The internet is so awesome, you guys. I mean, I love the internet because of things like GIFs and memes and other cool stuff that never existed in a pre-internet era, but I also love the internet because of all the people I’ve met and become friends with, thanks to social media. One of my dear friends is someone I first met on the internet, Allie Hagan. You guys might know Allie better as the voice behind the infamous tumblr Suri’s Burn Book but I’ve known Allie for a few years now, and we first met thanks to Twitter! I remember stumbling upon her witty quips about pop culture and television, and a friendship was born just as fast as our fingers could type! Allie came to LA and we met face-to-face over sushi, where we bonded over a mutual love of celebrity gossip and television shows, and we talked a lot about writing, as I was just beginning to get started on my own writing career, and Allie was considering following down a similar path. She was able to come out to LA again last year and we’ve stayed in touch thanks to, you guessed it, the internet! It was during one of our marathon Gchat sessions when Allie first started to work through the idea for Suri’s Burn Book. Since the actual book is on sale this week, I thought now would be the perfect time to introduce HelloGiggles readers to the Allie Hagan I know and love.
Annie: For readers unfamiliar with Suri’s Burn Book, tell us how you got the idea to do something like this?
Allie: I used to tweet jokes sometimes about, like, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt’s terrible fashions or how much I wanted to be Kiernan Shipka. At a certain point, my friend Annie Stamell (do you know her, Annie Stamell?) suggested I take it off my own Twitter account and make it its own blog. I knew I had the content knowledge to do that, but I knew I couldn’t use the tone I wanted to (snappy, snarky) and have it be in my own voice. It would’ve come across all wrong. After much deliberation, I decided that Suri Cruise was the only one who could speak on the celebrity children’s behalf.
So here at HelloGiggles we are all about supporting our friends, and obviously you and I both really support each others’ work (Allie even gave me a shout-out in the acknowledgements section! So sweet!) but tell me about how friends of yours have especially helped this project.
I get feedback from my friends on almost everything, and I have since the initial idea. It took three people to write Suri’s first post-divorce statement. And my friend Sarah wrote a joke that’s in the book – that Shiloh Jolie-Pitt was probably ripping out the pages of the book and eating them.
Were you really surprised when it caught on?
Yes! So surprised. I remember the first time I saw another blog write about Suri’s Burn Book, I called my mom. I still get really excited when I see people writing about it – Lo Bosworth from The Hills tweeted about Suri’s Burn Book last week and I told everyone I know.
Do you want to meet Suri? What would say to her if you did?
Not now – she is six years old, and we probably don’t have a lot in common. But when she’s a grown-up, I’d love to buy her a drink and ask her about her life. Maybe I can ghostwrite her autobiography!
Do you have any advice for someone who might want to start a project like this?
Actually, you gave me really good advice when I started, which was, “You have to write in Suri’s voice for all of them then.” You have to concentrate on the voice and worry about the jokes or the pictures later. Now the Suri voice comes easy to me, but it was something I worked really hard at in the beginning.
You are way too sweet. Switching gears a little bit: I love Tumblr and obviously you love Tumblr as that’s been the major launch pad for Suri’s Burn Book, but how has Tumblr played into the success of the blog and getting the book deal?
Oh gosh I love Tumblr! The fact that it’s blogging with a built-in social network makes it the perfect place (maybe even the only place) to start a niche-y comedy blog like mine. Also the Tumblr community is made up of the best people. It is a relatively troll-free place (for the Internet), and there are a lot of amazing GIFs.
Okay so we all know that Suri Cruise is a fashion maven, but I want to know about your fashion! Tell me about your style. Is it anything like Suri’s? What trends are you into right now? Were you as fashionable as she was when you were six years old?
I really got into the romper trend this summer, which my version of Suri would have hated. (She is not a fan of shorts.) I do think a lot of her clothes are really cute. She is far more fashionable than I was. Here’s a picture of what I wore to the first day of kindergarten – very early 90’s. Suri will probably not be wearing frilly socks to her first day on Monday.
Before Suri’s Burn Book what kind of blogging were you doing? Did you ever want to do anything like this before you sort of fell into it?
I’ve always loved pop culture, and I really really love television. I used to blog about TV a lot, but it was kind of all over the place. I thought it was funny every once in a while, but it was too broad. It was always my secret dream to be a writer, though — this was just not the way I ever imagined it would happen.
I know there’s been some backlash to the blog and the book. I would think most of the response would be positive, for example, when I tell people about Suri’s Burn Book they always are intrigued — this is almost an easier way to digest celebrity gossip as it’s sort of self-aware about our preposterous obsession with pop culture — but I know that some people think it’s a sensitive subject. What are some of the negative comments you’ve heard about Suri’s Burn Book, what are some of your own concerns about it and how would you address those criticisms?
A lot of people are really sensitive to the idea of the celebrity children being exploited. I TOTALLY get that — the kids are everywhere, and they didn’t choose this lifestyle. And while I’m not, like, taking up the cause of celebrity child exploitation, I do think that Suri’s Burn Book, in ironically overemphasizing the importance of these kids’ behavior and clothes, is poking fun at us, as a culture, for paying any attention to them at all. I understand that there are two ways to look at it, and I’m just really glad that most people I’ve heard from totally get the humor of the blog and the perspective I’m coming from.
How long do you think Suri’s Burn Book will go on for? How long do YOU want it to go for?
I’m sure that eventually, it will burn out, like all things (especially Internet things) do. But I hope to always keep it online, so that when Katie Holmes writes her tell-all or gets remarried or has more kids, my version of Suri can make her statements. PS I hope all of those things happen in real life. In the short term, I guarantee I will not stop writing until Kate Middleton and Diane Kruger both have children.
Okay, now I want to play a game I’m going to call “Let’s Get To Know Allie Hagan!” because while I already know you, way too many people don’t. Here goes:
What are your favorite TV shows?
I’m still processing the Newsroom finale, but I’m getting excited for my shows to come back now — Downton Abbey, Fringe, Parenthood, Happy Endings, Parks & Rec… I watch too much, really.
Favorite movies? Bands?
My favorite movie is The Sound of Music and my favorite band is the cast of The Sound of Music.
Twitter or Tumblr?
Twitter is now like an ingrained part of my life, but I love Tumblr because people just really let their freak flags fly over there. Last week I saw this picture where someone had taken Matthew and Mary’s faces from Downton Abbey and put them on Prince William and Kate Middleton’s bodies. Why? I don’t know. I was just like, never change, Tumblr.
Favorite thing on the internet that isn’t Suri?
Of course I’m still really into McKayla is Not Impressed. I’m going to be that for Halloween. I already bought the leotard. It’s done.
What celebrity would you want to be friends with?
The celebrity I’d want to be friends with is Connie Britton. I feel like she probably knows how to make really good margaritas and gives good advice.
What is your favorite nail polish color?
I think you introduced me to my favorite nail polish color! Essie’s Turquoise and Caicos. It’s the best.
Turquoise and Caicos IS the best nail polish color! I love you Allie! Now everyone, go and buy Suri’s Burn Book!
Suri’s Burn Book/Allie Hagan photo via Washington Post/Getty Images