Did I write this book?

For real,I am doubtful that Betsey Haynes actually wrote this one herself. I think that one of my attempts at writing teen romance somehow got into the hands of publishers and was published under her names. I’ve mentioned my other series about teen models on a shoot together on a cruise? [Apparently in my young life I thought a cruise was the epitome of glamor.] Also, if this is Bets’ idea of Hollywood than…yikes, Bets. You should get out more.

So this is when Taf is in seventh grade, happening concurrently with the Fabulous Five series. She’s got gotten her big break- a role in a made-for-tv-movie! She’s sad to leave her besty, Shawnie Pendergast, and her new boyfriend, but seriously, how can she give up this opportunity! This part was MADE for her! She will play the role of Tiffany Stafford! A girl who is the victim of girl bullying by a clique led by Jillian Morris! Except that Tiffany finally wins them over in the end. Wow, sounds like a riveting plot. Wait a minute…Taffy Sinclair…Tiffany Stafford…Jillian Morris…Jana Morgan …those names are almost the same! It’s like the movie WAS WRITTEN ABOUT HER LIFE!

Taffy arrives in Hollywood and gets the star treatment. A limo, fancy hotel, and then a big fancy party at the director’s swanky mansion. And the director is Jerry Lowenthal, obviously a Jew. Nice stereotyping. She befriends Tess, who is fifteen, but looks like an eight year old and plays the little sister in the movie. Um, okay? Paige, who plays the nemesis Jillian Morris, hates Taffy because she wanted the main role. You see, Paige is a former child star who is looking for her big break. So, Taffy needs to win over Paige, just like in the movie, and just like her real life. THIS WORKS ON SO MANY LEVELS! Finally, there’s Raven Blaine, the seventeen-year old teen idol who plays the love interest in the movie. Who secretly is in love with Taffy but is too shy to let her know. Blaine, who is seventeen and drives a Porsche and has his own house in the Hollywood Hills, is in love with 12-year-old Taffy. Nice one.

The reason I say I wrote this is because not much in the book advances, the ahem, plot, but more describes various aspects of being in a Hollywood movie that my ten year old self would imagine. The gals all hang out in their trailer and gossip, and have to do schoolwork on the set. When they cast goes out and hangs out, Raven needs to go in disguise himself to block the fan pandemonium. I’m also pretty sure they film the movie in chronological order. The only realistic thing is that Taffy’s mother is on the set with her, for which she is embarrassed about. At least child labor laws are in effect.

Something like this movie would in reality be the subject of a Lifetime movie starring Meredith Baxter Birney. But those are filmed at some soundstage in Canada, and not quite with all the hoopla surrounding this movie. Then again, it could be a made-for-tv Disney movie where they break out into song and then the starlets later accidentally leak naked pictures of themselves online. Then I guess this movie could be a big deal.

But let’s talk about more important things, likie this cover. I am pretty sure the model for the cover is the same girl who plays Stacey in the Baby-Sitters Club videos. The fact that I know this makes me hate myself.  And that outfit! I had the same one. Except that it was red with black spatter paint design on it. I got it and wore it through the Bat Mitzvah season.  I think with a black turtleneck underneath. Sometimes I just wore the vest over a HUGE button down shirt and leggings. What designer ever thougtht that having a skirt that was tight over the abdomen and then flared out would ever be flattering?

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28 thoughts on “Did I write this book?

  1. Katy says:

    Oh, god, I remember loving this one, especially because of the Hollywood angle. I love how all these series had the inevitable run-in with the huge teen star, like how the Saddle Club girls were besties with that dude, whatever his name was.

    Did you ever read a series called Make Me A Star about a bunch of teens starring in a prime-time drama called Hard Times High? LOVED THAT.

  2. andreajean says:

    You’re right — she totally looks like Stacey from the TV show, who I believe is now a lawyer in real life.

    I started reading this book a while ago and never got to finish because I left it at my parents’ house. Raven really liked Taffy?! I thought she was going to learn a lesson in the end about how 17 year olds and 12 year olds can’t date. Silly me.

  3. annakelly says:

    Guess you’re not a fan of Vanessa Hudgens, huh?

    I was always wary of books that dealt with movie sets and acting because I knew, even then, that they’d get something wrong. I was a very picky reader,

  4. Tannaqui says:

    Wow, that is so Stacey. I wonder if she drew upon her own glamourous screen life for inspiration when posing?

    I kinda love the ‘gets discovered as an actress and jet plane to hollywood’ books. Including the SV one when Jessica and Saint Liz play reverse role twins in the soap ‘The Young and the Beautiful’ or whatever.

  5. perfectsize12 says:

    Okay, that is definitely TV Stacey!

    And a way older guy being inappropriately interested in Taffy? Very Stacey McGill!

    And speaking of the Disney cult, I’m totally picturing Ashley Tisdale or a younger Hillary Duff belting out a nasally song of woe over Raven Blaine.

  6. BartTempleton says:

    Yup. That be Stacey.

    Only difference is that the video Stacey had a fantabulously kinky braid. I remember running excitedly to my sister: “OHMIGOD! There’s a White girl who has hair like ours! Only blonde! And she’s Stacey from the BSC, to boot—swoon!”

    What DOES one call those cowgirl-esque skirts? You’re spot on in your critique; they make female midsections look like a Black Widow spider’s abdomen.

