Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Frank Strausser | PLASTIC: A Novelist’s Double Vision
Author Guest / July 9, 2019

Although the drama in my novel PLASTIC centers around a disfigured pop star and the plastic surgeon who is brought in ostensibly to restore her looks, yet realizes he’s there to erase evidence of a crime, it’s easy to forget that PLASTIC is also about a marriage on the rocks. You say, what? My intention had always been to make my high-flying Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Harold Previn hit bottom after his wife Helen Burke, decides he isn’t the man she fell in love with and walks out on him. This to me was the ultimate sign of how “lost” Previn is as the novel begins. I wanted to pose the question, could he redeem himself in Helen’s eyes? That to me was the ultimate measure of the journey he was on. But many readers come to a Hollywood conspiracy story like mine expecting just that, a by the numbers crime drama. So how to amplify the marital crisis without losing the reader? That was the challenge. And while it might be argued that subplots reinforce the main plot, it’s always a delicate balance. The crime genre has its particular demands. I’m reminded about how in his day John…

Juliette Fay | A Star – the Very First – Is Born
Author Guest / May 3, 2019

The Rise and Fall of Florence Lawrence, the World’s First Movie Star What makes a movie star? Today we’ve got the general recipe down: mix bankable films with broad popularity. Add a healthy social media following and sauté in critical acclaim. Garnish with head-turning red carpet appearances. And if you’re very, very lucky, pair with a performance of your blockbuster movie’s Oscar-winning theme song … But in 1909 no one knew. The concept of stardom didn’t exist because early movie studios didn’t want anyone to know. The thinking went like this: the more popular and “known” actors became, the more money they would demand. Studios kept their performers anonymous—no acting credits were listed—so that if a particular actor became too demanding or difficult, he or she was more easily replaced. Disposability served the bottom line. Then Florence Lawrence came along, and all hell broke loose. She was attractive, but no more so than many other actresses of her day, such as Mary Pickford and Lillian Gish, both of whom would go on to be far more successful and well-remembered. What Florence was, besides anonymously popular, was prolific. From 1908 through the middle of 1909, she was featured in over 100…

Maggie Marr | The Dirt: A Woman In Hollywood
Uncategorized / March 13, 2008

Like most women, I need my friends to sustain me but unlike a lot of women outside Hollywood, I also rely on my friends professionally. Making a film or television show is a collaborative process, and in Hollywood, it is often my friends who support my work. We work and play together. Do the lines get blurry? Yes, of course. But entertainment is The Industry where I found both the friendships that nurture me and the dirt that inspires me. Because to write Hollywood Girls Club and Secrets of The Hollywood Girls Club, I needed both the friendships and the dirt. Friendship in Hollywood you say? Why that’s preposterous, unheard of, impossible. Those moviemaking madmen are a cutthroat bunch, an impossible lot. No friendship to be found there. But in Tinseltown, like anywhere, there are friends to be made and this undeniably Midwestern girl, did in fact collect a group of friends. On my first day of trudging through the long agency hallways, pushing my mail cart, dropping off letters (oh so glamorous the agency life in the beginning) I noticed two things. First, most agents were male and second, so were most their assistants. But I needed female friends….

Jerrilyn Farmer | Advice from "Mad Bean" for a Killer Event!
Uncategorized / September 19, 2007

A great party, like a great mystery, needs to provide a few surprises and even a twist. I have given a good deal of thought to both parties and mysteries because I write about Hollywood event planner/caterer Madeline Bean, and it is her job (when not dodging murderers) to make sure every party guest has a good time. Pulling off a remarkable party isn’t a snap, but it helps to start off with the fun concept. Think vices! Do your friends enjoy imbibing? Try a wine tasting evening. Are they into gluttony? Make sure you feature gourmet goodies. Would they like to gamble? Have an Academy Awards party and keep a tote board to track each guests predictions in each category–perhaps surprising the group with a cool prize for the highest totals. Or try a casino theme. Now if your girlfriends are like mine, they don’t mind flirting, so by all mean pick a theme where everyone dresses up so the women can let their necklines plunge. In my books, the larger-than-life Hollywood types require the Godzilla of all party concepts–from a wedding held at the Natural History Museum’s Hall of Predators (KILLER WEDDING) to a Black-and-White themed charity ball…