For those of you who haven't heard about Babe Walker, buckle up. This fictional socialite/author/shopaholic/blogger has just dropped a new book today, and we've got some inside information from the triad that came together to create a social media phenomenon. The trio is made up of brothers Tanner Cohen and David Oliver Cohen and their friend Lara Schoenhals. The three teamed up to create a fictional woman that you can't help but love … even as you hate her guts.
The book, titled, Psychos: A White Girl Problems Book, is a hilarious, ridiculous romp through a world most of us don't get to see; one of money, privilege, drugs, incredible trips around the world, and so much more. Babe tries to navigate post-rehab life amid the "struggles" only rich girls can understand. She tussels with life, sex, a stalker, and most importantly, love.
The concept for the books, the first one of which (White Girl Problems) was published in January of 2012, sprang from the hilariously engaging twitter feed @WhiteGrlProblem, where "Babe" sends out such gems as, "This Pellegrino tastes like weed and I love it." And, "My dad is like so dumb but so smart." Still, despite the absolute preposterousness of the character, there's something compelling about her that just won't let you put the book down.
We got to chat with Tanner Cohen, one of the masterminds behind Babe Walker, and he answered some of our most burning questions about the fictional socialite.
YourTango: What made you decide to create such a polarizing character?
Tanner Cohen: Above all, Babe Walker is a response to the types of characters we were noticing in modern film, literature, and pop culture. She's a bit of a Frankenstein's monster of the women my writing partners and I love to watch on TV, read about, and the women (and some men) that we know personally. We wanted to create a woman/celebrity/friend/enemy that you'd have a strong opinion about. Ideally, Babe and her incredibly misguided decision making skills will make you laugh. That's the goal, to poke fun at the qualities in ourselves and in others that elicit strong reactions, in either direction.
YT: What (or who) first sparked the inspiration for Babe?
TC: It's almost impossible to pin down the moment when she was conceived. It took a few months to come to the idea that she needs to function as if she was a real girl, despite being a figment of our imagination. So, we're not exactly sure what was the moment of inspiration for Babe.
YT: What sort of impact do you think Babe Walker has had on social media and literature?
TC: I think she's set an example for other web-based content creators who've created small brands around their personas. The success of Babe's blog, books, etc has proven that there is a huge number of crossover customers from web to book. We're also really excited about recently selling Babe's first book, White Girl Problems, to Lions Gate who are set to produce a live action film of the book.
YT: Without giving anything away, do you think Babe made the right choice in the romance department?
TC: Without giving anything away? I guess I'll just say she didn't not make the right choice … You'll have to be the judge of that though!
Babe's latest book, Psychos, debuts today, and you can order your copy here.