    Me, I stuck to the ever-flattering skorts and tri-tiered skirts.

  7. Rio says:

    The cover makes it look like Taffy’s in a teen remake of Gone With the Wind. “OMG! I will, like, totally never go hungry again!”

    Raven Blaine? Very Twilight.

  8. ihatewheat says:

    re: Taffy dating the 17 year old. During the shoot, she kept getting flowers from someone named “Len.” Taffy assumes that it is some crew member of camera guy that is in love with her. And just shrugs it off.

    And love how Taffy’s standing: “I’m in a movie, whattaya gonna do?”

  9. R. G. Quimby says:

    I’m really glad that I’m not the only one who saw this cover and was like, “Stacey? What are you doing here?”

    WTF is up with the 15-year-old co-star that’s supposed to look 8? Are they starving this kid or something? Yeesh.

  10. WickedWonder says:

    I owned this outfit too. I thought I was hot stuff, which wasn’t true in the least. Ah Taffy, my fave bad girl that wasn’t actually bad.

  11. Cat says:

    Oooh! I remember reading this! Even then I thought it was a totally cartoonish portrayal of Hollywood. I also kept thinking Raven Blaine was a girl, because I’ve never heard of a guy named Raven but I’ve heard of girls with that name (and now I keep thinking of Raven Symone).

    And you’re right; the chick on the cover bears an uncanny resemblance to Stacey. Love the outfit, although i’m sad to say pre-teen me owned something very similar. :/

    Speaking of Stacey, this reminds me of that plotline in the 1995 movie in which Stacey dated a 17-year-old and by the end, he was fine with it. That plotline always squicked me out.

  12. Elizabeth says:

    Oh my god, I never read this one, but I need to after that recap. You crack me up with this line: “I am pretty sure the model for the cover is the same girl who plays Stacey in the Baby-Sitters Club videos. The fact that I know this makes me hate myself.”
    I commiserate with you as the first thing I thought when I saw the cover was “Is that Stacey?”

  13. BartTempleton says:

    Andreajean, that link rocks!

    Here’s the exact link:

    http://community.livejournal.com/babysittersclub/881300.html#cutid1

    I completely forgot about all these people but one glance at their pics brings me back to my BSC video days (in which I was by many accounts too old for BSC by then).

    I forgot all about that floppy-haired loser Jamie. How appropos that he is currently selling real estate in Texas.

    Why is the youngest cast member (then-4 years old babysitting charge) now “a mother and special ed teacher in Long Island?” Is she even old enough to have finished undergad?

    I don’t remember Zach Braff being in it, but good for him for making a career out of hokey comedy.

  14. tinypants says:

    1) Have you been to American Apparel lately? That style of beyond-hideous skirt is totally back in. At least among hipsters who want to spend $40 on something made out of t-shirt. I’ve definitely noticed this look is popular with the undergrads at my school, who appear to have a great affinity for dramatically unflattering garments.

    2) Have you ever read any of the all-making-a-movie, all-the-time series? And possibly, did you write them? I’m thinking of the short-lived “Hollywood Wars” (two redheads — one a former child star who’s now broke, one a hotshot unknown who’s amazed by everything that’s going on) and of “All That Glitters” (which may have lasted even fewer books, and I think was abt teens on a soap opera?). There were probably others as well, but those are the two that come to mind.

  15. Misti says:

    WOW. So, OK, the very first thing I thought when I saw this cover was “Hi, Stacey McGill!”

    I’m so glad that you people are here to share my inner thoughts.

  16. BartTempleton says:

    Tinypants:

    wait, there’s someone else who actually knows of (much less read) the Hollywood-series-about-the-redheads? Again, I was probably a bit too old to have bought books directed towards 9-10 year olds (they were like from 1990, right?), but all I knew was “Pre-teens in Hollywood? I’m there!”

    But I also loved SOAP STAR, the SVH others love to hate on.

  17. createkat says:

    I. Loved. This. Book.
    In fact, I still have it on my bookshelf. I must have read it 5 million times because the front cover fell off and it is now a book-marker of sorts.
    And yes, the moment I picked up the book in like 1992 I knew that was Stacey.
    Speaking of the videos, I went to high school with the girl who played Charlotte. She also played Bianca on All My Children for a while. She was not a pleasant person.

  18. createkat says:

    @ BartTempleton– I just looked at that link, and yes, she’s old enough to be a mother/special ed teacher… I don’t remember her birthday but she’s my age, which means she’s gonna be 27 this year. I can’t imagine her teaching special ed children, though. OR being a mom. But whatev.

  19. Mailka says:

    “All that glitters”! ? ! I rescued a few editions when i was a teenager from a car boot sale ( Reading this blog makes me realize that no, i did not spend most of my teen life reading Fay Weldon, even though i like to think i did ).

    They were fab, including the weird storyline whereby a couple had to keep their relationship secret as to make them seem more available to the tv audience. The boy then has to have this purely-for-the-tabloids fake relationship with the cast bitch. And no, that did that make sense to me either.

  20. mayefaire says:

    Super late response but I remember thinking the exact same thing about the Taffy covers and the BSC videos. I wouldn’t be shocked if they were the same girl, you need to cash in quickly on that level of superstardom.

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