by Sara Rosett
You might not think it from the title, but in my new book, Milkshakes, Mermaids, and Murder, Ellie crosses paths with a celebrity paparazzi photographer. The photographer was a hoot to write, using disguises, climbing trees, and bribing hotel doormen to get the scoop on her celebrity quarry.
Personally, I’ve only had two up-close celebrity sightings. I saw Al Franken in the security line at Reagan National. He looked just as harried as everyone as he tried to get everything ready to go through the scanner. That sighting was just a quick glimpse.
I was on another flight last year when I noticed a lot of activity near the back aisle of first class. I wasn’t in first class (would have been nice!) but I was seated on the first row of coach, so I had a good view of people coming and going. In particular, several flight attendants were very concerned that the passenger in the last row of first class be comfortable.
It took me awhile to figure it out, but when a young girl brought a phone, a piece of paper, and a pen with her and shyly approached the row, I realized there was a “star” in first class. The girl asked if she could take a picture. She took it and then the star autographed the paper. The girl shyly congratulated the star on her recent grand slam wins, and I finally realized it was Serena Williams.
I did a lot of research about paparazzi as well as celebrities and their entourages while I wrote Milkshakes. Some celebrities employ countless aides and experts: personal assistants, secretaries, hair and beauty professionals, nannies (for kids and pets), exercise trainers, diet and nutrition experts, and various consultants, like Anastasia Soare, who Oprah called the “eyebrow guru” because celebrity brows are her business. Some celebs don’t have time to do their own social media and hire people to update their accounts. My favorite job title was celebrity ghost tweeter. Nothing is too trivial to be outsourced, apparently: Ashton Kutchner hired someone to run his fantasy football team. As I did the celebrity/paparazzi research, I concluded most stars don’t live normal lives, despite the magazine spreads that claim celebrities do normal things like pump their own gasoline and take their kids to the park.
After watching the interaction on the plane I was more convinced than ever that being a star results in an odd life. It was interesting to watch the fawning interaction around the tennis star, how the crew gave her special attention (which she really didn’t seem to want), and how the other passengers either covertly watched her or openly snapped her photo.
In the abstract, being a star sounds great, but watching the reality of it firsthand made me glad that after a long day of travel I could grab my bag and go home. No one cared or even noticed, which was really nice.
Have you had a celebrity sighting?
A native Texan, Sara is the author of the Ellie Avery mystery series and the On The Run suspense series. Publishers Weekly called Sara’s books, "satisfying," "well-executed," and "sparkling."As a military spouse, Sara has moved around the country (frequently!) and traveled internationally, which inspired her latest suspense novels.
Sara loves all things bookish, considers dark chocolate a daily requirement, and is on a quest for the best bruschetta. Connect with Sara at www.SaraRosett.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Goodreads.