Nancy Jo Sales is an award-winning journalist who has written for Vanity Fair, New York, Harper's Bazaar, and many other publications. She has written profiles of Damien Hirst, Hugh Hefner, Russell Simmons, Donald Trump, Tyra Banks, Angelina Jolie, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, and Taylor Swift. Her acclaimed 2010 Vanity Fair piece "The Suspects Wore Louboutins" is the basis for the Sofia Coppola film The Bling Ring.
From the author's Q & A with Caroline Leavitt:
What made you fascinated by the story of The Bling Ring?--Marshal Zeringue
It just seemed like a culmination of stories I’d been doing for years. When I told one of my friends about it he said something like, “This is like a weird dream you’d have. It’s almost like a parody of a ‘Nancy Jo Sales story.’” I guess he meant because I’d done so many stories on kids and crime and rich kids and bad behavior; and of course the starlets. I did the first story on Paris Hilton, for Vanity Fair in 2000, so I’d sort of been watching this coming for a long time.
What was it like researching the story? What made you want to expand it into a book, and what surprised you about what you found out?
It was actually pretty hard and intense because there were so many news organizations on the story. I was approached by a book editor last summer (2012), after Sofia Coppola’s movie had already been shot. I only had six months to do the book, so I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but I thought I would give it a try. I wanted to have the chance to say something about the obsession with celebrity culture, which has gotten so out of control, and the conspicuous consumption and greed and inequity in our society, in which so few people now control most of the wealth.
I was surprised at how successful the kids were, that they got away with it for so long.They stole a lot of stuff—more than $3 million worth—over the course of almost a year. The police really had no clue who was doing these things and they didn’t even connect the crimes for...[read on]