author of The Fashionista Files and How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less
Melissa and I met a few years ago and she was always very Resnick-like, taking the book I was writing as seriously as the many books she’d done, always casually insisting, “It will sell” whenever I told her about the doubts that were plaguing me. She’s the co-editor of the Girls Who Like Boys anthology.
“This is your brain on Party Girl: Sizzle. Pop. Narrative-as-amyl-nitrate. Anna David’s reality fiction dissects the supposed glitz of Hollywood and celebrity ‘journalism’ through the getting-sober eye of Amelia Stone, L.A.’s version of Sex and the City‘s Carrie Bradshaw—but with triple the level of smarts, self-awareness and psychopathology. This story wraps itself in societal satire but at its core is an earnest account of one young woman’s journey into her own heart of darkness. It’s that exploration that resonates for the reader long after the party is over.”
—Samantha Dunn, author of Faith in Carlos Gomez
Samantha is a good friend of Rachel’s and she graciously agreed to blurb without having ever met me. Her memoir, Not by Accident: Reconstructing a Careless Life is wonderful.
“In her debut novel, Anna David skillfully reveals the rituals of 21st century dating and mating while granting access to celebrity-packed VIP lounges, decadent Malibu house parties, and countless drug-strewn bathroom stalls. After tripping over her Miu Miu pumps and landing herself in rehab, Ms. David’s modern-day Holly Golightly does some soul-searching and learns that it’s her job to pick up her emotional bar tab at the end of the night. In Party Girl, readers are lucky to sign on as Ms. David’s plus-one.”
—Tom Dolby, author of The Trouble Boy
Tom is Melissa’s co-editor on the Girls anthology (title gets shorter ever time I mention it). I loved his novel, which was a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller.
In short, I asked every writer I’d ever met or hadn’t met, closed my eyes and hoped for the best. I’m in awe over the fact that every single one of them came through (actually, that second part is a complete lie — there were some people I contacted who completely blew me off. But I know that that’s because they weren’t meant to be. And that’s not The Secret talking…it’s the truth.)