**Giveaway is now closed**
Today we welcome both Natalie Aaron and Marla Schwartz, co-authors of "Unscripted."
NATALIE AARON was born in Kansas, moved to L.A. and was hired as a PA on commercials and music videos. Natalie went on to such critically acclaimed shows as Taxicab Confessions, Behind the Music and Movies That Shook the World, where she learned how to coax interviews from reluctant celebrities. Her recent producing credits include The Judds, Ruby, Sweet Home Alabama and Little People, Big World. Natalie lives in L.A. and hardly ever wonders how she wound up doing this for a living.
MARLA SCHWARTZ was born in L.A. but moved to England to pursue a graduate degree in Medieval Studies. After working as Head Researcher for both Dreamworks Animation and writer/director Andrew Niccol, she began working as a television producer. Marla’s producing credits include Blind Date, Starting Over, Making the Band, Bad Girls Club, Dane Cook’s Tourgasm, and Wanted: Ted or Alive, an assignment that required her to screen footage of a deer being shot, gutted, and cooked. Marla lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter and hardly ever wonders how she wound up doing this for a living.
Thanks to Samantha Robey of Chick Lit Plus, who is running their blog tour, we have TWO e-books of "Unscripted" to share with some lucky readers anywhere!
Visit Natalie and Marla at their website, Twitter and Facebook pages.
What was the idea behind writing “Unscripted?”
We’re both reality TV producers and over the years, we’ve spent many hours laughing at the shenanigans we’d witnessed, heard about from friends or um, actually participated in. We would often say how fun it would be to read a book set in the world of reality TV until one day we realized that we actually wanted to write it.
How did you transition into the writing world?
This answer is two-fold. First off, both of us loved writing as children. After we befriended one another, we quickly learned that as kids we both indulged in writing morose poems about death and heartbreak. We also shared with each other of our later works, which we found equally amusing. Marla had attempted to write several unfinished novels about blood-thirsty ghosts, while Natalie’s endeavors included spec scripts for shows such as “The Simpsons” and “My So Called Life.” We knew that our passion for writing was the same, but neither of us had much drive to get the job done without the help of one another.
Secondly, the transition to actually writing a book was made easier when both of us ended up working in story departments for different reality television shows. You can learn a lot about crafting a story when your job is to turn hours and hours of footage of hedonistic reality stars into something that has an arc with a beginning, middle and end.
Who are your favorite authors of all time?
Marla – This is such a tough question for me to answer. So instead, I’ll give you a list of current authors whose works I’ve recently read (or re-read) and absolutely loved! Helen Fielding, Risa Green, Sara Gruen, Kathryn Stockett, Augusten Burroughs, Stieg Larsson and Philippa Gregory to name just a few.
Natalie - It’s always hard to make a list like this but here goes: Jonathan Franzen, Suzanne Collins, George R.R. Martin, Emily Giffin, Dave Eggers, Susanna Clarke, David Sedaris, J.K. Rowling, Jane Austen and Michael Chabon to name a few.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Marla – that’s easy, but also pretty tame. Chocolate. All forms. You could pump the stuff into my veins and it still wouldn’t be enough.
Natalie - Watching terrible movies just to mock them. You would completely judge me if you got a look at my Netflix instant queue. Oh and I’ll take chocolate, too!
If “Unscripted” was optioned for film, who would play the lead roles?
For Abby, right now we’d go with Kat Dennings - she’s so down to earth and has great comic timing. And for Will – we’re thinking Ryan Gosling...we’d get to meet him, right?
If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
Marla – “Harry Potter” of course! Who wouldn’t want to go to Hogwarts to learn spells all day and hang out with the Scooby gang! Thankfully, J.K. Rowling created such a realistic and fantastically detailed world that I already felt as though I was living inside each and every book.
Natalie – Hey, that was my answer, too! Looks like we’re going to be bunking together because I want to cast spells, make potions and drink Butterbeer! But I’ll skip the quidditch, thanks.
What are some of your hobbies?
Marla – Is it terrible to say none? Does that make me boring? I guess besides working, spending time with my family, friends and writing, it doesn’t leave much time in the day for anything else. I would love to be able to paint, or sculpt or take up some life-altering workout or yoga regime, but I’m neither artistic or, um, active.
Natalie – Let’s see - I taught myself guitar and wrote some really lame, folky songs…luckily I snapped out of that business. I also tried my hand at painting but that was a short-lived, expensive disappointment. (If anyone wants a top of the line oil painting set circa 2002 let me know!) Currently some of my hobbies include reading, random cooking attempts, beefing up my iTunes collection and of course, writing.
Did you make any new year’s resolutions?
Marla – Ha! Yes! My New Year’s resolution is to become more active (see above). I really want to lose weight this year and get back in shape. I know it’s probably the #1 answer if I was playing “Family Feud” and not a very original one, but it’s about time I jump on this healthy bandwagon.
Natalie – I made quite a few! Lose weight, create and execute some kind of exercise plan, read more, save more (or, errr some), write more and at the very least start thinking about retirement. Sigh.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
We’ve definitely discussed writing a follow-up to "Unscripted" – we’re still figuring it all out!
What is your favorite way to escape?
Marla – In my younger days, living, studying or back-packing around Europe was an amazing escape for me, which is why I kept doing it time and time again. But these days, a good book or movie will suffice.
Natalie – I love getting lost in a good book - I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stayed up way past my bedtime to make it to the end. And of course, movies, music and TV shows are fine alternatives, too. If my escape is situation specific then dinner with friends is mandatory.
Special thanks to Natalie and Marla for chatting with us and to Samantha for including us on the tour and sharing the e-books for the giveaway.
How to win "Unscripted":
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Giveaway ends January 23rd at midnight EST.