Sunday, December 19, 2010

Welcome Hollywood Ending author Lucie Simone + CONTEST

We would like to welcome author Lucie Simone to ReaderGirls today. Ms. Simone is the author of the romantic comedy, Hollywood Ending (published by Simon and Fig, 240 pages). First, we'll give everyone a summary of what her book is about:

Trina Stewart needs cash. Fast. She's barely got enough dough to keep her fanny off the streets, let alone any spending money for hot nights clubbing on Sunset Strip. And her job teaching English as a Second Language is seriously lacking in both pay and glamour. But not just any job will do. She's after a real Hollywood job. The kind that makes her $100,000 in film school debt and ten years in Tinsel Town not seem like such a big fat waste of time and money. But a girl can't fritter away all her time fretting over her next paycheck, can she? Certainly not when a man like Matiu Wulf, a sexy Maori from New Zealand, parks his oh-so-fine self in the apartment above hers while he takes his best shot at Showbiz.

If only Matiu didn't seem so... repelled by Trina. Really, though, it's Los Angeles that Matiu finds so revolting. He's only in L.A. to get some scene design experience to beef up his resume, and then he's headed back to New Zealand to follow his dreams in peace, thank you very much. That's his plan, anyway, until he falls hard for Trina...and Trina falls under the spell of a toothy-grinned wannabe actor who charms the pants right off her.

With Matiu on a mission to win Trina's heart, and Trina on a mission to nail down that ever elusive Hollywood job, these two soon discover that when love gets tossed in the mix, life in Tinsel Town isn't all red carpets, after parties, and celebrity gossip. In fact, Hollywood can be a downright bitch!

We welcome Ms. Simone and thank her for answering our questions.

RG: How did the idea for Hollywood Ending come about?

LS: Hollywood Ending actually grew out of my own frustration with trying to find a job in the entertainment industry. I started writing it right after I graduated from film school, drawing upon my own experiences teaching English as Second Language, dating wannabe actors, and trying to carve out a space for myself in Tinsel Town.

RG: We like your characters names-Trina and Matiu. Do you randomly pick your character's names or do you have a specific way of choosing?

LS: Well, some just pop into my head. But coming up with Trina and Matiu actually took some thought. I knew Trina’s name had to personify her character, but I wanted it to be just a little unusual. Her name was originally Trista, but after some playing around with things, Trina was born. Now I can’t even imagine her as a Trista. Matiu’s name was harder. He’s Maori, so I wanted to give him an authentic Maori name, but not one that would be too difficult for readers understand. I discovered that Matiu is a fairly popular boys name and is the Maori version of Matthew. And I’ve never met a Matthew I didn’t like!

RG: We hear authors write from what they know. Are any of your characters really close to you?

LS: Many of the characters in Hollywood Ending are based on real people I know or have met. Juliet is inspired by my real-life neighbor and BFF. But of course, as the character evolved, Juliet became her own woman, so to speak. Todd and Blake are amalgamations of different types of men I’ve encountered in Hollywood. And Matiu? Well, he’s pure fantasy!

RG: What is a typical writing day for you?

LS: I also have a fulltime job, so my writing is done in stolen moments. I would love to say that I write five pages a day at the crack of dawn before I leave for work, but that would be one colossal fib! I usually try to carve out a few hours a week to dedicate to typing, but a lot of the creative process occurs long before I sit down in front of my computer. These days, I outline my stories beat by beat and lay out each scene before writing a single word of prose. So, by the time I do get to my computer, the writing is a lot less work. Since I know exactly where my story is headed, I can just write unhindered by worries that I don’t know what’s coming next.

RG: If there was one thing you wanted your Hollywood Ending readers to come away with,
what would it be?

LS: I would hope that readers would come away with a smile on their lips and happiness in their hearts. And perhaps a better understand of what life is really like in Hollywood. Because, really, it isn’t all red carpets, after parties and celebrity gossip! It’s filled with real people struggling to find their place in the world and maybe someone to love them despite the many obstacles life throws in their paths.

RG: What are you working on next?

LS: Right now, I’m working on another Hollywood based story called Picture Perfect. This one is about a successful TV producer whose career and budding relationship with an up-and-coming Hollywood hunk is put in jeopardy when her soon-to-be-ex-husband and former assistant team up to launch a nasty smear campaign against her. It’s showbiz at its sleazy best!

Thank you Ms. Simone! 

Ms. Simone is offering one of our readers a copy of Hollywood Ending. All you have to do is enter here. Sorry, this contest is open to residents of the US only.


  1. This sounds like a great read!

    tommygir828 (at) gmail (dot) com