Heather Demetrios' 'The Lexie Project' Satirizes Celebrity Culture And Is Incredibly Fun At The Same Time — EXCLUSIVE
Heather Demetrios is taking an innovative path for her next young adult "novel." She's releasing a sequel to her debut novel Something Real, The Lexie Projec t, but she's definitely not following the traditional publishing norms. Rather than a print copy, Demetrios is creating an entire universe for The Lexie Project to simulate and satirize celebrity culture, across Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr, via pictures, social media updates, podcasts, and more. The prose story will primarily be told on Wattpad, in serial form.
And even cooler is I have the premiere "Off The Rack with T.J. Maxxx," the celebrity podcast Lexie is interviewed on by a "Mario Lopez-type," according to Demetrios, which will reveal big things about the series as a whole.
According to Demetrios, whom I spoke with about her project:
But first, I'll back up: 2014's Something Real follows 13 siblings of the Baker family who grew up on a reality television show called Bakers Dozen. Now, the matriarch of the Baker clan decides to put the entire family back on TV in a follow-up to the show that made them household names. The Lexie Project focuses on teenage Lexie Baker as she takes a break from the show to pursue her own acting career in Los Angeles.
As for the podcast, T.J. Maxxx is a notorious celebrity gossip hound who has started his own podcast where he talks about reality TV and life in Hollywood. "Lexie" — aka a girl Demetrios hired to play her character (so meta!) — acts as a guest on his show.
Bonus fun fact: Demetrios's husband is a professional voice actor, and he plays T.J. Maxxx.
But as you wade through T.J. Maxxx's podcast and Lexie's social media accounts and story arc, remember that Demetrios is working smartly in satire, shedding a light on some of the more problematic sides of celebrity culture:
She's quick to state that, of course, not all entertainment industry journalists who work the red carpet fall into this camp, it's still an overall issue in Hollywood. She adds:
I think it's safe to say that after the incredibly smart and insightful Something Real, The Lexie Project will be just the kind of immersive thought experiment that will get us as readers thinking more about how we consume information, particularly when it comes to the Hollywood machine.