Samantha Berger is one of those people with a joie de vivre. She makes a living writing hilarious books for kids, but also is an accomplished party host.
In keeping with the party theme for hosting a Halloween party, I invited Samantha Berger to talk about herself, and new book Boo-La-La Witch Spa. She happily obliged.
What are you known for?
Well there are a LOT of inappropriate and hilarious ways to answer that question, but I’ll keep it clean.
I am probably best known as a picture book author.
I’ve published over 80 books for kids, most recently, BOO-LA-LA WITCH SPA, SNOOZEFEST, and CRANKENSTEIN.
I also write for lots of cartoons, and sometimes do voice-overs.
Some may say, I am best known for wearing wigs, giant sunglasses, commitment to karaoke, theme parties, good wine, and committing oystercide.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Philly and lived there until I was about 12. Then we moved to Brooklyn, so I did some hard core teenage growing up here in New York.
Are you a social person?
Also a social media person.
I’ve also been called an Extrovert, a Maven, a Connector, a Glamorpuss, a Jewish Mother, an Enabler, An International Fag Hag, a Bad Influence and a Pizza Bully.
Describe your sense of style.
My personal sense of style (for example, how I dress) is pretty consistently branded as me – “Sambrandtha.”
I tend to go matchy-matchy, urban, modern-glam, but always with a big dose of whimsy.
I love giant ruby Prada glasses with the “swirl arms” because they’re kinda Seussical.
I dig boots that come up all the way to the knee, and beyond, and like Fluevog’s because of the playful hourglass heel.
I like Elsa Schiaparelli. Edith Head. Coco Chanel.
(My friend and I were just joking they were a super hero trio of their time BECAUSE THEY WERE!)
I also spend more on pajamas than any other clothing item.
But mostly, I am very serious about themes.
So if a book comes out, the book release party, the author photo, the outfit, the menu and bar ALL should add up to the theme of the book.
Everything must have a reason!
Tell me your favorite thing about New York City.
Well, you KNOW it’s hard to play favorites with New York.
But I’d have to say, it’s all the magical memories that have been made here.
Getting your hair cut at Astor Place Barber Stylist, buying a five dollar vintage prom dress at Canal Jean Co., scoring a fake ID on 8th Street, and getting into Area, the club on opening night.
Dating someone who works in Central Park, and going to smooch in all the secret places only park employees are allowed.
Walking into a dive bar on the LES and finding it’s filled with 100 of your friends and family in black tie, throwing a surprise Birthday party for you.
Anything can happen in New York City, and it does.
And it did.
The streets hold the stories of who I am, and how I’ve changed.
And vice-versa. We keep each other’s secrets to this day.
The city is an ever-evolving constant reinvention.
It’s like no other place in the world.
What do you do to unwind?
Isn’t that funny?
All this time, I thought it was spelled “un-wine,” as in, “open a bottle of wine.”
Well, that answers that.
Other unwindables include: bath-time, acupuncture, over-analyzing Game of Thrones with friends, meditating, yoga, and of course, SPA-ING!
Oh, and did I mention wine?
Your cocktail of choice
Really? Just one?
Well cocktails tend to seasonal and thematic for me, so this autumn, some Fall faves (that connect to my books) will be:
SPA-SECCO: Prosecco, with a drop of green food coloring, and an orange hard candy dropped in
BOOZEFEST: (a power punch that packs a punch, then puts you to sleep)
DAY OF THE RED: Serious killer sangria
CRANKENWINE: any cheap wine that makes ya cranky. Just kidding, I only drink good wine
Name the goal you would like to accomplish over the next year.
I’d like to be in the best health I can be in, write the stories I must tell while I am here, be brave enough to tell the hardest stories to tell.
And of course…throw better parties!
See ideas for a Halloween or Day of the Dead celebration in 19 Spooky Harvest