Thursday, February 17, 2011

Guest post & giveaway with Lucie Simone

Hi everyone! I have a special treat for you today: dropping by to discuss Hollywood and its fabulous (and sometimes not so fabulous) qualities is Lucie Simone, author of her latest titled Hollywood Ending. Stick around and read how this famous neighborhood inspired Lucie to write a novel about it (and for a chance to win a copy of that novel!) I'll pass the microphone to Lucie now :)

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Life in Hollywood
By Lucie Simone

If you’re like most Americans (or earthlings for that matter), you’ve got a pre-fabricated perception of life in Hollywood. Entertainment-based news shows, popular celebrity-pimping magazines, gossip blogs, reality shows and even novels penned by famous actors and musicians all purport a certain image of life in Hollywood: glitz, glamour, parties, paparazzi, movies, and mega-mansions. And all those things certainly do exist. The other image most often portrayed, usually in gritty crime dramas like Southland, is one of a city overrun with drugs, gangs, and crime-ridden neighborhoods. And those things also exist. But I don’t live in either of those worlds. Yet Hollywood is the place I call home.

What most people don’t see in the media are the real people who make up the middle bit between the celebrities and the gangs. Many of them are native to Los Angeles who grew up with Santa Monica beach as their backyard or transplants from other states who inhabit the bohemian neighborhoods of Silver Lake and Los Feliz just east of Hollywood. There are a lot of very important people keeping showbiz alive in Los Angeles – producers, actors, filmmakers, agents, etc. But there are even more people you don’t hear so much about that provide essential services to the entertainment industry. Next time you watch a movie, stick around for the end credits. You’ll see thousands of names scroll past your eyes – everyone from the production accountant to the hairstylist to the truck driver. And Hollywood, as the world knows it, simply would not exist without those people.

That’s one of the reasons I wrote my novel, Hollywood Ending. I wanted to show people the everyday life of a normal non-celebrity, non-gangster Hollywood inhabitant. The characters in Hollywood Ending all live and work in the middle bit between the celebrities and the gangsters. Now, this is not to say that those parts of Los Angeles do not touch their lives. Through their daily journeys in La La Land, readers get an inside look at the parties, the premiers, the gossip, and even the crime, that makes this town so famous. Because that’s what real life in Hollywood includes. Unless you’re living under a rock.

It’s not unusual to practice yoga alongside the likes of Julia Roberts or Jennifer Aniston, or sit down to a  meal at a hip and trendy restaurant to find that Madonna is sitting two tables away. It happens. And sometimes, to get to that star-studded yoga class, you might have to drive through a couple of less-than-savory neighborhoods populated with a few scary-looking residents. You could literally turn off a street lined with palm trees and mansions and find yourself driving past boarded up tenements. This is especially true in Hollywood.

But for all its faults (traffic, smog, insanely expensive real estate, drunk-driving celebrities), Hollywood is still fabulous! Where else can a leisurely trip to the mall end in a sing-along with the cast of Glee? Or a mad dash through the grocery store find you standing in line behind Eliza Dushku? (She is mind-bogglingly gorgeous, by the way). Or a jaunty hike with your dog through Griffith Park where you cross paths with Josh Brolin out for a morning stroll? All these things can and do happen. And if you also work in the entertainment industry, the likelihood of rubbing elbows with A-List celebs, maybe even having a conversation or becoming friends with one of them, is even greater. Because, just like in movies, anything can happen in Hollywood!

Thank you, Lucie, for that fun guest post! Hollywood sounds like a blast to visit! I'm not sure if I could live there though--I much prefer a quiet, cozy home away from all the hustle and bustle from everyday life. Anyways! I have one copy of Lucie's novel up for grabs: to have a chance at winning Hollywood Ending, please fill out the form here. This giveaway is open only to the US (sorry international peeps!) and will run until February 27th. I'll announce the winner on the following day. Good luck to everyone that enters! Giveaway is now closed.

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