Rave's Review

Ex-publicist Robert Rave's new novel Spin is poised to do for the world of PR what The Devil Wears Prada did for fashion mags. So don't be surprised if Lizzie Grubman has a comment any minute now.

BY Corey Scholibo

August 18 2009 11:00 PM ET

Robert Rave's Book Spin xlrg | ADVOCATE.COM

Do you still talk to Lizzie?No

How did it end for you with her?I quit in 1999 after two years with the firm, and at that point I didn't know what I was going to do. Unlike in the book, I quit in person. It was terrifying for me to do it, but she was fine with it. Then I wasn't sure what I was going to do. If I was smart I would have parlayed that into a corporate job with one of my clients or something, but at that time I knew I wanted to write.

So you were writing almost 10 years ago?Yes, but not this story. There were incarnations of PR stories, but not this particular one. But around 2001 or 2002 I wrote a treatment that I ended up selling to Sony Television. I thought, Yes, this is going to happen. And then like everything it didn't happen. But I still wanted to tell the story, so I took elements of that and blew it up even more into this book.

When did you start on this book?When I actually sat down to write it, 2006 or so.

So this was after TheDevil Wears Prada was released as a book and the same year it was being released as a film. Were you influenced by that story?Um, no, not really. I mean, I loved the book and the movie. I thought Devil Wears Prada had a happy ending and I wanted to show this guy's descent into darkness. For me in the book, Taylor gets sucked in and ultimately by the end of the book morphs into the Jenny character. I mean, I would love to have the success that Prada did, and naturally since it has sort of the tone of that story it is going to be characterized in that way.

Your publisher seems to be packaging your book in the sort of "chick lit" aesthetic. Were you influenced by that movement at all?I wasn't influenced. The funny thing is I just wrote it and people are going to categorize it or market it the way they see fit. The main character is straight, but at the same time I don't know that straight men are going to pick up this book.

Why is the main character straight?I really wanted to play with the idea of having a big diva boss be in control. I love my divas, so I had so much fun playing with the Jenny character, and I thought Taylor could be so rich, and instead of going for the obvious and making Taylor gay, because I knew so many gay publicists, I thought, What if I flipped it and told it from a different perspective? But I wanted to include gay characters because obviously in New York and especially in the PR landscape it is what makes up so many people's lives.

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