Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hollywood Nobody by Lisa Samson

It is November 1st, time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour! (Join our alliance! Click the button!) The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author and his/her latest book's FIRST chapter!

This month's feature author is:

and her book:

Hollywood Nobody

Th1nk Books (August 30, 2007)


Lisa Samson is the author of twenty books, including the Christy Award-winning Songbird. Apples of Gold was her first novel for teens. Visit Lisa at

These days, she's working on Quaker Summer, volunteering at Kentucky Refugee Ministries, raising children and trying to be supportive of a husband in seminary. (Trying . . . some days she's downright awful. It's a good thing he's such a fabulous cook!) She can tell you one thing, it's never dull around there.

Other Novels by Lisa:

Straight Up, , Club Sandwich, Songbird, Tiger Lillie, The Church Ladies, Women's Intuition: A Novel, Songbird, The Living End


Hollywood Nobody: April 1

Happy April Foolís Day! What better day to start a blog about Hollywood than today?

Okay, Iíve been around film sets my whole life. Indie films, yeah, and thatís all Iím saying about it here for anonymityís sake. But trust me, Iíve had my share of embarrassing moments. Like outgrowing Tom Cruise by the age of twelve ó in more ways than one, with the way heís gotten crazier than thong underwear and low-rise jeans. Thankfully that fashion disaster has run for cover.

Underwear showing? Not a good idea.

Fact: I donít know of a single girl who doesnít wish the show-itall boxer-shorts phenomenon would go away as well. Guys, we just donít want to see your underwear. Truthfully, we believe that there is a direct correlation between how much underwear you show and how much youíve got upstairs, if you know what I mean.

Iíve seen the stars at their best and at their worst. And believe me, the worst is really, really bad. Big clue: youíd look just as pretty as they do if you went to such lengths. As you might guess, some of them are really nice and some of them are total jerks, and thereís a lot of blah in-betweeners. Like real life, pretty much, only the extremes are more extreme sometimes. I mean honestly, how many people under twenty do you know who have had more than one plastic surgery?

So youíll have to forgive me if Iím a little hard on these folks. But if it was all sunshine and cheerleading, I doubt youíd read this blog for long, right?

Todayís Rant: Straightening irons. Weíve had enough of them, Little Stars, okay? It was bad on Helen Hunt at the Oscars, worse on Demi, yet worse on Madonna, and itís still ridiculous. Especially on those women who are trying to hold onto their youth like Gollum holds onto that ring. Ladies, thereís a reason for keeping your hair at or above your shoulders once you hit forty, and ever after. Think Annette Bening. Now sheís got it going on. And canít you just see why Warren Beatty settled down for her? Love her! According to The Early Show this morning, curls are back, and Little Me ainít going to tell why Iím so glad about that!

Todayís Kudo: Aretha Franklin. Big, bold, beautiful, and the best. Her image is her excellence. Man, that woman can sing! She has a prayer chain too. Iím not very religious myself, but you got to respect people who back up what they say they believe. Unless itís male Scientologists and "silent birth." Yeah, right. Easy for them to say.

Todayís News: I saw a young actor last summer at a Shakespeare festival in New England. Seth Haas. Seth Hot is more like it. I heard a rumor heís reading scripts for consideration. Yes, heís that hot. Check him out here. Tell all your friends about him. And look here on Hollywood Nobody for the first, the hottest news on this hottie. Girls, heís only nineteen! Fair game for at least a decade-and-a-half span of ages.

I donít know about you, but following the antics of new teen rock star Violette Dillinger is something Iím looking forward to. Her first album, released to much hype, hit Billboardís no. 12 spot its third week out. And donít you love her hit single "Love Comes Knocking on My Door"? This is going to be fun. A new celeb. Uncharted territory. Will Violette, who seems grounded and talented, be like her predecessors and fall into the "great defiling show-business machine" only to be spit out as a half-naked bimbo? Weíll see, wonít we? Keep your fingers crossed that the real artist survives.

Todayís Quote: "Being thought of as ëa beautiful womaní has spared me nothing in life. No heartache, no trouble. Beauty is essentially meaningless." Halle Berry


Friday, April 2

I knew it was coming soon. Weíd been camped out in the middle of a cornfield, mind you, for two weeks. That poke on my shoulder in the middle of the night means only one thing. Time to move on.

"What, Charley?"

"Letís head íem on out, Scotty. Weíve got to be at a shoot in North Carolina tomorrow afternoon. Iíve got food to prepare, so you have to drive."

"Iím still only fifteen."

"Itís okay. Youíre a good driver, baby."

My mom, Charley Dawn, doesnít understand that laws exist for a reason, say, keeping large vehicles out of the hands of children. But as a food stylist, she fakes things all the time.

Her boundaries are blurred. What can I say?

Charley looks like she succumbed to the peer pressure of plastic surgery, but she hasnít. I know this because Iím with her almost all the time. I think itís the bleached-blond fountain of long hair sheís worn ever since I can remember. Or maybe the hand-dyed sarongs and shirts from Africa, India, or Bangladesh add to the overall appearance of youth. I have no idea. But it really makes me mad when anybody mistakes us as sisters.

I mean, come on! She had me when she was forty!

My theory: a lot of people are running around with bad eyesight and just donít know it.

I throw the covers to my left. If I sling them to my right, theyíd land on the dinette in our "home," to use the term in a fashion less meaningful than a Hollywood "I do." I grew up in this old Travco RV I call the Y.

As in Y do I have to live in this mobile home?

