Our favorite Beverly Hills girl Babe Walker is back on the scene after her New York Times bestselling book “White Girl Problems” flew off shelves in 2012.
Now Babe is back and thinner than ever in “Pyschos,” which documents her life post-rehab. What started off as a Twitter account among two brothers and a friend has turned into big business for authors David and Tanner Cohen and Lara Schoenhals.
In a Life and Style exclusive interview we unveil the talented writers behind the mega successful “White Girl Problems” books. Check it out!
How did this whole project come to life?
David: It started on Twitter and basically we came up first with the idea of a joke that was just a hashtag. The White Girl Problems hashtag was kind of how this all started and it was something we all used on our personal accounts and we had friends that used it and it was hilarious to us. And really within a week of coming up with that idea, we started the account…Then basically Emma Roberts retweeted one of our first White Girl Problems tweets…and then we started gaining followers like super quickly like every single day.
Tanner: Initially we were getting this great feedback from Twitter. It was an opportunity for us…And we were just like, “Twitter is amazing because you get to immediately write something and you see if it’s working or not.” There’s instant feedback…We took that feedback and we were able to hone the voice of Babe Walker.
When you’re writing these books, how are you guys able to coordinate writing with three people?
Lara: We kind of work it out a lot. It’s a lot like a TV writer crew. We basically owe Gmail and Google Docs like everything because we’ve written both books through Google Docs and sharing. But we will all get on the phone every week and kind of hash out the story details of what the chapter would be or the over-arching story of the book. Then we would go off and individually write chapters and then turn them into each other and edit them together. Now with the second book, it’s become a very fine-tune process where it’s missionary essentially.
Do you guys feel good about young people picking up books again?
Tanner: It’s like the number one comment about books that we get: “I don’t even read books. I love this!”
David: It is a book, but I think the only reason people read it is because it doesn’t feel like most books. It should feel like you’re having a really long conversation with someone and you’re not saying anything and they’re just really funny. I love when people say, “I never read, but I love this book.”
Who have been some of your biggest celebrity fans besides Susan Sarandon?
Tanner: Liv Tyler has been a huge fan…It’s turning into a movie and Elizabeth Banks and her husband are producing it…and Erica Oyama who created “Burning Love,” she is writing the script of “White Girl Problems.”
Are you guys scared at all because the transition from book to film doesn’t always work out?
David: The thing is we might get lucky within that transition from book to film because Babe has never existed and Babe’s just always been this group effort to create this type of girl you just love to hear about and you’d love to run into at a party or you’d love to see getting her picture taken across the street… No one’s tied to one very specific image of who she is because she is such a complex, weirdly modern-like Frankenstein’s monster like she couldn’t have existed before she did because she was created on the Internet.
So I want to talk to you guys a little a bit—who are you guys, what’s your background, what did you do before this?
Tanner: Well we’re brothers.
Lara: We met for the first time four years ago.
David: We’re from Washington, D.C. area. I went to NYU for acting and then two years into it, I got a TV show on Nickelodeon called “Taina”…and then I did the Broadway musical “Rent,” so I did that for like a year and then I started auditioning again after that finished and I wasn’t getting what I wanted.
Tanner: I always thought I would be an actor so I went to school for acting. I did a few independent movies while I was at school – I went to school at UCLA – and in one of the films that I shot in Chicago, I met Laura…We started White Girl Problems after I graduated from college. This has been my main gig ever since then, but I still do some acting.
Lara: I grew up in Oklahoma City and then moved to Chicago to go to film school at Columbia College and then on my summers off from school, I would usually work on film sets…After I graduated, I knew I wanted to move to LA and focus on producing and screenwriting and so I moved to LA and just started getting assistant jobs for different producers…I was like unemployed when we started White Girl Problems and then I went from being an assistant to essentially being a writer in like a period of a couple of months.
So there’s definitely going to be a third book?
David: We’re planning on it.
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--Reporting by Wael Davis