Our guest today: Bridget Siegel Why we love her: She makes politics fun! (and sexy too...)
Her latest: Domestic Affairs
The scoop: When twentysomething political fund-raiser Olivia Greenley gets tapped to work on the presidential campaign of Georgia governor, Landon Taylor, it’s her dream job. Her best friend in the world is the campaign manager, and Taylor is a decent, charismatic idealist, with a real chance to be a great leader. Sacrificing her sleep, comfort, friends, family and income for a year to make the world a better place is the right call, but what happens when both Campaign Lesson #1, No Kissing the Boss, and Lesson #2, Loyalty Above All, go down in flames before the first primary?
Bridget Siegel, veteran of the John Edwards and President Obama campaigns, vividly captures the idealism and chaos, as well as the emotional heat and corruption, of the candidate’s bubble. What becomes of Olivia’s best friends when she must keep from them the biggest secret of her life? Is the candidate a true romantic or a political hypocrite? How far can she go to justify her happiness?
Our thoughts: Fun! A total guilty pleasure!
Giveaway: TWO copies! (US only). Leave a comment here and you'll be entered to win. We'll choose the winners after 3pm PST on May 13th.
Fun fact: MAJOR multitasker alert! Bridget has worked on political campaigns at the local, state, and national levels. A graduate of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, she is now an actor, writer, and political consultant.
CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS...BRIDGET SIEGEL'S 5 FIRSTS AND LASTS
First: I had the cliché first kiss at summer camp. There's a good chance I was wearing a tie-dyed shirt and some bedazzled jean shorts.
Last: I just did one of those running jump into my boyfriend's arms kisses. You know the ones that look so graceful and romantic in your head but wind up hurting his back and your forehead when you clumsily fall over in reality. I didn't mind though, we had just booked a trip to Disney this summer and that's worth any injury. Disney World is my hands down favorite place. I'm that girl who goes to London and says "wow, this looks just like Epcot".
BOOK I READ
First: I'm not sure on my very first book-it may have been the big Richard Scarry book at my grandma's house- but the first book that really took hold of me was Gone With the Wind. I carried it with me, which, you know, in pre e-book days wasn't such a small load, every day of the fourth grade. I loved everything about it from the language to the dresses. It was the first time I realized a book could transport you to a whole new world. I think I was Scarlett O'Hara for at least three consecutive Halloweens, and every day in between in my head.
Last: This week I had the chance to read two great books not out yet so get your pre-ordering skills on! I read Lindsey Kelk's new book About a Girl, which was funny and sweet. She writes characters with such old-school gumption. Not to mention they say things like "rubbish" and "swings and roundabouts". I read it with a British accent in my head, which makes me feel like I have gumption too. The other was my friend Alberto Hazan's medical thriller Dr.Vigilante. He's an actual ER doctor who wrote about an ER doctor who spends his nights going after the abusers and molesters who bring patients in to him during the day. It's poignant, scary and it sneaks in some intense romance. I'm still shaking a little thinking of it
RISK I TOOK
First: I tried a ski race when I was a little kid. My younger brother went down before me speeding past the gates like it was the easiest thing in the world. I followed after and the second I hit my first slab of ice I panicked and snowplowed down the rest of the hill. It wasn't my best showing. It was also when I realized just because my brother makes something athletic look easy, does not mean it is.
Last: I try to do new things all the time but I think the last major risk I took was quitting politics to go for an acting career. I was lucky enough to have a lot of supportive people around to help me through it. I haven't won any Oscars yet but even on the bad days, actually going after my dream is the best life I could ask to lead. Though, now that I think about it, the leather pants I wore the other day weren't exactly a non-risk.
HELL YA MOMENT
First: The first one I can remember (when I was old enough to say "hell") was hitting a homerun in little league. I always played for terrible teams. They used to call us pinwheel- because that's what the other teams looked like going around the bases on a continual loop. We probably lost that game 15-1 but the feeling of the ball hitting that perfect place on the bat and soaring was definitely a hell yeah moment.
Last:I just recently found out I'm going to be a contestant on Wheel of Fortune and I think I actually might have screamed "hell yeah". Understand, it's not like a lottery thing, I had to go through many audition stages. I think the process is probably somewhere between what you'd have to do to get on Jeopardy and the Price is Right- like a mildly intelligent jumping around sort of thing. I believe my experience as the mascot at my college really helped, at least with the enthusiastic cheering part. And, I may or may not have made a "Wheel of Fortune Workout Video" where I dressed in workout clothes and a WOFW headband. Now I practice every day. I'm feeling pretty confident I'll win a million dollars and a trip to Hawaii. Or maybe Disney.
First: When I was a kid I wanted to be an actress, a singer, a teacher, a tennis player and a Mets catcher -- in various orders depending on the season. But in the third grade my next door neighbor, Sue Lebow, took me to a county democratic lunch and I had my first introduction to politics- aha! Come to think of it, working in politics was sort of like being an actress, singer, teacher, tennis player and Mets catcher all at once so I guess it worked out.
Last: When you delve into new careers with no real prep for them you have aha moments all the time because there's just so much new to learn (I had at least 4 learning how to be on Twitter #confusing) but I think the most recent lesson that's stuck with me is advice my friend Gabrielle gave me about dating. I had gone on one date and felt the need to decide immediately whether or not it would work, which retrospectively I had done often. "There's something between a first date and marriage," she had told me. I know that seems pretty obvious but I think so many times in life I rush to make a decision instead of living through it with an open mind. I've tried to really change that and it's led me down paths I don't think I would have ever walked otherwise. I learned that sometimes the best things are those you couldn't even imagine, so don't make decisions before you've seen the real options (not only the ones you can think of). There's a lot of life in between the first date and marriage.