Jennifer Banash attended high school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and currently divides her time between Paris and the Midwest—where she lives with her Beagle, Sigmund, and her vast designer shoe collection. She is the co-founder and co-publisher of Impetus Press, an independent publishing house that champions serious literary fiction with a pop edge.
Learn more about Jennifer @ her website and on MySpace.
Follow the characters of THE ELITE on Twitter!
Enter the world of "The Elite"
It’s the most exclusive luxury apartment building on New York’s Upper East Side. If you don’t live there—you don’t know how to live…
When Casey McCloy steps into The Bramford, she’s overwhelmed by the sophistication and elegance of it all. Fresh from the Midwest, she’s moved to NYC to live with her grandmother and attend the prestigious Meadowlark Academy. Here all that matters is who you know. The designer to know is Zac Posen. The girl to know is Madison Macallister: popular, pretty, platinum-blond. She’s not just Casey’s new classmate and neighbor; she’s an icon. So Casey aims to get in with Madison and her gorgeous gal-pals from the start. As the reigning queen of coolness, Madison is capable of destroying reputations with one well-timed whisper. Better to be on her good side.
But after a city-haute makeover from her new frenemy Madison, Casey is wearing the right clothes, saying the right things, and meeting the right people—including Drew, the boy-about-town who Madison thinks belongs to her and her alone…
It’s the most exclusive luxury apartment building on New York’s Upper East Side. And if you don’t belong there—you just don’t belong.
The Bramford's newest resident and small-town transplant Casey McCloy is adapting to life in the Big Apple and loving it. She's finally got the look, the attitude, and a delish new boyfriend, Drew Van Allen. But even with everything she has going for her now, she's starting to have second thoughts as to whether the "New York" Casey is the real Casey. And she's not so sure she likes herself much anymore.
She’s not the only one…
Madison Macallister has always had her Manolo Blahniks firmly planted on the top rung of the social ladder—until that corn-fed cow Casey stole Drew away from her and made her look the fool. So what if Madison wasn’t exactly dating Drew at the time? She wanted him. And everyone knows that Madison gets what she wants, like Drew—and a little revenge…
Available January 2009.
Fill in the blank: “Reading THE ELITE will suck you into a glamorous world you’ll never want to leave.”
THE ELITE: The movie. We come into the theatre and see the movie poster for THE ELITE. What’s the logline on the poster?
If you had everything, what would you do to keep it that way?
What themes, topics will readers find between the pages of THE ELITE?
Heartbreak, love, family drama of all kinds including infidelity, drug abuse, etc, and cheery topics like self-mutilation. Oh, and also an obsessive love of fashion!!!
What was the spark that generated THE ELITE and the series?
I attended high school on the Upper East Side, and although it was certainly glamorous, my friends and I all had real problems that weren’t apparent to the casual observer. When I began THE ELITE, I really wanted to create a series that reflected those problems and issues--but that still had an escapist quality it.
What are THREE adjectives that best describe THE ELITE?
Snarky. Intense. Fashion-obsessed.
What are THREE adjectives that best describe YOU?
Self-deprecating. Blunt. Fashion-obsessed.
Jennifer Banash: THE SOUNDTRACK! What TWO tracks would make it onto a soundtrack of your life, and why?
That’s a tough one, simply because my brain doesn’t work like that--I have really eclectic taste in music, and my all-time favs change on a daily, sometimes hourly basis! Right now I am listening to a lot of this French band, M83. Their new CD Saturdays=Youth is like a present day soundtrack to the 80’s movie Pretty in Pink. In short, it’s perfect to write to! One of their songs, Kim and Jesse, is on my MySpace profile if you want to check it out.
What are TWO things you have done - as author - to promote THE ELITE?
I networked ferociously on MySpace both before and after the book was released, talking to readers, holding contests. I also have given a tremendous amount of interviews to teen mags and teen bloggers. I sent the YA blogs ARC’s of THE ELITE so they could check it out months before the book was in stores, and those early reviews were unbelievably helpful. Last but not least, I created Twitter accounts for three of the characters in THE ELITE, Madison, Drew, and Casey, so you can now follow them on their day-to-day adventures while you pine for the next book in the series to be released! THE ELITE was also mentioned early in its release on Seventeen.com as a buzzworthy book, and that was extremely helpful in raising my profile as an author.
You’re going on vacation, and you’re only allowed to take ONE book with you -- what is it, and why that book?
Jeez, one book! You are kinda tough . . . :D OK, if I had to pick one book it would be Virginia Woolf’s THE WAVES. Every time I read it I notice something new, different, and surprising within its pages. It’s a gorgeous book on every level, and one I highly recommend.
Who is ONE of your favorite writers, and how does he/she inspire you as a writer?
One of my favorite YA writers is Melissa Walker. I love her prose style, and the VIOLET books really knocked me out as both a writer and reader. I just did an interview with her on my MySpace blog that you should check out. I’m also a big fan of Alexa Young, Jay Asher, and Barry Lyga.
Dream-on: You’ve just been told that someone wants to turn THE ELITE into a movie. Who would play Casey McCloy, Madison Macallister, and Drew?
I just entertained this VERY question on my blog! I really have no idea since the actors would have to be pretty young (15 and 16). But go over to my blog and cast your vote for the perfect cast to win a free copy of THE ELITE! I kind of had Scarlett Johannson in mind when I was writing Madison, but she’s far too old to play the character convincingly. And Casey is kind of Drew Barrymore-ish in personality . . .
What’s currently going on in your WRITING LIFE?
I’m currently working on a few different projects-- my next YA series is entitled BITTEN, and it’s about two identical twin sisters whose parents buy Dracula’s castle at a Sotheby’s auction, and then promptly pack up their Manhattan penthouse and ship the whole family off to Romania! I’m also working on an adult novel that takes place at the court of Versaille under the reign of Louis XIV.