Allison Pearson is a well-known columnist in the UK thanks to her frequent musings on politics, celebrities, and royals, and she's found additional success in her side career as a novelist. Her first book, I Don't Know How She Does It, is being made into a movie starring Sarah Jessica Parker, and her second was just published in the US. I Think I Love You is Allison's fictional story of Petra, a die-hard Welsh fan of David Cassidy in the '60s. The book, in two parts, focuses on Petra's worship of the teen heartthrob from afar during her adolescent years, and later when her path finally crosses David's as an adult. The subject of idolization certainly is one that girls today can relate to thanks to Twilight and Bieber fever. Allison was in NYC recently on a press tour that included a stop by The Today Show, and I was able to chat with her about modern idols like Robert Pattinson, the life of a writer, meeting SJP, and being married to New Yorker film critic Anthony Lane. Here's more:
TrèsSugar: How did you know the story of a teenage David Cassidy fan was the story you needed to write about as a second novel?
Allison Pearson: I didn't want to write another book because I was completely exhausted having written the first one and I'd done a lot of publicity for it. But I was in Norway with a group of women from the publisher and some journalists, and they said, "You have to write another book." And I said, "No way!" And then they said, "Well what would you write about if you were ever to write it?" . . . All the women around the table were chat, chat, chatting about Donny Osmond, this person, that person, and there was one woman who didn't say anything. The Norway women said David Cassidy was huge in Norway, which I didn't know. We were all chatting, and the woman who stayed very silent, I was thinking she thought we were all ridiculous. Then she looked at me and said, "But he was mine." And I thought, OK! That's it! You have to write it.
TS: It's about such a specific time in girls' lives.
AP: You don't want the boy to get out of the poster on the bedroom wall and come down, really. It's about being in love with someone who will never hurt you because you'll never meet them . . . It's quite a brief period — about a year or so. My daughter, who's quite a huge Robert Pattinson fan, would still claim to be. You know in Twilight, you've got camp Jacob and camp Edward. One of her very good friends admitted that she quite liked Taylor Lautner — the treachery! It's like she's defected from East Germany or something!
TS: Sounds like she's a saboteur!
AP: There's also that funny thing where they don't know if they're in love with the actor or the character. So she was team Edward, but then there was Rob . . . My husband [Anthony Lane], who writes about film for The New Yorker, said, "But he's not a good actor!" She's like, "Daddy, how can you say that!?"
To read more from Allison on modern idols like Robert Pattinson and Justin Bieber, as well as on meeting SJP, just read more