Julie K. L. Dam (Author - 'Some Like It Haute')
'Turning Up The Heat!'
Born in Vietnam, Julie K.L. Dam grew up in Dallas, Texas, where she first experimented with hairspray and learned the subtle difference between a mule and a slide. While studying American history and literature at Harvard, she was drawn to journalism by the prospect of getting to see movies and listen to CDs before anyone else did.
After graduating in 1993, she moved to New York City to work for TIME magazine as a reporter and writer. During a 2 1/2-year stint in TIME's London office, she covered fashion and entertainment for the magazine; highlights included reporting on the death of Princess Diana and conducting an exclusive interview with Donatella Versace on the eve of her first solo show after her brother's murder.
In 1999, she returned to New York to write and edit showbiz and fashion stories for PEOPLE magazine. Now PEOPLE's music senior editor, she has come to the realization that her greatest contribution to society, at least in volume, has been her tireless chronicling of Jessica Simpson's love life for the magazine.
Her interests outside of work sound a lot like her work: fashion and pop culture, plus basketball (watching, not playing) and yoga (practicing, not watching). She currently lives on Manhattan's Upper West Side and has just released her new book, 'Some Like It Haute.'
Chatting recently with Julie Dam with regard her brand new novel 'Some Like It Haute,' I first noted that once she had started placing photos of her own feet in various styles of shoes on the promotional website for this new book (SomeLikeItHaute.com), that suddenly the publics requests started to turn, well, less than innocent with regard their personal fetishes! Therein, are you still in contact with 'Feetman'?! "No, but that's just because winter came and I stopped wearing open-toe shoes. Just wait till the temperature hits 70. I'm sure he'll be back!"
Regarding this novel, 'Some Like It Haute,' how similar to you is the self-described "fashionista" main character (and small-town Texas girl), Alex Simons? "Yeah, I'm from Texas and I love fashion and I love to shop. But I like to think that I'm just a little more responsible and a little less accident-prone than Alex."
Born in Vietnam, you grew up in Dallas, Texas, but at what stage did writing on a more creative level begin to open up a whole new world for you? "When I was a teenager I used to write really tragic short stories. (I was in my dead romantics stage, I think. I read a lot of Keats and Byron and Bronte.) But I also wrote a pretty goofy British soap opera! Talk about a whole new world. But I didn't do much of that during college. I didn't start writing fiction again until this book project. But when I finally did, I really found it refreshing -- just a nice change from writing magazine articles, which I'd been doing for almost 10 years."
During your 2 1/2-year stint in TIME's London office, where you covered fashion and entertainment, you journalistic highlights included the death of Princess Diana and conducting an exclusive interview with Donatella Versace on the eve of her first solo show after her brother's murder. Both intense, but what still stands out about them for you all these years later? "With Diana, I just remember getting swept up in the news part of it and completely missing the overwhelming outpouring of grief that was going on all over London. It was strange to be working 12, 15 hour days in the office, on the phone talking to sources and writing, and never seeing the tributes, the flowers, the mourners until the day of the funeral. And that day, what I remember most was just how quiet the streets of London were, even though there were probably millions of people out. All you could hear were the clop-clop-clop of the horses as the cortege passed."
It's obvious that fans of fashionable chick lit tales will enjoy this engrossing tale, but now seeing it on the book store shelves I'm wondering if there is any written element of it that you would still like to tinker with? "I wrote the book in '03, so I've had time to revise it a bit since then -- mostly just updating the fashion details and things like that. But when I was looking at the manuscript the last time before it went to press (after not reading it in a while) I have to say I kind of enjoyed reading it. I had actually forgotten some of the details so some lines actually made me laugh. If I may say so myself!"
Finally, are you perhaps working on you next book at this time and if so, have you a title and storyline put aside for it yet? "Yes, I've got ideas for 2 books -- one chick lit, the other historical fiction (!) -- but it's still early days. Stay tuned!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Julie K. L. Dam's brand new book 'Some Like It Haute,' just answer this easy question: Although Julie K.L. Dam grew up in Dallas, Texas, as noted above she was actually born in Vietnam ... but in which city?
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new and AUTOGRAPHED books! Just send us an e:mail here before May 15th with your answer and the subject title 'SIGNED SOME LIKE IT HAUTE BOOKs' to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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