I'm Ambur, and I'm addicted to books, tea, superheroes, and TV! I'm extremely passionate about my fandoms—right now I'm currently obsessed with Game of Thrones, Outlander, Nightwing/Dick Grayson, and I strongly identify with my Hogwarts house, Hufflepuff. When it comes to books, I'm a sucker for the young adult, and romance novels, especially of the sports or historical variety!
[Character Interview] Relatively Famous by Jessica Park
Today I have a super special guest! It's Dani McKinley from Relatively Famous :D
Well let's get right into the interview why don't we....
Ambur: Hey Dani! Well it’s certainly been a crazy year for you, you’ve finally figured out who your father was, and you’ve been all over the tabloids. What was it like finally figuring out who your father was?
Dani: Um… I don’t know. Sort of embarrassing, actually. I mean, my life was totally fine and normal. I lived with my mom and hung out a lot with her boyfriend, Alan. He’s very cool. And I had great friends (Sam has been my best friend for years) and just did normal high school stuff in Michigan. I never really cared about who my real father was because it didn’t matter. I didn’t need anybody else in my life. So finding out that Mark Ocean was my dad pretty much threw me for a whopping loop. And let’s be honest, he’s no Denzel Washington-quality actor. (I swear to God, you better not tell him I said that.) Mark’s smash hit is “DNA Gators,” so that should tell you something. He just has a really bad reputation as a smarmy, womanizing B-list actor, so I wasn’t thrilled when I first found out. But at the same time, I felt that it was important that I get to know him. My plan was to meet him, get it out of the way, and then just move on with my life. Plans change, though…
A: Did figuring out that Mark Ocean was your father change your impression of him, or did you still just think of him as a crappy action star?
D: When I first met Mark, I really tried to keep an open mind. I’ll admit that I was sucked in by the fancy house (Hello! I have my own private deck with a Jacuzzi!) and the ridiculous shopping trips. I know, I know… I’m not proud of it, but let’s see how well you do when someone waves a private beach club charge card your way. Anyhow, he was really good at buying stuff, but not so good at anything resembling parenting. Let me ask you this: Do you think it’s appropriate for a teenage girl to wake up and find an ex-“Rock of Love” contestant parading around the kitchen in a thong? Exactly. But I think that he’s trying. I bet that all of Mark’s nonsense about dating dumb-but-perky women, and all his superficial and cheesy career moves were just because he got so lost in Hollywood. He forgot that he didn’t have to be such a wreck. He can’t be a complete jerk, or my mom never would have dated him. Did you know that he actually used to be a good actor? Well, he did. My mom told me about plays and stuff that he’d done in college, and according to her, “DNA Gators” was not representative of his thespian abilities… I hope that he realizes that and stops being so pathetic. Wait, don’t print that! I just mean that he should pursue more challenging roles. And go out with normally-dressed women who can pass a basic reading test.
A: Sam has a huge crush on your dad, does that creep you out? Be honest.
D: Ohmygod. Gross. I can’t believe you brought that up. It’s totally repulsive on so many levels. First, obviously Mark is my Dad. How’d Sam like it if I started going on and on about her father’s glistening muscles and brooding eyes, huh? She’d puke big ol’ chunks everywhere. Second, if he’s old enough to be my father, then he’s old enough to be her father, and I would suggest to her that she start drooling over somebody more age-appropriate.
A: Do you think you and Mark have anything in common?
D: We… we both… we both breathe oxygen? I don’t know what we have in common. As of yet, I have not developed a near-lustful infatuation with a Mercedes SUV, nor do I aspire to spend the entire day staring in the mirror and adjusting my over-gelled hair.
I hope that we have something in common. I feel like there are moments when he is “real” with me, when he forgets about his image, and that’s when I like him best. I’ll get back to you on this… I have hope, though.
A: Was it a big change going to California? Were you nervous?
D: Oh, God. I just wanted to come here, meet my Dad, suffer through a two-week visit, and then go home. I guess I was a little nervous, but I really just wanted to do what I had to do. Mark picked me up at the airport in a limo, and I was so jittery when I first saw him that I nearly tripped getting into the car. And then he was so quiet, and then I didn’t know what to say, so I started babbling a lot which only made things worse, and I don’t think he had a clue what to do with me.
Everything around me here is different. Mark’s house is insane. In fact, everything around here is insane. Going out to lunch here is, like, a million times more complicated than at home. Apparently it’s very important where we are seen eating. Sue me for wanting to find a Panera, but sometimes a girl just wants a nice chicken wrap.
A: What do you think of the California lifestyle? And what was your first impression of Kayla and her friends?
D: Kayla is awesome. She’s so friendly and totally took care of me when I got here. I didn’t know anybody my age, and I felt like an idiot because Mark sort of arranged for Kayla to hang out me. I’m sure she thought I was some huge loser whose Daddy had to find her friends. And what was I going to have in common with this famous producer’s daughter and her rich friends? But it turns out that they’re all really cool. Nobody’s really catty or mean the way I’d seen on TV. Seriously, I thought I might be headed into “Gossip Girl” style attitudes, but it’s been totally the opposite.
A: Did you make any paparazzi friends like Kayla did?
D: Ick, no! For one thing, I hate those creeps. Seriously, they make their living by behaving like idiots. They should all be ashamed. I bet their mothers are all furious with them. I mean, holy lack of manners, right? And another thing… well, Kayla is a lot more outspoken than I am. She’ll say anything to anyone, and she’s got a level of confidence that I don’t have. I can’t imagine buddying up with the paparazzi like she does, but she gets that it’s a game out here. Tit for tat, so to speak. (And just to clarify for my mother, when I say “tit” I do not mean that I am flashing my boobs for cameras. She’s probably freaking out right now.)
A: If you could give advice to other people in a situation like yours, what would you tell them?
D: Breathe, breathe, breathe. It’s just been one new experience after another. I’m trying not to get totally caught up in everything, but it’s hard. I guess it’s a matter of balancing the chance to enjoy new opportunities with still being who you are in your heart. I don’t know that I’ve mastered it yet. Three hours at Fred Segal vs. being a good person… I can’t help it. I like Fred Segal.
A: And my last question, do you think meeting and getting to know your father changed you?
D: It changed my hair. (How awesome are my extensions, BTW?) And my skin color has changed from vampire pale to California bronze thanks to some lady who shoved me into the tub and spray tanned me. So I’m very different. Ha ha! Just kidding.
I guess I’ve changed in the sense that I’m more open to getting to know Mark. I really didn’t think that I needed or wanted him in my life. He felt like an intrusion. But now that I’m here with him, and getting to understand him, I sort of want to spend more time with him. I didn’t think that he’d be important to me. That sounds mean, doesn’t it? I didn’t intend for it to. I think that I was scared of how my world would change… Nobody likes change, but I’m learning that it’s not always a bad thing. And it is a part of life that we all have to get used to.
A: Thanks so much for sharing with us Dani, it's been a pleasure having you here. :)
Thank you Jessica Park, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this interview for me, it's been a pleasure reading, and reviewing your story, and now interviewing one of your characters too. Thanks a bunch. :D
I hope that you all enjoyed this interview, and if you haven't heard of Relatively Famous yet check out my review for it HERE.
If you'd like to purchase Relatively Famous, you can find it on Amazon.
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