It is November 1st, time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour! (Join our alliance! Click the button!) The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author and his/her latest book's FIRST chapter!
This month's feature author is:
and her book:
Th1nk Books (August 30, 2007)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lisa Samson is the author of twenty books, including the Christy Award-winning Songbird. Apples of Gold was her first novel for teens. Visit Lisa at http://www.lisasamson.com/
These days, she's working on Quaker Summer, volunteering at Kentucky Refugee Ministries, raising children and trying to be supportive of a husband in seminary. (Trying . . . some days she's downright awful. It's a good thing he's such a fabulous cook!) She can tell you one thing, it's never dull around there.
Other Novels by Lisa:
Straight Up, , Club Sandwich, Songbird, Tiger Lillie, The Church Ladies, Women's Intuition: A Novel, Songbird, The Living End
AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:
Hollywood Nobody: April 1
Happy April Fool’s Day! What better day to start a blog about Hollywood than today?
Okay, I’ve been around film sets my whole life. Indie films, yeah, and that’s all I’m saying about it here for anonymity’s sake. But trust me, I’ve had my share of embarrassing moments. Like outgrowing Tom Cruise by the age of twelve — in more ways than one, with the way he’s gotten crazier than thong underwear and low-rise jeans. Thankfully that fashion disaster has run for cover.
Underwear showing? Not a good idea.
Fact: I don’t know of a single girl who doesn’t wish the show-itall boxer-shorts phenomenon would go away as well. Guys, we just don’t want to see your underwear. Truthfully, we believe that there is a direct correlation between how much underwear you show and how much you’ve got upstairs, if you know what I mean.
I’ve seen the stars at their best and at their worst. And believe me, the worst is really, really bad. Big clue: you’d look just as pretty as they do if you went to such lengths. As you might guess, some of them are really nice and some of them are total jerks, and there’s a lot of blah in-betweeners. Like real life, pretty much, only the extremes are more extreme sometimes. I mean honestly, how many people under twenty do you know who have had more than one plastic surgery?
So you’ll have to forgive me if I’m a little hard on these folks. But if it was all sunshine and cheerleading, I doubt you’d read this blog for long, right?
Today’s Rant: Straightening irons. We’ve had enough of them, Little Stars, okay? It was bad on Helen Hunt at the Oscars, worse on Demi, yet worse on Madonna, and it’s still ridiculous. Especially on those women who are trying to hold onto their youth like Gollum holds onto that ring. Ladies, there’s a reason for keeping your hair at or above your shoulders once you hit forty, and ever after. Think Annette Bening. Now she’s got it going on. And can’t you just see why Warren Beatty settled down for her? Love her! According to The Early Show this morning, curls are back, and Little Me ain’t going to tell why I’m so glad about that!
Today’s Kudo: Aretha Franklin. Big, bold, beautiful, and the best. Her image is her excellence. Man, that woman can sing! She has a prayer chain too. I’m not very religious myself, but you got to respect people who back up what they say they believe. Unless it’s male Scientologists and "silent birth." Yeah, right. Easy for them to say.
Today’s News: I saw a young actor last summer at a Shakespeare festival in New England. Seth Haas. Seth Hot is more like it. I heard a rumor he’s reading scripts for consideration. Yes, he’s that hot. Check him out here. Tell all your friends about him. And look here on Hollywood Nobody for the first, the hottest news on this hottie. Girls, he’s only nineteen! Fair game for at least a decade-and-a-half span of ages.
I don’t know about you, but following the antics of new teen rock star Violette Dillinger is something I’m looking forward to. Her first album, released to much hype, hit Billboard’s no. 12 spot its third week out. And don’t you love her hit single "Love Comes Knocking on My Door"? This is going to be fun. A new celeb. Uncharted territory. Will Violette, who seems grounded and talented, be like her predecessors and fall into the "great defiling show-business machine" only to be spit out as a half-naked bimbo? We’ll see, won’t we? Keep your fingers crossed that the real artist survives.
Today’s Quote: "Being thought of as ‘a beautiful woman’ has spared me nothing in life. No heartache, no trouble. Beauty is essentially meaningless." Halle Berry
Friday, April 2
I knew it was coming soon. We’d been camped out in the middle of a cornfield, mind you, for two weeks. That poke on my shoulder in the middle of the night means only one thing. Time to move on.
"Let’s head ’em on out, Scotty. We’ve got to be at a shoot in North Carolina tomorrow afternoon. I’ve got food to prepare, so you have to drive."
"I’m still only fifteen."
"It’s okay. You’re a good driver, baby."
My mom, Charley Dawn, doesn’t understand that laws exist for a reason, say, keeping large vehicles out of the hands of children. But as a food stylist, she fakes things all the time.
Her boundaries are blurred. What can I say?
Charley looks like she succumbed to the peer pressure of plastic surgery, but she hasn’t. I know this because I’m with her almost all the time. I think it’s the bleached-blond fountain of long hair she’s worn ever since I can remember. Or maybe the hand-dyed sarongs and shirts from Africa, India, or Bangladesh add to the overall appearance of youth. I have no idea. But it really makes me mad when anybody mistakes us as sisters.