Y do I have to have such an oddball food stylist for a mother?

Y must we travel all year long? Y will we never live anyplace long enough for me to go to the real Y and take aerobics, yoga, Pilates or ó shoot ó run around the track for a while, maybe swim laps in the pool?

And Y oh Y must Charley be a vegan?

More on that later.

And Y do I know more about Hollywood than I should, or even want to? Everybodyís an actor in Hollywood, and I mean that literally. Sometimes I wonder if any of them even know who they are deep down in that corner room nobody else is allowed into.

But I wonder the same thing about myself.

"Youíre not asking me to drive while youíre in the kitchen trailer, are you, Charley?"

"No. I can cook in here. And itís a pretty flat drive. Iíll be fine."

Iím not actually worried about her. Iím thinking about how many charges the cops can slap on me.

Driving without a license.

Driving without a seat belt on the passenger.

Speeding, because knowing Charley, weíre late already.

Driving without registration. Charley figured out years ago how to lift current stickers off of license plates. She loves "sticking it to the man." Or so she says.

I kid you not.

Oh, the travails of a teenager with an old hippie for a mother. Charley is oblivious as usual as I continue my recollection of past infractions thankfully undetected by the state troopers:

Driving while someoneís in the trailer. Itís a great trailer, donít get me wrong, a mini industrial kitchen we rigged up a couple of years ago to make her job easier. Six-range burner, A/C, and an exhaust fan that sucks up more air than Joan Rivers schmoozing on the red carpet. But itís illegal for her to go cooking while weíre in motion.

"All right. Can I at least get dressed?"

"Why? Youíre always in your pjís anyway."

"Great, Mom."

"Itís Charley, baby. You know how I feel about social hierarchy."

"But didnít you just give me an order to drive without a license? What if I say no?"

She reaches into the kitchen cupboard without comment and tips down a bottle of cooking oil. Charleyís as tall as a twelve-year-old.

"I mean, letís be real, Charley. You do, in the ultimate end of things, call the shots."

I reach back for my glasses on the small shelf I installed in the side of the loft. It holds whatever book Iím reading and my journal. I love my glasses, horn-rimmed "cat glasses" as Charley calls them. Vintage 1961. Makes me want to do the twist and wear penny loafers.

"Can I at least pull my hair back?"

She huffs. "Oh, all right, Scotty! Why do you have to be so difficult?"

Charley has no clue as to how difficult teenagers can actually be. Here I am, schooling myself on the road, no wild friends. No friends at all, actually, because I hate Internet friendships. I mean, how lame, right? No boyfriend, no drugs. No alcohol either, unless you count cold syrup, because the Y gets so cold during the winter and Charleyís a huge conservationist. (Big surprise there.) I should be thankful, though. At least she stopped wearing leather fringe a couple of years ago.

I slide down from the loft, gather my circus hair into a ponytail, and slip into the driverís seat. Charley reupholstered it last year with rainbow fabric. I asked her where the unicorns were and she just rolled her eyes. "Okay, letís go. How long is it going to take?"

"Oh." She looks down, picks up a red pepper and hides behind it.

I turn on her. "You didnít Google Map it?"

"Youíre the computer person, not me." She peers above the stem. "Iím sorry?" She shrugs. Man, I hate it when sheís so cute. "Really sorry?"

"Charley, weíre in Wilmore, Kentucky. As in Ken-Tuck-EEE . As in the middle of nowhere." I climb out of my seat. "What part of North Carolina are we going to? Itís a wide state."

"Toledo Island. Something like that. Near Ocracoke Island. Does that sound familiar?"

"The Outer Banks?"

"Are they in North Carolina?"

Are you kidding me?

"Let me log on. This is crazy, Charley. I donít know why you do this to me all the time."

"Sorry." She says it so Valley Girl-like. I really thought Iíd be above TME: Teenage Mom Embarrassment. But no. Now, most kids donít have mothers who dress like Stevie Nicks and took a little too much LSD back in the DAY. It doesnít take ESP to realize who the adult in this setup is. And she had me, PDQ, out of the bonds of holy matrimony I might add, when she was forty (yes, I already told you that, but itís still just as true), and thatís

OLD to be caught in such an inconvenient situation, donít you think? The woman had no excuse for such behavior, FYI.

My theory: Charleyís a widow and itís too painful to talk about my father. I mean, itís plausible, right?

The problem is, I can remember back to when I was at least four, and I definitely do not remember a man in the picture. Except for Jeremy. More on him later too.

I flip up my laptop. I have a great satellite Internet setup in the Y. I rigged it myself because Iím a lonely geek with nothing better to do with her time than figure out this kind of stuff. I type in the info and wait for the directions. Satellite is slower than DSL, but itís better than nothing.

"Charley! Itís seventeen hours away!" I scan the list of twists and turns between here and there. "We have to take a ferry to Ocracoke, and then Toledo Islandís off of there."


"Groovy died with platform shoes and midis."

"Whatever, Scotty." Only she says it all sunny. Sheís a morning person.

"That phrase should be dead."

Honestly, Iím not big on lingo. Iíve never been good at it, which is fine by me. Who am I going to impress with cool-speak anyway? Uma Thurman? Yeah, right. "Okay, letís go."

"We can go as long as possible and break camp on the way, you know?" Charley.

I climb back into the rainbow chair, throw the Y into drive, pull the brake, and weíre moving on down the road.


Sample from Hollywood Nobody / ISBN: 1-60006-091-9

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