Can you tell us a little bit about your background? “Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl / With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there / She would merengue and do the cha-cha …”
When I moved to L.A., people were selling spec screenplays at auction for millions of dollars. I planned on doing the same thing, and retire in three years (five seemed way too long.) That didn’t work out and I fell into journalism the way other people step into a puddle — or, as it turned out, dog poo.
Meaning, I worked in Hollywood, ate buckets of jelly beans while seeing a staggering number of free movies (screenings), going to parties and premieres that I’d forget before I got home, and breaking stories. Like, Botox. I knew my days were numbered the year I dreaded the prospect of another Academy Awards. Undiagnosed, I was suffering from Red Carpet Weekly Burn-Out.
Fortunately, I’d started writing my first novel and continued that project while working as a journalist. That first novel was supposed to parachute me out of journalism the way screenwriting was supposed to buy my Italian Villa. Silly me, I thought there was money in novel writing. It was a total shock when I realized, five hundred agent rejections later, that I wasn’t the next Jacqueline Susann (or, even, Sidney Sheldon – and he evaded the I.R.S. on yachts.)