I mean, come on! She had me when she was forty!
My theory: a lot of people are running around with bad eyesight and just don’t know it.
I throw the covers to my left. If I sling them to my right, they’d land on the dinette in our "home," to use the term in a fashion less meaningful than a Hollywood "I do." I grew up in this old Travco RV I call the Y.
As in Y do I have to live in this mobile home?
Y do I have to have such an oddball food stylist for a mother?
Y must we travel all year long? Y will we never live anyplace long enough for me to go to the real Y and take aerobics, yoga, Pilates or — shoot — run around the track for a while, maybe swim laps in the pool?
And Y oh Y must Charley be a vegan?
More on that later.
And Y do I know more about Hollywood than I should, or even want to? Everybody’s an actor in Hollywood, and I mean that literally. Sometimes I wonder if any of them even know who they are deep down in that corner room nobody else is allowed into.
But I wonder the same thing about myself.
"You’re not asking me to drive while you’re in the kitchen trailer, are you, Charley?"
"No. I can cook in here. And it’s a pretty flat drive. I’ll be fine."
I’m not actually worried about her. I’m thinking about how many charges the cops can slap on me.
Driving without a license.
Driving without a seat belt on the passenger.
Speeding, because knowing Charley, we’re late already.
Driving without registration. Charley figured out years ago how to lift current stickers off of license plates. She loves "sticking it to the man." Or so she says.
I kid you not.
Oh, the travails of a teenager with an old hippie for a mother. Charley is oblivious as usual as I continue my recollection of past infractions thankfully undetected by the state troopers:
Driving while someone’s in the trailer. It’s a great trailer, don’t get me wrong, a mini industrial kitchen we rigged up a couple of years ago to make her job easier. Six-range burner, A/C, and an exhaust fan that sucks up more air than Joan Rivers schmoozing on the red carpet. But it’s illegal for her to go cooking while we’re in motion.
"All right. Can I at least get dressed?"
"Why? You’re always in your pj’s anyway."
"It’s Charley, baby. You know how I feel about social hierarchy."
"But didn’t you just give me an order to drive without a license? What if I say no?"
She reaches into the kitchen cupboard without comment and tips down a bottle of cooking oil. Charley’s as tall as a twelve-year-old.
"I mean, let’s be real, Charley. You do, in the ultimate end of things, call the shots."
I reach back for my glasses on the small shelf I installed in the side of the loft. It holds whatever book I’m reading and my journal. I love my glasses, horn-rimmed "cat glasses" as Charley calls them. Vintage 1961. Makes me want to do the twist and wear penny loafers.
"Can I at least pull my hair back?"
She huffs. "Oh, all right, Scotty! Why do you have to be so difficult?"
Charley has no clue as to how difficult teenagers can actually be. Here I am, schooling myself on the road, no wild friends. No friends at all, actually, because I hate Internet friendships. I mean, how lame, right? No boyfriend, no drugs. No alcohol either, unless you count cold syrup, because the Y gets so cold during the winter and Charley’s a huge conservationist. (Big surprise there.) I should be thankful, though. At least she stopped wearing leather fringe a couple of years ago.
I slide down from the loft, gather my circus hair into a ponytail, and slip into the driver’s seat. Charley reupholstered it last year with rainbow fabric. I asked her where the unicorns were and she just rolled her eyes. "Okay, let’s go. How long is it going to take?"
"Oh." She looks down, picks up a red pepper and hides behind it.
I turn on her. "You didn’t Google Map it?"
"You’re the computer person, not me." She peers above the stem. "I’m sorry?" She shrugs. Man, I hate it when she’s so cute. "Really sorry?"
"Charley, we’re in Wilmore, Kentucky. As in Ken-Tuck-EEE . As in the middle of nowhere." I climb out of my seat. "What part of North Carolina are we going to? It’s a wide state."
"Toledo Island. Something like that. Near Ocracoke Island. Does that sound familiar?"
"The Outer Banks?"
"Are they in North Carolina?"
Are you kidding me?
"Let me log on. This is crazy, Charley. I don’t know why you do this to me all the time."
"Sorry." She says it so Valley Girl-like. I really thought I’d be above TME: Teenage Mom Embarrassment. But no. Now, most kids don’t have mothers who dress like Stevie Nicks and took a little too much LSD back in the DAY. It doesn’t take ESP to realize who the adult in this setup is. And she had me, PDQ, out of the bonds of holy matrimony I might add, when she was forty (yes, I already told you that, but it’s still just as true), and that’s
OLD to be caught in such an inconvenient situation, don’t you think? The woman had no excuse for such behavior, FYI.
My theory: Charley’s a widow and it’s too painful to talk about my father. I mean, it’s plausible, right?
The problem is, I can remember back to when I was at least four, and I definitely do not remember a man in the picture. Except for Jeremy. More on him later too.
