It’s always thrilling and nerve-wracking when a new book of mine is released into the wild. I am usually on pins and needles waiting to see what the reaction among readers will be. I want so very much to please those who’ve liked my other books. In fact, I think I worry about this more than pleasing reviewers! Interestingly enough, every idea for a book that I attempt to execute is harder to pull off than the one before it. Rather than getting eaiser, it actually gets more difficult!
I know that’s partly because I set the bar a little higher for myself each with each new story and yet I start a book the same way each time — looking at a scary blank page.
This one, STARS OVER SUNSET BOULEVARD, was especially challenging to write, because unlike my previous two books, SECRETS OF A CHARMED LIFE and A FALL OF MARIGOLDS, this one was carved against a benevolent setting. Old Hollywood was a glamorous, exciting place; very different from the malevolent settings of World War II and the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire — the two settings for those other books. The tension had to come from my characters and their desires, not so much the environment. But I think in the end, with the help of my wonderful editors and agent, I’ve been able to craft for you a transportive novel that I hope you will enjoy.
This book is about two studio secretaries who become best friends while working on the 1939 film set of Gone With the Wind. One wants to be needed, one wants to be wanted. Their desires will collide, of course, and when they do, we see what lengths a person will go to hold on to what she thinks she cannot live without — I took a few cues from Scarlett and Melanie here! (Study these fictional characters and you will see that GONE WITH THE WIND is about their complex friendship as much as anything else…)
I so very much hope you will enjoy this book. I wrote it hoping you would! And I would love to hear from you after you’ve read it so we can chat.
On Friday I will share with you why I wanted to set a novel on the set of this iconic movie. I will have a giveaway that day, too, so come on back!