Wednesday, May 21, 2008

GCC Presents: Maggie Marr and Secrets of The Hollywood Girls Club

Today's GCC pick is The Secrets of The Hollywood Girls Club, which, as a closet US Weekly reader, is so up my alley! Seriously, this is the perfect beach book: well-written (just ask Booklist or Publishers Weekly), juicy, gossip-packed, faced-paced...need I say more? Probably not, so I'll just let Maggie Marr, the author, speak on the book's behalf. But before she does, here's a little more scoop on the book.

Maggie Marr’s first novel, Hollywood Girls Club, introduced us to four fabulous Hollywood heavyweights and best friends - Jessica, Celeste, Lydia, and Mary Anne. Now, in SECRETS OF THE HOLLYWOOD GIRLS CLUB, these high-powered women take on a new challenge-the Hollywood rumor mill. Those who fell in love with Marr’s witty writing and fast-paced plot will be eager to dive into this sequel which delves even deeper into the glamorous, treacherous Hollywood lifestyle.

Although she is one of the hottest actresses in Hollywood, Celeste is wondering how long she can maintain her success. With age creeping up and body parts sagging down, how will she maintain her “It Girl” status? Mary Anne, recently back in LA after a breakup in London, is helping to write Lydia’s latest movie called The Sexual Being. Of course, her bigger challenge will be avoiding her old flame, Holden Humphrey, who happens to be starring in it.

Lydia has recently started receiving mysterious notes that seem to be hinting toward a secret she’s kept buried for years. Not only that, Jessica, uber-agent to the stars and recent new mom, has just told Lydia that somebody has gotten their hands on a very compromising DVD that Celeste made with her ex-husband—how will she protect her friend (and the top earner for her production company)? Meanwhile, publicist Kiki Dee has gotten her hands on some of these secrets and is willing to do almost anything to keep her spot at the top of the Hollywood PR machine. Will the Hollywood Girls Club discover the source of the threats? Will Celeste give in to the Hollywood machine and undergo plastic surgery? Will Mary Anne and Holden find happiness with each other? And with so much going on, will Lydia’s latest movie ever be completed?

1) What’s the backstory behind your book?
Prior to becoming a full time writer, I was a motion picture agent for ICM. I worked full time repping writers and directors. So Hollywood is my home. I started hearing a character voice in my head and late at night when I couldn’t sleep or on the weekends, I would write down the story I was told. This story became the first draft of my first book Hollywood Girls Club. Secrets of The Hollywood Girls Club is the second book in the series and a continuation of the lives of these four fabulous women who live and work in Hollywood.

2) It seems that a lot of readers confuse fiction with real life, assuming that a novel must be an autobiography of the author as well. How many elements of your real life are reflected in your book?
I think my unconscious took a huge amount of my day to day life in entertainment and fictionalized it. As I write and then read the book, I see so many similarities to things I’ve seen, stories I’ve heard and people I know. But it wasn’t conscious.

3) A lot of my blog readers are aspiring or new authors. How did you land your first book deal?
As I said, I’d been writing for fun, in my spare time. It was my husband who convinced me to give four chapters to my friend and colleague (and now agent) at ICM. I gave her four chapters without my name on them, guessing she’d pass and then I could go on about my life repping my screenplay writer and directing clients. But instead she loved it. I finished the manuscript and when she took it out, there were two houses that wanted the book…so I ended up going with Crown. And suddenly, I was a writer.

4) I have a serious procrastination problem when it comes to tackling my fiction. What’s your routine? How do you dive it? Do you have any rituals or necessary to-dos before or while you write?
Let’s see. I love the mornings. I love to be at my computer by 7:30 or 8 am to get started. I have a goal of one chapter a day which for me is about 10 pages. Some days I make it, other days I don’t. But when I’m working on the first draft, whizzing along, I try for ten pages. I work in the morning until noonish and then I take a break and have lunch with my girls. I put them down for nap and write another two hours, from two to four. Usually I’m pretty shot by four pm. I might read or edit in the evening once the girls are in bed, but I don’t usually get much writing accomplished.

5) Clearly, your book will be optioned for a multi-million dollar film deal! Who would you cast as the leads, if you were given creative control?
Celeste could be played by Jessica Biehl…or an older version of Jessica Biehl
Lydia hmm…Jada Pinkett Smith
Jessica would be played by Carla Gugino
Mary Anne Meyers would be played by Bridget Moynihan

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