Today’s guest author post is from bestselling writer Monique Martin. I told you in a post yesterday Monique’s paranormal time travel mystery (with a little bit of romance) book, Out of Time, was free and it is still free today: you can grab it for yourself if you click here or type in http://smarturl.it/outoftime into your web browser. I know a lot of you have read and enjoyed Monique’s work, so please take advantage of this free offer while you can if you have not done so previously!
Monique shares a little bit about the influences on her life and writing, and a lot of trivia about Hollywood that I found interesting. Read on to learn more…
HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD
I’ve always had a deep, abiding love for movies and television. When I was little, I would sneak downstairs into the family room, well after my bedtime. I’d crawl into the large, long wet-bar at the back of the room. There was a knothole in the wood and if I scrunched up real small, I could press my eye to it and watch the late show until I fell asleep nestled between the gin and the rye.
Somewhere along the way, I got the acting bug and according to some sources (my brother) I was a shameless ham. I even went so far as to audition for a few parts including Mallory on the long-running TV sitcom Family Ties. Luckily for me, and the viewing public, that phase ended and I fell in love with writing.
One of my first jobs after graduating from film school was as an assistant to a producer at Universal Studios. We worked on the popular TV series, Murder, She Wrote, which filmed all over the famous backlot. I was in heaven. The little town of Cabot Cove, Maine in Murder, She Wrote had been Amity Island and the famous Jaws shark did his thing for the tourists just feet away from where Angela Lansbury solved murders.
I was blessed; I had the run of the lot. Every inch of the studio was steeped in film history and I got to work in the middle of it all. From having lunch at the Psycho house to standing in the middle of New York Street that had been used in everything from The Sting to just about every TV series filmed in the seventies and eighties, I walked where only my dreams had taken me before.
I climbed the steps of the courthouse where Atticus Finch stood up to a whole town in To Kill a Mockingbird and stood under the clock tower where Marty McFly defied time in Back to the Future. In Little Europe, I lurked in the same shadows as Dracula, Frankenstein and the Invisible Man.
Every corner, every set (redressed and repurposed again and again through the years) still had a bit of the old magic left in it. It wasn’t until years later that I’d realize it was no wonder I’d go on to write time travel adventures. Working on the lot had been just that. You could go from the 17th Century to the 1970’s in a matter minutes, from Paris to New York in just a few feet. Anywhere and anywhen was limited only by your imagination.
I was lucky to have spent a few years walking with the giants of Hollywood past. It was only natural that some day I’d write about them. A book is another sort of dream, a waking dream you can pick up and put down.
My characters had traveled to 1929 New York (Out of Time), 1906 San Francisco (When the Walls Fell) and 1942 London (Fragments); it was time to take them back to where my love affair with it all began, Hollywood, and The Devil’s Due was born. It was a chance to live again in the Golden Age of Hollywood, rub elbows with young Cary Grant and walk the great backlots where dreams were born.
FUN FACTS ABOUT HOLLYWOOD
The HOLLYWOOD sign was originally erected in 1923 as an advertisement for a land development called Hollywoodland. The -LAND part of the sign was removed in the 1940s. The sign fell into disrepair for decades and was revived when a group of activists, led by rocker Alice Cooper and Playboy’s Hugh Heffner donated money to support the upkeep of the sign. An unusual group of donors including Cooper, in memory of Groucho Marx, who sponsored the “O”, Heffner the “Y” and western star Gene Autry the “L” saved the sign from the junkyard.
The first Academy Awards were held as a private dinner at the Roosevelt Hotel. Winners were announced in advanced and the entire ceremony took all of fifteen minutes.
When silent movie star Rudolph Valentino died in New York in 1926 over 100,000 fans lined the streets and a full-scale riot broke out.
During the heyday of the studio system (1930’s-1950’s), the big five – Warner Brothers, MGM, Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount and RKO – were true movie factories and released roughly a movie a week each.
The Motion Picture Production Code (or Hayes Code) introduced in 1930 set moral industry guidelines that restricted things including:
- Excessive or lustful kissing, particularly when one character or the other is a “heavy”. (Kisses could not last more than 3 to 4 seconds!)
- Pointed profanity – by either title or lip
- Licentious or suggestive nudity – in fact or in silhouette; and any lecherous or licentious notice thereof by other characters in the picture
A LITTLE ABOUT MONIQUE
Monique was born in Houston, Texas, but her family soon moved to Southern California. She grew up on both coasts, living in Connecticut and California. She currently resides in Southern California with her naughty Siamese cat, Monkey.
Monique attended the University of Southern California’s Film School where she earned a BFA in the Filmic Writing department. Monique worked in television for several years before joining the family business. She now works full-time as a freelance writer and novelist.
She’s currently working on an adaptation of one of her screenplays, her father’s memoirs about his time in the Air Force’s Air Rescue Service, a literary fiction novella and the next book in the Out of Time series.
Thank you, Monique! You can check out Monique’s other books if you check out her Amazon Author page by clicking here or type in http://smarturl.it/mmartin into your web browser. For those of you who have previously enjoyed the Out of Time Series, you may want to check out the just-released book 4 of the series, The Devil’s Due, by clicking here or typing in http://smarturl.it/ei8bc9 into your web browser.