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Coping With Cancer 30th Anniversary

Ivor Davis' Review of Beyond the Red Carpet

 All my life friends have envied me my job.

Not surprising, for over four decades I interviewed the rich, the famous and the famous for the time being in my role as a weekly columnist for the New York Times Syndicate and assorted other international magazines and newspapers.

So why envy?

Well I mean, what fun (you say)it must have been to interview Liz Taylor, Richard Burton, Julia Roberts, Robin Williams Tom Cruise and Brangelina (that’s Brad and Angelina, silly)

And also get paid for it!

Well at last freelance writer Francince Brokaw comes to the rescue with her revealing book “Beyond the Red Carpet: The World of Entertainment Journalists.” Not quite an expose but the unvarnished truth about what it’s like to hobnob with the biggies of showbiz.

Now when people ask me what it was like to hang out with some of the top talk to the showbiz heavyweights— I can smile—and send them a copy of Francine’s book.Or better still, tell them to acquire a copy for themselves.

Francine is right on the target. Through her own experience and by talking to some veterans of the showbiz interview circuit, she paints a realistic picture of life in the fast lane of celebrity interviews. And although it may sound glamorous it often isn’t. Hurry up—and then wait, is often the order of the day. And hang around for half a day for a few choice celebrity crumbs.

Ms. Brokaw doesn’t mince words: The truth is out. Sure it’s fun to hang out every week with the icons of show business but it’s not always martinis and party-time.

Good journalists do their homework—and I know Francine and I share the experience where we’ve done our homework—and then ask the provocative and tough questions at one of those round robin Q and A sessions with the stars: You do the work, while everyone else sits back and gets to share the juicy morsel that you have acquired. Of course, the problem doesn’t arise if you get a one-on-one interview with a star. But that’s not always possible, as she notes.

And just because Harrison Ford is a great actor and Tommy Lee Jones is riveting on screen—that doesn’t necessarily guarantee a good interview.

I particularly enjoyed Brokaw’s chronicling of her odd interviews…including the very stoned A-league actor, who made no sense whatsoever. (Some of us can guess who that was because he often showed up looking the worse for wear.) I also liked her report about trying to bottle Robin Williams in one interview. Impossible of course: I know if I had released my interviews with the late comic genius, it would have been a best selling comedy album and I would be rich enough to give up the celebrity circuit!

So if you want to be a showbiz writer rush out and get “Beyond the Red Carpet”—and then think again—

(Reviewer Ivor Davis is the author of the new book, “The Beatles and Me on Tour”)

The Hollywood Times

"Francine Brokaw had me from the very first sentence in the Introduction of this book.  As I quickly read through this book, which I didn’t want to put it down."

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Family Choice Awards

"If you’re interested in becoming an entertainment journalist, or are simply intrigued by that world, veteran writer Francine Brokaw’s new book Beyond the Red Carpet — The World of Entertainment Journalists, will provide you with an insider’s view into this fascinating profession."

Read the entire review.

The Beach Reporter

“This is a celebrity-conscious world and many fans put them on pedestals. My book discloses both flattering and not so flattering stories about celebs, the entertainment industry, and the life of an entertainment journalist. It’s not a tell-all Hollywood behind the scenes book. It is an honest look at the entertainment industry, entertainers and entertainment journalism. ..."

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Celebrity Cafe

"When I saw the cover of the Francine Brokaw book,Beyond the Red Carpet: The World of Entertainment Journalists, I said, "This lady is speaking my language."

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Midwest Book Review

From the February issue of the Midwest Book Review:

Entertainment is an endless barrage of eccentricity and weird events. "Beyond The Red Carpet: The World of Entertainment Journalists" explores the media side of the entertainment world as Francine Brokaw brings a wide allure of interviews throughout the field and sharing the many stories that make up her career on many levels. "Beyond the Red Carpet" is a strongly recommended addition to memoir and media studies collections.

Me, My Shelf & I

"From beginning to end, there is so much information jam-packed into this book about what it takes to be an entertainment journalist, to what the best and worst parts of being one are!"

"From beginning to end, there is so much information jam-packed into this book about what it takes to be an entertainment journalist, to what the best and worst parts of being one are!"

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Coping with Cancer Magazine Article

Book World

With a compelling mixture of wit and honesty, Francine offers readers an uncensored view of life as an entertainment journalist, dispelling the myth that this career path is all about parties and celebrity events.

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