7 Quick Fire Questions, 3 Tips | Laura Barcella, author of Madonna & Me

7 Quick Fire Questions, 3 Tips | Laura Barcella, author of Madonna & Me


Today is the release of Madonna & Me: an anthology of essays conceived and edited by Laura Barcella, a Madonna devotee since the age of six! The anthology is written by nearly 40 female authors including Cintra Wilson, Gloria Feldt, Caroline Leavitt, Bee Lavender, Wendy Shanker, and Susan Shapiro about the Queen of Pop- Madonna – and how she has changed their lives. 


“Why?” You might ask. Here’s Laura’s answer taken from the Madonna and Me website:


“Because, for children of the ’80s and ‘90s, Madonna’s been nothing less than a constant companion. Maturing in the media spotlight for nearly 30 (!) years, Madonna has truly grown up with us (not to mention that she’s sold more than 200 million records worldwide). Brazen, beautiful, and balls-to-the-wall, Madonna is so much more than just the sultry architect of a few hit songs. For the MTV generation and beyond, Madonna is a living example of having it all. She’s been so much more than a media darling or a “boy-toy” tartlet, even in her later incarnations as savvy businesswoman and kooky Kabbalah matriarch. Madonna has inspired us and challenged us, pushing us to be bolder, edgier versions of ourselves.”

Laura is here today answering our popular series, 7 Quick Fire Questions, 3 Tips. I’d love to hear your thoughts about Madonna in the comments!


 7 Questions

 1. Favorite Madonna hairstyle?

I’m a fan of her classic mid-’80s rag-in-the-hair days. When I was a kid, I’d occasionally wear a black lace rag in my hair in her honor. I like everything about her look in this photo:


The huge black bow-thing! The dark eye makeup! The chunky jewelry! The slightly challenging, come-hither expression partially obscured by the wine glass! The cigarette (I know, I know — smoking kills, but sometimes it also looks insanely glamorous). I’d wear that whole look now.

2. Favorite Madonna outfit ever? 

One of my favorite Madonna outfits was when she wore that “Healthy” midriff t-shirt, with her hair all messy and askew, wearing a rosary as a necklace. Pic here:

Image courtesy of 80smuseum.com

3. Favorite Madonna song?

“Causing a Commotion” (an under-appreciated single from the “Who’s That Girl?” soundtrack).

4. Fave guy Madonna has dated?

Um, to be honest, I haven’t been a huge fan of any of the men she’s dated. They’re just not my type, really. Sean Penn is a talented actor with an interesting face, but he lost any and all of my support when he (allegedly) beat her up. I guess Guy Ritchie would be my favorite if I absolutely had to pick, but I thought some of his alleged post-divorce comments about her were mean-spirited and unnecessary.

5. Favorite Madonna album?

Either her debut album (“Madonna”) or “Like a Virgin.” I love her early sound best– upbeat and fun, but not overpackaged, overproduced, or overdone. It was danceable, but in a more mellow, lo-fi way. I’m obsessed with some of the songs on those two albums that were never turned into singles — the sleepers that some people may have forgotten about, like “Think of Me,” “I Know It,” “Shoo-Bee-Doo,” and “Physical Attraction.”

6. Favorite Madonna movie?

“Desperately Seeking Susan,” but of course. It’s such a fun, silly caper and, to me, she was at her absolute pinnacle of personal style and all-around awesomeness then.

7. Favorite Madonna “moment”?

One favorite was when she was being interviewed by Dick Clark on “American Bandstand” in 1984. He asked her “What are your dreams?” and she replied, “To rule the world,” with this kind-of coy, shit-eating smile. So classic and SO Madonna.


3 Expert Tips: How to put together an anthology.

1. Devise a super-solid idea that hasn’t been done before — research extensively to make sure there’s nothing too similar already on the market. If there is, find a way to differentiate your idea from what’s already out there.

2. Put out a call for submissions on every corner of the Internet. Also be sure to sift through all your contacts to find writers who could either contribute or help spread the word about the book. Don’t be afraid to approach bigger-name writers you don’t know personally. You never know who will respond with excitement.

3. When sorting through your submissions, try your best to find a lot of disparate ideas from a diverse range of perspectives. No one wants to read the same exact essay over and over again, so do your best to avoid redundancy.


Thanks Laura! Don’t forget that Madonna & Me is available today!

Readers, it’s your turn! What do you love, or hate, about Madonna?


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One thought on “7 Quick Fire Questions, 3 Tips | Laura Barcella, author of Madonna & Me

  1. I adore Madonna. Yes, she has been an icon for a long time and everyone talks about her past albums. But I want to point out she hasn’t lost her charm even now. Ray of Light was a beautiful album with the very haunting Frozen and the fun, up-beat “Sutra” or Ray of Light.

    Her single with Justin Timberlake, 4 Minutes, proves she has still got it.

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