I’m excited to bring you a Q&A from the authors of Girl About Town, Adam Shankman and Laura L. Sullivan!
ABOUT GIRL ABOUT TOWN:
Not too long ago, Lucille O’Malley was living in a tenement in New York. Now she’s Lulu Kelly, Hollywood’s newest It Girl. She may be a star, but she worries that her past will catch up with her. Back in New York she witnessed a Mafia murder, and this glamorous new life in Tinseltown is payment for her silence.
Dashing Freddie van der Waals, the only son of a New York tycoon, was a playboy with the world at his feet. But when he discovered how his corrupt father really made the family fortune, Freddie abandoned his billions and became a vagabond. He travels the country in search of redemption and a new identity, but his father will stop at nothing to bring him home.
When fate brings Lulu and Freddie together, sparks fly—and gunshots follow. Suddenly Lulu finds herself framed for attempted murder. Together, she and Freddie set out to clear her name. But can they escape their pasts and finally find the Hollywood ending they long for?
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Author “Top 10” Posts
Top 10 ways writing fiction is like directing a movie or television show—Adam
- I’m basically telling everyone what to do and mostly making it all up as I go along.
- I fall in love with the characters. If I don’t, it’s gonna stink.
- I’m gonna get reviews good and bad, and I’m only going to remember the bad ones.
- One of my favorite things to do is picking out the wardrobe for my actors. I do that with my characters too, and I could do it all day every day. Maybe I should just be a stylist.
- I always hate when the scripted characters say things they wouldn’t say, just to get into the next scene. I really, really hate this. Like, a lot, and I have to bust myself on it when I’m writing all the time.
- When I write I listen to the music the characters would be listening to, and it’s free. Paying for that music for my movies is really, really expensive.
- Real characters don’t tell you everything that’s on their mind. Just like real people.
- The imagination is infinitely more powerful than the explicit.
- Making movies and writing books both require a bold leap of faith and are torturously uncertain. That’s just what you sign up for when you choose to create.
- What you set out to make and what you make are seldom the exact same thing. That’s what happens between the mind and the marketplace.
Top 10 reasons why “storytelling is the easiest way to do everything in the world”—Laura
I’m pretty sure the FBI, Interpol, and all the rest of the agencies that keep an eye on people have a pretty thick file on me, just based on my Internet searches and the books I check out of the library. My writing life has really taken me into almost every topic imaginable, which is perfect for a person like me who could never figure out what to specialize in. Here are some of the more unusual or disturbing things I’ve had to research. Some are for published books, some are for books that have yet to find a home.
- Beauty: That should be a pretty safe topic, right? But for Girl About Town I had to research some pretty weird beauty techniques from the 1930s, including removing molars to enhance cheekbones, removing ribs to slim the waist, and having a doctor induce a five-day coma just to lose weight.
- Murder: Also for Girl About Town, I had to do a lot of research on the best way to kill someone with a gun without getting caught. I’d better be careful to avoid crime, because my Internet history makes me look pretty guilty!
- Pigs: One pivotal scene in an unpublished novel focused on the, ahem, love life of pigs, and transitioned in to whether pigs would eat a human corpse that had been dead for several days. (Because we all know they’ll eat a fresh human corpse!)
- Valuable Urine: In Ladies in Waiting, I had to research an ancient alchemy recipe for turning urine into a glowing, flammable material.
- Escape: For one scene in Delusion, I practiced getting out of handcuffs. I’m not half bad at it.
- A Poke in the Eye: For Under the Green Hill, I had to figure out exactly what it looks like when someone gets poked in the eye with a sharp stick.
- Poison: Several of my books have involved poisoning people. My characters have used yew, green potatoes, and wolfsbane to try to kill people.
- Hanging: For Ladies in Waiting, as well as several nonfiction books about pirates, I learned much more than I really wanted to know about death by hanging.
- Food: On a more pleasant note, I try to research as much about food as possible for each book. So I’ve learned how to create makeshift cakes like they did in England during WWII without eggs or sugar; how a Restoration salad didn’t have lettuce in it; and how to make a gooseberry fool.
- Alligator Calls: One of my books, Brightwing, is mostly set in the Florida Everglades. I’m a native Floridian so I already knew the basics, but for this book I perfected my alligator call. The trick is to mimic a baby alligator in distress. Adult gators will investigate – the mother to protect them, other alligators to eat them. I have fun scaring tourists with that one!