Thursday, 24 October 2013

Promo: Annette Bette Interview

Annette Bette Photography

Annette Bette is not only gorgeous but overflowing with talent. She has successful careers within modeling, burlesque and acting. She has been featured in numerous short films for brands such as Illamasqua, Gucci and Fifi Cachnil and her bountiful curves have featured in many vintage shoots. Currently the face of Betty Crocker she is also the proud owner of her very own novel. Her debut, ‘The Roses Grow Wild' is immersed within Britain’s capital and its habitants struggling to obtain their dreams. From modeling, acting and writing the characters share Bette’s own personal career paths, but their journeys are lined with hurdles and consequently mental illness. With such a substantial milestone and addition to her life, I caught up with Bette to discuss both her debut, own experiences and future aspirations. 

You are a lady of many trades, modeling, acting, burlesque and now writing. Which is your favourite to work within?

I would say acting and writing combined- they are storytelling devices and old as time. If someone said you can do all the acting in the world but never write again (or vice versa) it wouldnt be too fun!! Writing is a long process which you have to enjoy, be honest with yourself and take criticism, Burlesque and modelling are something I started as a student but as often with these things they can all role into one.

How did you start your career within the creative industry?

I started modelling and burlesque as a student in New York studying writing, I did some real nutty shoots modelling hairbrushes in the bronx and being an artists model in manhattan- it wasnt glamorous at all, I was so poor, my first shoot I turned up in the snow wearing a cardigan and the photographer went and bought me a fur coat, he thought I was crazy! but just as I was about to leave New York I got a commercial deal with Nintendo for 4 adverts which helped pay off all my debts- before I'd been living in a cockroach palace so it was quite nice!! That made me realise being freelance you have the highs and lows and you just have to roll with them.

For those yet to become acquainted with your book, what is The Roses Grow Wild about?

The roses grow wild is a bohemian love story set in a raw style, in London. Told through an insecure Emily’s eyes, who encounters many 'creatives' whilst trying to find her way. This includes sugar daddies, musicians, out of work actors, wannabe divas and fashion darlings. Everyone is running around trying to 'be' something but they are flailing around in the gutter for a lot of it.

With serious themes of mental illness and struggle was it difficult to get the right balance of emotions throughout the story?

I think you see many different sides of mental health in it, originally I set it in 'Emily' but my publisher thought it was more personal in I- and although I can relate to many parts of anguish within the character whilst having experience of working in homeless shelters, it is mainly fictional.

As a tale of strong women being broken by the difficulties of their career choices, have you yourself experienced first-hand the pressures of working in the creative industries? 

I can definitely relate to many things with the character and creative industries, with acting you get a lot of rejection and if you let it get to you, then its potentially very damaging to your career and mental health. I used to care what people think and worry like hell, but I don’t now. I think also many people do not show their true emotions which can be damaging in many realms, everyone’s putting on an act it seems. I think valuing yourself is important in the creative industry without being self obsessed, know what you want to do and don't let others crush you- we're all just little ants running around, trying to make a go of it!

Do you think pressures have become too great for women and men to cope in the industry and if so how?

I think in the 1920s it was hard and its hard now, I think today it is hard because of people craving instant success, the form of internet means you don't have to create close bonds and lies told through technology are second nature! But like anything you have to practice and really want your chosen career, even if your 80 you can still have dreams! Also the creative career you’ve chosen is supposed to be enjoyable, I have met many people who just want to get to the top and are miserable trying, so a slow burner doesn’t mean failure and people should use rejection as ammunition.

Who is your favourite character is the novel? 

Pandora, is a Brooklyn diva bitch who just wants to be famous- she is the strongest character who is actually based on a real person whom I met in New York, she’s sassy and smart and witty, although she is manipulative and gets away with murder!

Have you based any of the characteristics of the characters in the book on yourself or friends?

I think the main male character, Henry is about 5 or 6 of my ex boyfriends combined! Ever since I was 15 I had a bit of a penchant for bad boys and if they were horrible to me I sort of didn’t mind but now I’m much more selective, these relationships are not withstanding for a future! Also one of the flat mates who is always smoking and shagging was a real naughty diva so I just had to put her in!

How does it feel to have your debut on the shelf? 

It was nerve wracking at the launch, I don’t know why I felt awfully nervous seeing people and wouldn't have minded doing a runner! But I’ve had a few nice emails since and Foyles have currently sold out so we will just have to see how it goes.

What led you to write a book?

I sometimes write down one sentence if I meet someone and they have said something funny or sad, so it came from reading many people’s stories and dreams. I was thinking about all the people in London and their dreams, how many people give up combined with experiences of the homeless shelter and the people that I had met whilst volunteering- it was quite a gradual process and I didn’t plan the story at all like these funny 'novel writing' books tell you to- I was inspired by other writers such as Emily Listfeld and her novel, It was gonna be like Paris and Bret Easton Ellis also.

What was your experience writing? How long did it take to complete?

Writing it was very enjoyable, sending it off was a bit hideous as you get many rejection letters, but after spending a year writing I felt I may as well carry on sending it off and see. It also had to be edited, which took around 2 months, the book was a lot longer, as when you start you don’t think to write the set amount or 200 pages, so you end up with a ton more!

What advice would you give others wanting to write their own book and get it published?

Never write what 'the people' may like, but what’s in your heart. Take time to research, although it’s nice to think of the finishing result it shouldn’t be a race. Also there’s loads of books out there, 'how to write a book' 'how to get published' if you google the person who wrote it their normally in the same boat as you - I think they’re a bit silly and a money fad- I wrote the beginning and ending of my book first, and then the middle- I don’t think it has to be chronological when you’re writing but you do have to be concise, detailed and go through it with a fine comb for mistakes! Also when you get your publishing contract you won’t be a millionaire or anywhere near it! Books are paid on royalties but people have an illusion that you'll get instant money, which isn't true, you have to wait to see how the book sells first which is quite scary!

I have heard your working on your next novel, what is your next book going to be about?

ooh just like acting I hate saying I’ve got anything in case it doesn’t happen, ek! So at the moment I am just working on some research for something uber glamorous, I am also enjoying working a couple of scripts.

What career (modelling, acting, burlesque or writing) will dominate your future now?

We will just see but I would love to keep writing, as even though it takes quite a long time, it is rewarding, we are lucky we are living in a time when we can do different careers and no one really minds!

The Roses Grow Wild is currently available in Waterstones, Foyles, Barnes and Noble and through Amazon and Kindle.


  1. Great to see your doing interviews, more please!
    Also, the book sounds interesting too x

  2. She is absolutely gorgeous. Love the bathing suit!

    With Love From Hollywood,
    Fashion Addict LA
    Recent DIY: DIY Lucite Perfume Clutch
    Recent post: Not all black and white


Give Me More