I flip up my laptop. I have a great satellite Internet setup in the Y. I rigged it myself because I’m a lonely geek with nothing better to do with her time than figure out this kind of stuff. I type in the info and wait for the directions. Satellite is slower than DSL, but it’s better than nothing.
"Charley! It’s seventeen hours away!" I scan the list of twists and turns between here and there. "We have to take a ferry to Ocracoke, and then Toledo Island’s off of there."
"Groovy died with platform shoes and midis."
"Whatever, Scotty." Only she says it all sunny. She’s a morning person.
"That phrase should be dead."
Honestly, I’m not big on lingo. I’ve never been good at it, which is fine by me. Who am I going to impress with cool-speak anyway? Uma Thurman? Yeah, right. "Okay, let’s go."
"We can go as long as possible and break camp on the way, you know?" Charley.
I climb back into the rainbow chair, throw the Y into drive, pull the brake, and we’re moving on down the road.
Sample from Hollywood Nobody / ISBN: 1-60006-091-9
Copyright © 2006 NavPress Publishing. All rights reserved. To order copies of this resource, come back to www.navpress.com.
Q&A with Lisa Samson, author of Hollywood Nobody
Q. What inspired you to write Hollywood Nobody?
A. NavPress approached me at a publishing conference about writing YA fiction. They felt my writing voice would transition naturally into YA. Well, that day, I was sitting in my car in Opryland's parking lot, and the idea just gushed out. Nav loved it, and here we all are, me, Nav, Scotty Dawn and her fabulous readers.
Q. What message would you like readers to take away after reading Hollywood Nobody?
A. Be yourself and don't think the grass is always greener "over there." Chances are, somebody's looking at your yard thinking you've got it made.
Q. What does faith mean to you?
A. Faith means trusting God even when you have no idea what's going on around you, or what lies ahead. Faith means that somehow, somewhere, the bad stuff will be turned into good, even if that seems impossible.
Q. Can you describe what a "normal" family means to you? Did you grow up in a "normal" family?
A. Honestly, I don't think there is such thing as a "normal" family. We're all odd in our own way. Sure, some families look normal from the outside, but we're all weird in our "own special way." Of course, some families' abnormalities are dark and painful, and I just hope and pray that Hollywood Nobody will provide young women in those situations with a little bit of escape and encouragement.
Q. How did that help you?
I was always encouraged in the arts. My Dad played boogie-woogie for pocket money in college, and painted when he came home from his practice at night. My Mom worked at our church, was involved in other causes, so I became aware of my social responsibilities through her.
Q. In Hollywood Nobody, Scottie really struggles to find authentic relationships due to her nomadic lifestyle and the pervasive Hollywood influence in her life. What do you think Scotty would say to Britney Spears or Lindsey Lohan if she had the chance?
A. She'd say, "Are you kidding me?!" :-)
Q. What book is coming up next? Will Scottie find out who is chasing her?
A. The next book is called Finding Hollywood Nobody and yes, she will figure out who Biker Guy really is!
Q. What book(s) are you reading now?
A. Right now I'm reading, Growing Up Hard in Harlan County and Jesus of Nazareth.
Q. If your book were turned into a movie, who would play the main character(s)?
A. Amanda Bynes with a dark, curly wig. Adam Brody would nail Seth Haas. Charley could totally be played by Kelly Preston.
Q. Which one of your characters is most like you? Why?
A. Well, Scotty thinks a lot like I do. But I don't think any of the characters in this book resemble me. I am 43 dontchaknow. :-) Scotty, however, is an awful lot like my 17-year-old daughter Ty. I really felt like she was whispering in my ear as I wrote the book.
Q. What do you want your readers to know about you?
A. I guess I hope they know I remember how awful being a teenager could be! I'm not the person who says, "This is the greatest time of your life. Just be happy." I wouldn't go back to High School if anybody paid me to do it. It's a hard gig.
Q. There are many references woven throughout Hollywood Nobody to F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Is this a favorite book for you? Why did you choose it as a backdrop for Scotty?
A. Yes, The Great Gatsby is a favorite of mine. I chose it because I was re-reading it when I started writing the book. There are a lot of parallels between the two storylines. Unrequited love, the outsider looking in, wanting what we can't have. Beyond that, I wanted Scotty to be the literary type and to encourage the readers of Hollywood Nobody to venture out into something more classic than my book!
Q. Are you a vegetarian like Scotty or her mother?
A. I've tried it a time or two. And I wish I could stick with it. But usually it's fried chicken that knocks me off course every time. (I love fried chicken!)
Q. Scottie struggles with defining faith and how it fits into her life. Can you describe your experience coming to faith?
A. I've been in church all of my life! When I was three I remember asking Him into my heart. But faith isn't just a nice little formula, it's embracing Christ and God's faithfulness, day after day after day. Honestly, each day I hope I come to Christ a little more, hoping to draw closer to Him, to be more like Him, to love Him more.