It’s always exciting when someone you know and root for has a success to celebrate, and yesterday was no exception. Melodie Johnson Howe, my friend and former Muse Madams workshop cohort, has compiled her critically acclaimed short stories into a new collection called Shooting Hollywood.
She had a signing party and gave a talk not only about writing mysteries (her first novel, The Mother Shadow, won an Edgar Award) but about basing her stories and her main character, Diana Poole, on her own experiences as an actress in Hollywood. Back in the day, Melodie co-starred with Clint Eastwood, James Caan, James Farentino and others, but she always wanted to be a writer and decided to give up acting to pursue her dream. Now she’s turning out terrific short stories and has just finished a new novel.
What’s especially fun about Shooting Hollywood is that Melodie introduces each story with a short piece about how she came up with the idea for the story. It’s like having an inside view of a writer’s process and discovering that inspiration comes in mysterious ways.
Speaking of which, I need to get back to work on the novel I recently started. Between converting my early novels into ebooks and copyediting the caregiver manuscript (not to mention waiting for the refrigerator guy to show up and figure out why the freezer keeps leaking), I’ve been mighty distracted lately. Melodie has inspired me to get to work!