Friday, June 13, 2014

Before He Was Famous

Today's special guest is Becky Wicks. Becky is a HarperCollins author going indie. Itchy feet has led her to live and work all over the world since leaving England at age 21, including NYC, Sydney, Bali, South America and Dubai. Right now she’s scribbling the second book in the HotFlush series in Vietnam, and will soon be in Vancouver if any hot Canadian men want to make her a cup of tea?

Becky has also written three funny travel books about her time in Dubai, Bali and South America (HarperCollins). Her first book, Burqalicious - The Dubai Diaries, her second book, Balilicious - The Bali Diaries and her third, Latinalicious -The South America Diaries are out now as ebooks.

Becky has also written a comedy romance with author Sarah Alderson under the name Lola Salt, called The Extraordinary Life of Lara Craft (not Croft) which should raise a giggle or two... think Bridget Jones if Jackie Collins had written it!


Before He Was Famous author Becky Wicks discusses the music industry, and what influenced the writing of this new adult romance!

Becky Wicks is a HarperCollins author turned indie with her new adult romance, Before He Was Famous. This heartfelt, emotional ride puts the reader behind the scenes of rock star Noah Lockton’s journey into fame, and how he juggles falling for his best friend Chloe with the fact that everyone wants a piece of him. We had a few questions…

What inspired this book?

Well, I’ve always been a not-so-secret fan of shows like The X Factor and The Voice – shows that give people the opportunity to prove their talents and shoot into the big time like rockets! It’s exciting to see people living out their dreams. But I always wonder what might go on behind the scenes for the people who win and make it big. Every brush with fame has its consequences these days and I thought, what would a relationship be like under those circumstances? How amazing/scary/weird would that be? I wanted to explore it.

How did you research for this book?

Aside from watching hours of reality TV and talent show clips? Haha! I watched the documentaries Katy Perry and One Direction made about their tours and their lives, and noted how hard it often was for them to juggle fame with normality. We only see one side of their lives, usually, but they’re real people too, which I think others forget! I read a lot about what goes into a record deal too… like how the money earned from a record is divided so much that hardly anyone makes anything! It’s all pretty complicated and tough in the music industry. There’s a lot of backstabbing, deceit and broken hearts.

How do characters like Denzel (Noah’s manager) and Aunt Madeline affect the story?

Denzel is Noah’s manager at HotFlush – the label who sign him when he wins the show. I made him English and I made him speak in Cockney slang a lot because in doing so he kind of emphasizes that everything about that line of work is hard to follow and understand. He’s the embodiment of the industry to many people, Noah and Chloe included; fast-paced, narcissistic, selfish and complicated. Madeline (Noah’s aunt) represents another side to the whole business. She was a Rockette in the fifties when fame was handled very differently, but she too was changed by it irrevocably. She’s the voice of reason, when everything around Noah and Chloe is crazy.

What do you think people can take away from Chloe and Noah’s story?

Hopefully the message that true love prevails, or can if you give it a fighting chance… but also that we can’t judge a book by its cover, or a human by a photo we see of them on a website. Fame is fleeting and it can be cruel, but if it’s handled correctly, it can of course be amazing!


Falling in love with your best friend isn’t always a great idea, especially when he’s Noah Lockton - the sexiest, most famous new talent on the planet. When 21-year-old small-town photographer Chloe Campbell is offered the chance of a lifetime – to join her celebrity childhood friend Noah on tour as an exclusive blogger for a New York magazine – she’s certain both have put what happened four years ago behind them. But his eyes still burn; his voice is still a jackhammer to her heartstrings; all his songs are about her. Is it possible that that night still haunts them both?

The music industry is a machine, spinning hype and rumors as much as his records. It’s not just Noah’s girlfriends who’ve got it in for Chloe (there’s no stopping the Twitter-obsessed, cat-loving pop-star Courtney Lentini for starters). Pretty soon, the jealousy and media frenzy surrounding these so-called-friends takes a life-changing turn and it seems making love means making enemies at every turn. When tragedy threatens to pull the final curtain on their relationship, both Chloe and Noah must make a choice. As much as this world leaves them starstruck, is living their dream really worth living without each other?

A story of lifelong friendships, love and hope, set in a world of celebrity, fame and social media gone very, very wrong.


I study her face; the gashes, the bruises darkening her skin. I reach for her Tinker-Bell necklace, run my fingers over the tiny silver wings. Our eyes meet and I don't look away and neither does Chloe.

I get another flashback, from out of nowhere, of when we were kids at Aunt Madeline's house in The Bronx. A huge thunderstorm kept us up in the middle of the night and I crept into her room to find her lying there, eyes wide open, raindrops thrashing at the huge brown-house windows. I knew she was waiting for me to arrive because without me she was too scared to get out of that bed. That house is so old and creaky. We switched places without speaking and she started trying to capture the lightning with her camera.

She spent more than an hour in the window, working silently, determined, clicking the camera over and over. Something about her was mesmerizing. I watched her from the bed and wrote a song in my head about how she lit up every time the lightning struck, and when she climbed in beside me she was wriggling under my skin as much as the covers. Chloe became the lightning then, for me at least, lighting up every room. And so began the storm in my head.


Twitter: bex_wicks

Becky will be awarding an eCopy of Before He Was Famous to a randomly drawn commenter at each stop during the tour, and a Grand Prize of an eCopy of Before He Was Famous , as well as a print copy of Latinalicious, Becky's last travel memoir (HarperCollins) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. (International winner)

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

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