Seven Threads Running Through Tinseltown Riff

Tinseltown Riff
Tinseltown Riff

Tinseltown Riff centers on Ben Prine, a thirty-something Hollywood screenwriter who, on a Labor Day weekend, finds himself in desperate straits. Latching on to a dubious last-minute opportunity, he unwittingly embarks on a collision course with a Montana tracker connected with a Vegas mob; an odyssey which culminates in a showdown on an abandoned Western movie set.

            I’ve been asked by Rebecca to come up with “seven things about this book.” In no particular order, here is what immediately came to mind.

            Recently I received a post from a Southern writer who believes that fiction writers should always make it personal: “By making it personal it’s uniquely yours and mine, yet universally human.” If that is the case, underneath what may at first glance seen like antic goings on, is a nagging personal issue I was trying to come to terms with. Back in the day when I was a starving actor in New York, a sidekick of mine (who changed her name to Joan Rivers) would do anything and everything to get her foot in the door. I, on the other hand, would always draw the line. She kept at it and nowadays has become a household word. As she was climbing up the proverbial ladder of success, I often wondered what would have happened if I stuck it out, say, to the age of thirty-something. How far would I be willing to go to finally “make it” and what will I have lost in the bargain? And so, at long last, I sent the fictional Ben Prine out there in my place to find out.  

            Along these same lines, a friend of mine gave me a copy of “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss. I was struck by one particular line: “You’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.” That line and that little book became another thread running through this riff on our loopy entertainment business. When I say loopy, I mean just that. For instance, my nephews in L.A. have been friends with Howie Z. since grade school. At the time I was writing this novel, Howie’s mother was stalking Melrose, trying to waylay Jay Leno, shop Howie as the world’s youngest oldest virgin, and get him to appear on The Tonight Show. She actually succeeded. Her antics appear now and then in the fictional guise of Mrs. Melnick.  

            Moving on, while researching a book on screenwriting for another publisher, I stayed at a boutique hotel close to all the action in Beverly Hills. There I kept running into wanna-be actors, screenwriters and what-have-you. The only people I could honestly relate to were the Chicano parking attendants who cared about their families, friends and heritage and soon became my friends. As a result, in contrast to all the make-or-break activity, I made sure there was a vibrant Hispanic element to keep me on track in terms of what really matters in this world.

            There’s also a strong element of crime and danger in the form of a cowboy sociopath by the name of Deke (short for Deacon). In my imagination, Deke came along out of necessity to shake things up, cut through the superficial façade that in many ways defines this factory town. As a relentless tracker, Deke truly raised the stakes so that the final outcome would hopefully be worth the candle.   

            At the same time, as it happens Ben loves old movies. Longs for something simple like good and evil clashing (Ben and Deke perhaps) and stories that, for him at any rate, ring true.

            Also, as it happens, I was given a tour of a movie studio hidden away south of Paramount. Somehow, the weathered old Western set called out to me, wanting more than anything to come to life again for at least one last showdown. Which, in my unfolding tale, put Ben and Deke on an eventual collision course.

            And here we are at number seven. I could go on and on but I should mention that, in addition, there’s a love story brewing. Seemingly impossible at first, I grant you. After all, how in the world can a down-and-out screenwriter and a girl driving a clunky Chevy pickup down from Salinas ever meet? Let alone become involved in any way? But Molly became indispensable as all these disparate pieces actually began to jell.    

About Tinseltown Riff

Author Shelly Frome
Author Shelly Frome

Publisher: Sunbury Press (March 2013)
Category: Hollywood Crime Caper, Action/Adventure, Thriller
ISBN-13: 978-1620062050
Tour Date: October, 2013
Available in: Print and ebook, 239 Pages

Tinseltown Riff centers on Ben Prine, a thirty-something Hollywood screenwriter who, on a Labor Day weekend, finds himself in desperate straits. Latching on to a dubious last-minute opportunity, he unwittingly embarks on a collision course with a Montana tracker connected with a Vegas mob; an odyssey which culminates in a showdown on an abandoned Western movie set.

Shelly Frome’s Website: www.shellyfrome.com
Shelly Frome Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shellyfrome
Shelly Frome Twitter: https://twitter.com/shellyFrome

Buy Tinseltown Riff:

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Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
Sunbury Press

 Tinseltown Riff Tour Schedule

 

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Kate Eileen Shannon Oct 23 Review

Kate Eileen Shannon Oct 24 Guest Post  & Giveaway
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