Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Welcome Women’s Fic Author Wendy Holden!

Hi Everyone—please welcome a fellow Sourcebooks author and bestselling UK women’s author Wendy Holden, whose latest release, Beautiful People, hit stores last week, and she’s come to visit with us to chat and have a launch party!!

It’s great to have a launch party – they’ve kind of died out here in the UK, which is a shame, as there used to be some super ones. I remember one where the author dressed up as a bride, which was pretty crazy. I had a few good ones myself – my first novel, Simply Divine, was launched on a tidal wave of champagne and celebrities at the Ritz in London; some excellent follow-up bashes for my subsequent novels included two at the prestigious Blue Bar at the Berkeley Hotel, London. At the first one I had the great good fortune of being crashed by Leonardo DiCaprio and Gisele – it wasn’t that they wanted to come, exactly, more that they wanted to get to the bar and couldn’t work out who all these folks waving paperbacks at them were. Eventually they turned tail and escaped through the restaurant kitchens. The next year in the same place, exactly the same thing happened with Madonna and Guy Ritchie. I was beginning to see the Blue Bar as kind of my lucky spot, but then publishing budgets got tighter than a pair of non-elasticated skinny jeans and my editor was no longer content to sign off the kind of bar bill habitually run up by our own dear Prince Harry (in the papers here this week for blowing £10,000 on champagne on a single night off from the army. And he wasn’t even launching a book, what a waste!). So it’s great of you all to host one for me!

I do hope you’ll enjoy Beautiful People, my comedy of celebrity lives; it was a hoot to write and includes all my favourite fantasies about A-listing it in Hollywood, not to mention luxury living in the choicer parts of Italy and London. There’s also a lot about food – one of the heroes is the sexiest imaginable chef and practically every woman who ever reads it tells me how much she likes the luscious descriptions of delicious Italian food! Right now, at home, I’m engaged in organising a birthday party for my daughter, who will soon be six. She’s eschewing all the usual riding, swimming and princess ideas and is lobbying for what I know will be a real winner with all the mums – a worm party. You’ve read it right – she wants to take all her friends to the vegetable patch at the bottom of our garden, give them each a small plant pot and get them to fill it with worms they dig out of the plot. I’m holding out against it, but Isabella is very determined and insists it’s very eco.

Enjoy Beautiful People, you beautiful people, and thanks for a great party!


A big thank you to Wendy Holden for chatting with us today—she’s in the UK so her comments might come at weird times, but hopefully she’ll be able to check in! Do any of you have fun celebrity stories? Leave a comment that answers that question and be entered to win one of two copies of Beautiful People!

About the Author
Wendy Holden was a journalist on The Sunday Times, Tatler and The Mail on Sunday before becoming a full time author. She has now published nine novels, all being top 10 bestsellers in the UK, and is married with two young children. Her novels include Farm Fatale, Bad Heir Day, Simply Divine, Gossip Hound, The Wives of Bath, The School for Husbands, Azur Like it, and Filthy Rich.


  1. No stories to share, but just wanted to wish Wendy much success on the book launch. Congratulations.

    Thoughts in Progress

  2. This book looks like so much fun!! Congrats, Wendy!!

  3. Congrats on the new release, Wendy!

  4. I WISH I had some celebrity stories. Mine are usually, a friend of a friend saw some actor or actress I've never heard of because he or she is like 17.

    Congrats on your release!

  5. Thanks for commenting everyone!!

    I've actually had a celebrity encounter... I think... I was in London in the summer of 2003 and on the tube coming back from a day trip out to Camden Hills, when my friend who was sitting across from me was STARING at this tall blonde woman sitting next to me. Of course, I had no idea what was going on and she kept taking very awkward photos of me, but positioned ever so slightly to my left...

    While her photos never quite turned out, when we returned home, we were delighted to read in the tabloids that Julia Roberts, in London to film the movie Closer, had dyed her hair blond and was enjoying some liberties of not being imediately recognized.

    So, I can't really confirm it, but I like to tell everyone that I sat next to Julia Roberts on the Tube :-)

  6. Congratulations, Wendy!
    My favorite celebrity story took place many years ago on my first trip to Hollywood. My husband and I were told to eat at Spago's which at the time was a nondescript, old, one-story building, if we wanted to see celebrities. Well the first person we saw was Joan Rivers. This must have been before her first face surgery because she looked good and she was the only celebrity we saw in the restaurant so that was a little disappointing. But as we walked out the door Zah Zah Gabor was walking up the steps. I was absolutely stunned at how beautiful she was. She was dressed in an off the shoulder, fitted bodice, full skirt black dress. Three strands of chocker pearls hugged her neck. Her oh so blonde hair and make up were perfect. She was so glamorous and she smiled and said hello as she passed us. All we cold do was stand and stare. To this day she is still the most beautiful person I have ever seen. In contrast, just that afternoon we had been on the set of Cheers to watch a taping of the show and Christie Alley was the star at the time and there was nothing about her that said movie star or glamorous.

  7. Welcome Wendy!

    Out here in Southern California you'll find a lot of reptile themed birthday parties.

    Consider yourself lucky with just worms.

    No celebrity sightings at launch parties. I tend to see them at the car wash or grocery store.

  8. Wow, Amelia! You've had some great sightings! How funny to see Joan Rivers before her surgeries :)

  9. Hey Linda--that must be pretty interesting to see celebs in a more natural element!!!

  10. Wow! I don't know which sounds more fun -- a worm party, or reading this book! Er, that is to say that BOTH things sound fabulously enjoyable.

    I don't have many celebrity stories myself. I got to interview Weird Al Yankovic back when I was a newspaper reporter, does that count? Didn't think so.


  11. Wendy, re: the worm party. You could make a slight modification: crumbled up oreo cookies are the "dirt," and gummy worms for the invertebrates. And some left over Easter peeps for bunnies, and I'm sure there are lollipops in the shape of flowers.

    A much nicer "eco" party, imo. :)

  12. Wendy, welcome to the blog and I'm sorry for the lateness of my post. I had sick puppy issues, luckily my 10-year-old Lab baby seems to be on the mend.

    Love the worm party idea, although I have to agree with Judi when it comes to the snacks. I'm a big fan of dirt pudding and gummy worms, spiders and I have a real thing for peeps.

    As for celebrity stories - I spent years and years skiing in Sun Valley, Idaho and was fortunate enough to ski with Clint Eastwood - I was skiing alone and he didn't think that was a good idea. He asked if he could ski with me. I was about 13 at the time and was more impressed with the fact that he got to work with an Orangutan than his personal star-power. I said that would be fine if he could keep up with me. He was a great skiier so he didn't have a problem. We skiied all day - he even had lunch with me. I got 4 hotdogs, a hot chocolate, and a chocolate chip cookie and was sooo embarrassed when he paid. (I had my own money and would not have been such a pig had I known he was going to insist on buying.)

    I met Adam West several times (he's in the Ketchum, ID phone book as both Adam West and Batman) Yoko Ono, Barbara Streisand, Richard Dryfus, Demi Moore and Bruce Willis (my friend was their nanny). Sara Gilbert, Maria Shriver, Margo Hemingway, I know there are more...I just can't think of any.

  13. Great to meet you and your books, Wendy!
    And I think your daughter might be on to something. :}