Tatiana Boncompagni is smart, sexy and definitely innovative. With the release of her most recent novel, Social Death, Tatiana has also collaborated with makeup company Votru Vu, in developing a signature lip stick aptly named “Social Death” which she will be sending out as part of her marketing strategy. On top of this innovative creativity, she has also captured fans with her intense ability to weave develop strong, female characters who weave their way through the world of the high society and wealth. Social Death, which she describes as “Gone Girl meets Gossip Girl”, proves to give her fans the same excitement they’ve read in her previous novels. We were lucky enough to go a little deeper into the mind behind the writer and find out what really makes a true socialite.
Describe yourself in 5 words.
Imaginative, friendly, athletic, loyal, lighthearted.
Tell us 3 things about you we wouldn’t know by looking at you or reading your work.
I love to exercise—running and yoga especially. I was a swimmer and runner when I was young. I hated competing (I would vomit before meets) but I liked pushing myself to do my best. There’s a saying in yoga—“keep your eyes on your own mat”—that I actually live by. The idea of personal best is one you can carry into every facet of your life.
I love music—anything from Johnny Cash and Van Morrison to Jay-Z and Lorde. My taste in music is eclectic but I must have it in my life. Nothing lifts my sprits like discovering a new song to rock out to.
I never thought I would get married and have kids. I was a pretty late bloomer—physically, emotionally–and couldn’t relate to any of my friends who were obsessed with boys and going to dances in high school. I actually thought there was something wrong with me. None of that stuff really kicked in until my senior year of college. Then it was like, whoa Nelly!
Can you tell us what to expect with your upcoming novel Social Death?
Think Gone Girl meets Gossip Girl. It’s a little dark and twisted but also fun. The main character is Clyde Shaw. She is a veteran news producer—curvaceous, tough-as-nails—on the wrong side of 35 who comes from a storied New York family and is trying to overcome various addictions. Alcohol and sex, mainly. She gets called to the scene of a crime one morning only to discover the murder victim is the daughter of her billionaire boss—and her best friend since childhood. That’s the starting point.
What will your fans find similar and different to your previous novels?
I’m still treading in the same waters with this book. I’m still delving into the world of high-society and unthinkable privilege. This book is also more multi-layered and has more plot twists. Plus it is a murder mystery. The others were straight-up fun. This one has more weight to it.
Tell us about the lip-stick tie in associated with the release of Social Death.
I fell in love with the cover image as soon as I saw it. I thought it was really graphic and iconic. The red lip imprint mimicking a bullet wound. Loved that. Someone suggested I send out red lipsticks with my book as part of the marketing campaign. I thought wouldn’t it be cool to have a lipstick named after Social Death? Why shouldn’t we take it one step farther? Votre Vu, the company that made the lipstick, was so great to work with on the project. They sent me three lipsticks and I chose the one that I liked wearing the best and the one I thought Clyde, Social Death’s main character and the star of the series, would wear. Reds can be difficult to pull off, but this shade compliments all skin types.
What is your ritual for writing a great book. What does a day in your writing life look like?
I have three kids so finding time to write isn’t always easy. When I’m working on a new book I generally write from around eleven until 2 or 3 and then again I’ll sneak in some more time, like an hour or half an hour around 5 or 6. Sometimes I get great ideas when I’m out with my kids, doing school runs or taking them to a play date.
Who are three writers you are addicted to reading?
For crime fiction my favorites are Lisa Gardner, Lisa Unger and now J.K. Rowling (who wrote Cuckoo’s Calling under a pseudonym). I’ve been fortunate enough to correspond with Jane Stanton Hitchcock, Marne Davis Kellogg and Candace Bushnell. They’ve all inspired and encouraged me.
What advice would you give to a writer who wants to be published and famous?
To paraphrase Winston Churchill, “Never give up.” Writing is a tough business. You have to love to write first and foremost; the desire for success has to come secondary to the love of the craft. Otherwise you’ll get your first rejection note and want to quit.
How do you define sexy?
Confidence. Power. Humor.
What is the sexiest city?
Anywhere I can wear a bikini to lunch
Hotel Costes in Paris. All the rooms are dimly lit—so everyone looks mysterious and gorgeous–and the whole place smells heavenly. They have a signature scent.
Sexiest bar or restaurant?
The Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel.
Dolce and Gabbana
Femme by Tiossan
James Bond movies are always sexy. My favorite bond is Daniel Craig and his best is Casino Royale.
There are a couple of good sex scenes in 1Q85 by Haruki Murakami.
What are five things you can’t travel without?
My Nook, headphones, a healthy snack (I hate airplane food), a big silk scarf and a cozy cashmere sweater.
You have said you like to write about fashion. What are three fashion rules you live by?
Figure out what silhouettes flatter your shape most and stick with them. Don’t follow trends that don’t work for you. For example, not everyone looks great in a peplum….or a crop top!
Better to be overdressed than underdressed.
A Russian woman once said to me, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes.” This can apply to any climate, really.
Since you’ve written all about socialites, what do you think are three rules for being a true socialite?
A true socialite is elegant, worldly, fun and friendly.
What is next for you?
My next book in the Clyde Shaw Mystery series! Working on it now.
What are your three simple luxuries?
Childcare. Organic food. A house in the country where we can get away from it all.
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