From Hollywood to Bollywood and Vine and Youtube we are a celeb obsessed society that has seen reality tv take over since the turn of the millennium. One man who has lived, seen and experienced it all, is Irish entertainment journalist Alan Murphy. The 34 year old will now spill the beans this weekend in a new book containing his top celeb interviews. The west of Ireland native has sat down with everyone from Charlize Theron and Enrique Iglesias to Louis Walsh and Janice Dickinson. The book is called 'Beyond The Spotlight" and will be unveiled at a Hollywood themed red carpet event at The G Hotel, Galway on September 9th. We asked him why do celebs fascinate us so much in the UK and how scandalous will his book be!
Why write a book Alan?
I know it sounds so clichéd but I've wanted to write a book ever since I was a little kid. When
I was 7 or 8 in school and we'd get a one copy page story to write for homework, I'd come in
the next day with a six page masterpiece full of outrageous plot line twists and multi-layered
characters. So when I signed a deal with Book Hub Publishing, it was literally a dream come true. I've always absolutely loved writing and I've worked as a journalist in the showbiz industry for over 12 years. I've known for a long time that my stories from the world of celebrity would make for a great book but it was this year that I've finally made the time to write it. I've been everything from a magazine columnist to a showbiz editor over the years so a book felt like the natural next step for me. I'm just so blown away now that it's actual out there for people to read. It's too exciting!
What is the focus of the book?
Beyond The Spotlight explores the whole culture of fame and celebrity. I think celebrities fascinate us all and my book lifts the lid on what they are really like and it lets you inside their world and the showbiz bubble. I've been so lucky to have met and interviewed everyone from Lindsay Lohan to Simon Cowell. This book features interviews with so many huge stars and it's a look at fame from their point of view as well as mine. It's a very fun read full of gossip and VIP parties and red carpet events and utter madness.
Who are the most intriguing people you spoke to?
Oh that's a tough question. I've loved so, so many of the people I've met over the years but Janice Dickinson would have to be the most intriguing. She was such a riot! I loved her crazy side that we all know so well from her various TV appearances. She's hilarious, in your face vulgar, ridiculously opinionated and totally, totally fabulous. But then there's her kind and more vulnerable side which not many people get to see. She's so caring and sweet and charitable. She was incredibly nice to me and she's definitely intriguing but also very lovely.
Then there's Gilles Marini who has become one of my dearest friends over the years. He's such a special and inspirational person with the kindest heart.
What can we learn about celebrity culture from your publication?
I think the most thing you can learn about celebrity culture from the book is that, in most cases, the stars have a choice. They can choose to become completely affected by fame or they can choose to still live a somewhat normal life. It's up to them which road they take.
Celebrities that are constantly hounded by paparazzi and fans and have no privacy whatsoever, they more times than not put themselves in that position. They want that. They crave it. They go to the parties and events and places where they know they'll get photographed and they often tip off the paps themselves. And they tweet and snapchat and Instagram every single waking moment of their existence. Nothing is sacred. Just look at the Kardashians, for example. Fame is almost like a drug to them. Then there's other A-Listers and we rarely know their whereabouts or really anything about them. They protect their privacy with everything they've got and stay out of the spotlight whenever they can. They go about their everyday lives just like you and me.
What advice have you for aspiring writers in the UK?
If you want to write a book, then write it. Go for it! Just write, write, write. And contact publishers left, right and centre. If you have a good book in you then let it out. It's the best feeling ever to write about something you love and are passionate about. The other advice I have is to make your writing space somewhere you like. I wrote everyday in this lovely little coffee shop in the town I live in and I sat there for hours eating great food and drinking cup after cup of tea and I just loved the whole experience. I also wrote a lot of the book in LA, which is my favourite place in the whole entire world. Plus as it's the home of showbiz, I think it gives my book a real authentic feel to have written so much of it there. Make writing as fun and comfortable as possible. And write a book that's true to you.
Anything that had to be cut from the book and why?
No. That was the number one most important thing about this book when I decided to write it. It had to be a book completely true to me and my experiences. I didn't want to hold back on anything. I wanted it to be an honest look at this elusive world and so I say what I really feel, and all the time. This book is so me in every single way and I really hope people have as much fun reading it as I had writing it.
The book also includes stories about Eddie Murphy and deceased icons Michael Jackson and Prince from Alan's time in LA. For more information: http://www.bookhubpublishing.com/