Thursday, December 10, 2009

Where Are They Now: BSC Ghostwriters: Part II

Nola Thacker. Nola is the closest thing the BSC writers have to a hip young trendster. I noted earlier that she wrote a Real Laguna Beach book that started with the phrase, "Head-banging sex." She also wrote an autobio of Christina Aguilera and a book called The Complete Petrosexual about trends for dogs. Think of Nola as the bad girl among the writers. She's the reason why Claudia has a pair of Converse high tops for every color of the rainbow. I see her with a few too many earrings and hairstyles that range from Bettie Page bangs one minute to a dyed red cropped 'do the next, living in Park Slope.

So what would Nola write if she were given free rein? Well, one of my favorite books of hers was Maid Mary Anne where she writes what I'm convinced is a satirical masterpiece parodying old ladies everywhere. (You just know that if Ann or Ellen had penned Maid Mary Anne, it would have ended with a reprise of We love you, Mrs. Towne, oh yes we do.) I like to think that Nola's kind of resentful of the fact that she never got the chance to work for Bust or Bitch. That she has a degree from a small liberal arts college and yet spends her days fact checking and obsessively cross referencing the BSC. That more of her income comes from Ann M. and Scholastic than from her sporadic photo shoots with SuicideGirls.

Nola wishes she wrote Grey Gardens to send up Ann M. and Ellen. Old biddies cackling and sniping at each other on Broadway. It's gold!

Suzanne Weyn. She thinks she knows about ballet because she's heard of Baryshnikov (though she still can't spell it) and has been to Lincoln Center one time. This, and the fact that she's written the No Way Ballet series, apparently qualifies her to write a lot of the dance/Jessi heavy books.

What else can I say about her? Based on the fact that she wrote Mallory Hates Boys (and Gym), and Dawn and the School Spirit War, I get the sense that she was one of the awkward but whip smart girls growing up. The type of girl who during volleyball would put out her arm, smirking rather than risk an injury. The kind of girl who makes comparisons to Leni Riefenstahl films at the pep rally.

And unlike Peter Lerangis, Suzanne is the kind of girl who doesn't believes in the power of a good makeover, a nice haircut, and a hot off the shoulder outfit. Reading Dawn's Big Date made me realize that she believes that being yourself is the right thing to do when you meet a boy you like. And that working on your personality and knowing about current events is a better way to prep for a date rather than hitting up the Clinique counter. (Suzanne's more than a bit batty, but I like her.)

I bet Suzanne wishes she were really writing for MTV's Daria. She could do dialogue for a character who's cynical but not a dorky malcontent (read: Mal), and best of all, write about an artsy girl who knows about Georgia O'Keeffe and yet isn't best friends with Quinn-lite. (You just know that Claudia would never stay BFF with Stacey for long, not after her first art colony experience.)

Jahanna Beechem and Malcolm Hillgartner. Based on googling, I found out that sometimes they use the pseudonym Jahanna N. Malcolm. Apparently they're married. But the Sadako theory is that they're really siblings in that creepy Jack and Meg White way. And that actually Malcolm's dead in the cellar and that Jahanna collects his residuals while telling herself that he's still alive, and impersonating his voice in a Norman Bates/Senor Fuentes type deal.

What are the marks of a Jahanna book? Books that are fact-checked less thoroughly than Going Rogue and so many WTF moments that you could have drinking games based on them. Think Skylar Korman being referred to as a "he" (yeah sex change!) or two thirteen year old girls in Dawn's Family Feud never having heard of the Boston Tea Party (duh, Jahanna, it's called American Girl and her name is Felicity!). Well, if you were as insane as her wouldn't you be tripping up a lot, too?

I bet this Faulkner masterpiece (for those of you not in the know, imagine a Southern gentleman writing Weekend at Bernies) is what she wishes she'd written. Why in German? Because that was the best image I could find and because I like to imagine that Jahanna is an obsessive Germanophile with a membership to Sam's Bratwurst Club in her wallet.