I recently had the chance to chat with Amanda Goldberg and Ruthanna Khalighi Hopper, authors of the fab new book “Beneath a Starlet Sky.”

The book is a quick read – it’s one of those novels that makes you stay up all night reading, then hurry to get off work early – just to get home and keep reading.

But this post isn’t my official review. First, I wanted to give you all a chance to get to know the authors: Amanda Goldberg and Ruthanna Khalighi Hopper.

Here’s what they had to say:

Chick Lit & Wine: Lola struggles in this book to find herself and figure out whether she belongs in Hollywood or New York. As daughters of movie producers did either of you ever feel that way?

Amanda and Ruthanna: I think we still feel this way! We both come from creatively successful families and we’ve worked hard to find our way outside of those large shadows.

CL&W: Ruthanna – I know you originally started writing poetry. How did Amanda convince you to dive into prose? 

R: We were having lunch together one day, talking about how deeply unfulfilled we felt in our jobs.  We were both working as producers and feeling a bit lost in the Hollywood shuffle.  Neither of us had ever thought about writing professionally.  It just seemed so unrealistic to imagine such a thing.  But then these books like Bergdorf  Blondes and The Devil Wears Prada and Sex In The City were such big hits and we felt like nothing had been done on the Hollywood scene.  So we decided to take a leap of faith and dive in.  But let’s put it this way, neither of us quit our day jobs right away.  Eventually we were able to!

CL&W: Amanda – You were an English major in college. What led you to that major and ultimately this career? 

A: Originally I wanted to go to Parsons or FIT for fashion design but decided to get a liberal arts education first.  I chose English lit because I felt it was a really solid base for any career especially one in the creative arts.  Now, I’m incredibly grateful I opted on an English major.  Especially when Ruthanna called me 7 years ago and said she’d taken a hike on Runyon Canyon and had the thought that we should write a book together.  It was truly nothing I had thought I could do professionally until Ruthanna persuaded me otherwise.  So thank you Ruthanna!

CL&W: What’s it like writing as a team? Do you feel like it’s easier to write with a combination of your rich backgrounds combined, or is it more difficult to streamline the narrative? 

A&R: Having a writing partner means having to show up.  There’s someone else depending on you to do good work, so you’ve got to sit down and do it.  Even when you’d rather do anything else (because writing is tough) there’s no getting out of it. You also have the benefit of a built-in, immediate audience.  You aren’t living in a vacuum the way most writer’s who write alone do.  With a writing partner there’s a sort of immediate response, a sounding board to say whether what you’ve done is working or not.

CL&W: I have to know – were any of the scenes in Cannes based on real life? I loved the description of Sergei Crimini’s boat. Any chance that’s real? (And can we go there together, please?) 

A&R: There was an incredible and quite surreal experience on a similar kind of a yacht.  One of those kinds of experiences where you say, “what the heck am I doing here and how did I get so lucky to be invited?  Surely these people are going to realize I don’t belong here and send me home!”  You will appreciate this: much Domain Ott and Roth wine was served.  It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience, and being an invited guest, probably one which will never happen again.  Otherwise, we’d love to take you!!

CL&W: I love the book trailers –  I haven’t seen that type of promotion before. Were these inspired by your movie-making backgrounds, or are these now commonplace and I’m just out of the loop? 

A&R: We’re so glad you like them! At the time of our first novel, authors were just starting to make promo trailers for books.  So we gave it a go.  And they were definitely inspired by our movie-making backgrounds.  In fact, Amanda had been a producer on the movie Charlie’s Angels, which the wonderful director McG directed, and so she was able to get him to direct the trailers, which was a phenomenal experience for us.  We were basically the writers, costume designers, props people, catering.  We did it all.

CL&W: Will there be a third in this series? 

A&R: You never know…  Lola may throw on her Ugg Boots and head to the Sundance Film Festival.

CL&W: Are there talks of making “Celebutantes” or “Beneath a Starlet Sky” into a movie? 

A&R: We would certainly love it!  We’ll keep you posted…

CL&W: And – finally – our readers want to know – what are your favorite wines?

A&R: There are a few wines that won’t break the bank that are really wonderful.  Mark West Pinot Noir is totally drinkable and at about 9 dollars a bottle it’s a great wine if you need to buy a case for a party.  There’s also a really wonderful rose called Chateau du Rouet from Cotes de Provence.  It’s definitely comparable to Domain Ott without the price tag.  It’s a wonderful spring and summer wine! On the more expensive side (around 19 bucks a bottle) is Erath Pinot Noir from Oregon.  This is a goody.  Yum.  You’re making us want to crack open a bottle and it’s not even noon yet!

 Don’t forget!

There are still a couple of days left to enter to win your own copy of “Beneath a Starlet Sky”!

How to Enter:
(1) “Like” us on Facebook, AND
(2) Tweet about the contest with this link included: http://is.gd/ChickLitWineFB

Look for a full review here soon, xoxo

♥ Syrah