Allie Kingsley, Author
I’m very interested in what people have to say in their bios, and Allie Kingsley’s is no different. She “began her career in photography working with the boldest names in fashion and entertainment. She continues to write and produce in both industries. She also enjoys writing columns for online and print magazines that focus on humor and social studies. Allie lives in New York City and Los Angeles.” I’m pretty sure all this is true, but there is a VERY important fact missing. This girl always has a smile on her face! From her fiery red hair to her on-point fashion sense, Allie has an energy about her that is absolutely contagious. She is extremely passionate, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone with a sunnier disposition. Allie is an author, and her first book “The Liar, the Bitch and the Wardrobe” [published by Penguin Group] hit shelves last week [September 4, 2012].
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
When I was 15, I elected to take a photography class with my friends because the teacher notoriously never took attendance, making it easy to sneak out and smoke weed behind the gym. I immediately fell in love with photography, and while my friends took off daily to get lit, I never missed an opportunity to be in the darkroom. The teacher became a mentor and inspired me to nurture my passion, which became an obsession that has stayed with me to this day.
What is your process like?
During the editing process for my book, my editor highlighted a chapter that was inspired by one of the lowest times in my life. She wanted me to get deeper emotionally and really produce something heart wrenching. The problem was that it had been years since I’d really thought about that instance and at the present time, I was in a really great place. To write something so sad and distressed felt unnatural and it wasn’t coming easy. A friend suggested that I create a playlist of depressing songs from that year to try and transport me emotionally to my past. And it worked. Before I knew it, I was typing away with tears streaming down my face, sobbing along to Coldplay and Radiohead.
Since then, I know if I want to feel a certain way or cultivate a storyline – I need music to inspire me. If I am writing about a crazy house party, I will plug-in and wander the streets of NYC aimlessly while losing myself in the Beastie Boys station on Pandora, and so on.
I do this thing – and as I speak to more creative types, I realize that I’m not alone – where when I am by myself and listening to music I completely zone out. For example, if I am walking down the beach to music, I don’t see the sand or the ocean or the people. It is as if a theater screen drops in front of my pupils and I see a music video or a movie playing and it’s streaming from my imagination. Sometimes after a long drive, I get to my destination and think, how did I even arrive here safely? I was completely locked in the zone, visualizing what I can only describe as a movie playing out in my mind. Whether running or walking or driving or hiking – if I am in some kind of motion and there is a soundtrack, my mind is spinning up a story and this is where my ideas are born. It feels magically organic and I think it’s pretty cool. My apologies to everyone else on the road.
Let’s chat about your book: The Liar, The Bitch and The Wardrobe. If you had to describe it Twitter style, how would you describe it? 140 characters or less please…
LBW is a fashion-based comedy & the first book ever to have the characters’ wardrobes professionally styled. Vogue meets Voltaire(ish)!
Why did you write this book?
I didn’t know what to get my friends and family for the holidays one year, so I decided to take the story I had swimming around in my head and write a book! My plans were honestly to go to Kinkos, print and bind them with a colorful spiral, stick a bow on it and call it Christmas. Let’s just say that things got a little carried away.
What is something you had to learn the hard way?
The importance of separating business and personal. Much like my main character, I entered the entertainment industry at a very young age and was easily, and willingly lured into the after party by the appeal of being in with the in-crowd. I was working, partying and becoming too close with the crew and the talent – the lines between work and play faded as did my credibility or ability to be taken seriously. I definitely set myself back career-wise by climbing up socially. If I knew then what I know now, I would have removed myself from the set and everyone on it at the end of the day and stuck with my own scene.
Best advice you could give to someone who wants to be an author?
Look, I know that I didn’t get a book deal because I’m the most amazing writer ever or because my book is groundbreaking and genius. Once I decided that I wanted to get published, I was persistent and I didn’t stop knocking on doors when they wouldn’t open. It took me six years to find the right agent, the best editor and a publisher who got my vision. There were many opportunities to cut corners or sell short, but I didn’t take them because I wanted what I wanted and I wasn’t going to settle for less. So my best advice is this: if you believe in yourself and your product, then don’t give up on it when the going gets tough and don’t settle for less than what you want. It will happen if you make it happen.
If you weren’t an author, what would you be?
I still wiggle my way onto photo shoots because that’s where my heart is. Just the other day, my friend booked me on a big shoot because she knew I needed to get a dose of interactive creativity. If I wasn’t writing, I’d probably have an updated portfolio and be out there hustling with the rest of ‘em (enter slight pang of jealousy).
What is one thing most people would be surprised to learn about you?
I am crazy about camping! Everything about it: sleeping under the stars, s’mores, swimming in natural springs, fishing, being without phones or television. There’s nothing like sitting around a bonfire giggling with your buddies.
How do you think we can make the world a better place?
Be nice! It sounds so simple – but it is! Friendliness is contagious. Look people in the eye. Say thank you to the stranger who held the door open. Smile at kids. Be respectful to service people. Treat everyone as an equal. Give compliments. Be genuine. Just… be nice.
I recommend you go out and meet Allie, she is currently on a book tour and here are the confirmed cities/dates:
9/5 at 7pm NYC’s upper west side Barnes and Noble
9/11 at 7pm LA’s Book Soup on Sunset Blvd
9/15 at 2pm Seattle’s Elliott Bay Books
You can purchase “The Liar, the Bitch and the Wardrobe” from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or support your local independent bookseller.
Other cities have been added to the tour, but they have not been confirmed. Be sure to Follow Allie on Twitter and be sure to check out her site: onefootinthedior.com – for news and updates.