I AM NOT BRAD PITT is the first of three riotously absurd tales in Ross Dreiblatt’s debut short-story collection sending up America’s sometimes-fatal celebrity obsessions. “I Am Not Brad Pitt” opens in a prison cell in which Mr. Pitt’s clone-like doppelganger, Tobey Crawford, remorsefully recounts the sequence of unlikely events that resulted in his wrongful conviction for murder. The second story, “Please Allow Me To Introduce Myself,” considers the possibility that Keith Richards (along with, for good measure, Dolly Parton) is, indeed, a vampire. Nobel-Prize laureate Bob Dylan, the story’s vampire-killer, is equipped with more than just a harmonica and tambourine. The final work in the collection, “Keeping Compliant With The Kardashians,” examines whether Kardashian family members are, in fact, aliens from another galaxy and what precisely is their interest on Earth. Each of the stories are told with engaging humor, and each pokes fun more at American culture than they do, generally, of the celebrities themselves.
Top Ten Things You Might Not Know About I Am Not Brad Pitt and Other Stories
1. The first draft of I am not Brad Pitt was: I am not Tom Cruise
2. I changed it to Brad Pitt because I couldn’t find a way to write about Tom Cruise’s Scientology connection without it becoming a distraction from the main narrative. Also, there are way too many people who look like Tom Cruise.
3. I had to keep a Brad Pitt timeline of his movies and his haircuts on my computer to keep the story accurate.
4. The airline pilot in the Brad Pitt story is named Craig. I name all pilots Craig in any story I write as a shout out to my cousin Craig who refuses to fly after a particularly rough flight that he had years ago.
5. The first draft of Keeping Compliant with the Kardashians had an alien life form living in her breast implants. Seriously. Big shout out to my agent for saying, “Umm, no.”
6. I googled Kim Kardashian's house and went on a virtual tour to describe her house accurately. It felt a little stalkerish.
7. Other places I went on a virtual tour for Keeping Compliant with the Kardashians:
a. The Prada Store on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.
b. The Peacock Café in Georgetown DC.
c. Maddie Ellis, the main character’s condo in Washington DC.
d. The Rayburn House Office building housing congressional offices.
e. Canal Park in Washington DC.
f. The hotel where Maddie tracks down Spencer in Chile.
g. FYI, Maddie’s Hollywood Hills cottage was a place I used to live.
8. Although Keith Richards and Bob Dylan are arch enemies in “Please Allow Me To Introduce Myself,” they have played together a few times and Keith has said, “I’d work with Bob anywhere. I’d work with Bob in hell or heaven. I love him.” Hmmm.
9. The protagonist in Please Allow Me is named Darla. I had imagined a very southern gothic upbringing for the character and decided that her mother named her after one of the Little Rascals.
10. Darla confronts her bandmates at Café Reggio in the Village. Café Reggio was where I would do re-writes of the book, so a very meta scene for me.
About the Author: Ross Dreiblatt was born and grew up in New York. His father was a truck driver and his mom was a retail manager. He attended Hofstra University and moved to Los Angeles where he attended Cal State Northridge. While in Los Angeles, he studied under John Rechy’s master writing workshop at UCLA. He has worked in the corporate offices of major retailers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, and Florida toiling on spreadsheets by day, and the imaginary lives of celebrity monsters by night. He loves to travel and will get on a plane going anywhere, as long as it eventually lands safely. Despite the dour photo, he is kind of a happy guy. He currently lives in South Florida. You can visit his website at www.RossDreiblatt.com or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
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