hollywood novels

An important thing to know about writing. You have to plant an image of your characters’ looks in your reader’s mind without being obvious about doing so. This is especially hard for the character whose perspective you’re narrating from, even in the limited third-person. The ‘protagonist looks at themselves in a mirror and describes how they look’ scene is a huge cliche, especially when they’re downplaying their looks. So you have to seamlessly find a way to convey this information without seeming to convey it.

However, when you’re describing how you want your book cover to look, you can fuck all that and just send gifs of what their hair looks like.

It’s pretty great. Of course, in the book, poor Mindy has none of the hair and make-up budget that Jane Levy would have in even an indie movie about gay cowboys eating pudding, but I figure Hollywood and romance novel covers operate on the same logic when it comes to looks.


Novakovich is in the good company of Québécois writer Éric Plamondon. Author of the 1984 Trilogy, which includes the novels Hungary-Hollywood Express, Mayonnaise, and Apple S, this contemporary Québécois classic offers a wildly experimental look back at the twentieth century through the lens of Tarzan actor Johnny Weissmuller, counter-culture author Richard Brautigan, and Apple mastermind Steve Jobs respectively. The translations are being undertaken by Esplanade editor Dimitri Nasrallah and will be published between 2016 and 2018.



I’m from Los Angeles, so Hollywood is more a backdrop for me. I don’t really consider my books to be “Hollywood” novels. I am not interested in excoriating or exploring the industry, the mores and manners of people in show business. And I don’t really write them as memoirs either. I write about extremists, people who are indulging in behavior —sometimes bad behavior, sometimes good behavior. So none of them are really anecdotal. That’s not how I work as an artist. Maps to the Stars is not a guide to the urgent state of affairs of Hollywood whatsoever. It’s an exploration of a damaged family, and the extremes of how people become corrupted by fame and by family ties. It’s more that than notes of observer.

It’s really almost like a melodrama. It’s a kind a fever dream, a ghost play. One of the interesting things for me is that in the original script for Sunset Boulevard, it begins in a morgue, with the cadavers explaining how they got there. I think that’s what Maps to the Stars is. And there are these themes of mutilation of both literal and spiritual, in the case of the Weiss family. They are embodied by fruits of incest. And there’s madness present as well. The madness being that Wasikowska’s character is actually the most sane person in the film, and wants to end it.

We talk with writer Bruce Wagner about charting Maps to the Stars for David Cronenberg.

Episode 347 — Stewart O'Nan

Stewart O’Nan is the guest. His new novel, West of Sunset, is available now from Viking. It is the official Februrary pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

Maureen Corrigan, writing for The Washington Post, says

“[The] grim yet undeniably fascinating last act of Fitzgerald’s life is the subject of Stewart O’Nan’s gorgeous new novel…West of Sunset is a pretty fine Hollywood novel, too, but it’s an even finer novel about a great writer’s determination to keep trying to do his best work.”

And George Saunders says

“O’Nan is an incredibly versatile and charming writer. This novel, which imagines F. Scott Fitzgerald’s troubled time in Hollywood (with cameos by Dorothy Parker, Bogie, and Hemingway), takes up (like much of O’Nan’s work) that essential conundrum of grace struggling with paucity. One brilliant American writer meditating on another—what’s not to love?”

Monologue topics: paranoia, pregnancy, fear, hovering, mail. 


Muslims in the Western Imagination by Sophia Rose Arjana

Throughout history, Muslim men have been depicted as monsters. The portrayal of humans as monsters helps a society delineate who belongs and who, or what, is excluded. Even when symbolic, as in post-9/11 zombie films, Muslim monsters still function to define Muslims as non-human entities. These are not depictions of Muslim men as malevolent human characters, but rather as creatures that occupy the imagination — non-humans that exhibit their wickedness outwardly on the skin. They populate medieval tales, Renaissance paintings, Shakespearean dramas, Gothic horror novels, and Hollywood films. Through an exhaustive survey of medieval, early modern, and contemporary literature, art, and cinema, Muslims in the Western Imaginationexamines the dehumanizing ways in which Muslim men have been constructed and represented as monsters, and the impact such representations have on perceptions of Muslims today.

The study is the first to present a genealogy of these creatures, from the demons and giants of the Middle Ages to the hunchbacks with filed teeth that are featured in the 2007 film 300, arguing that constructions of Muslim monsters constitute a recurring theme, first formulated in medieval Christian thought. Sophia Rose Arjana shows how Muslim monsters are often related to Jewish monsters, and more broadly to Christian anti-Semitism and anxieties surrounding African and other foreign bodies, which involves both religious bigotry and fears surrounding bodily difference. Arjana argues persuasively that these dehumanizing constructions are deeply embedded in Western consciousness, existing today as internalized beliefs and practices that contribute to the culture of violence—both rhetorical and physical—against Muslims.

🙈- Unfinished #art #artwork #drawing #draw #sketch #graphite #heresjohnny #jacknicholson #theshining #redrum #stanleykubrick #stephenking #psycho #killer #crazy #mental #hollywood #movies #film #novels #fiction #scary #jacktorrance #classic #love #myart #allworkandnoplay #blackandwhite #portrait #nightmare


This is my personal project. Feedback would be much appreciated :)

This graphic short story was inspired by the song Bullet by Hollywood Undead and my good friend Zoe.

The entire “graphic short-story” was illustrated by me. Please don’t repost. I have been working on this project since mid-September, so I hope my hard work was shown.

I drew all the panels and lyrics in a sketchbook, and then edited them in Photoshop. (If anyone was interested in knowing.)

My goal was to bring attention to suicide and depression. I apologize if this is a trigger, it was not meant to be. The last panel is meant to show that there is help out there, and that people care.

Thanks guys.

There was something totally missing in the poor fellows and something in me wrenched, just for a moment, and I felt like throwing my arms around them, consoling and embracing them like some Dostoevsky, but I knew that would finally lead nowhere except to ridicule and humiliation, for myself and for them. The world had somehow gone too far, and spontaneous kindness could never be so easy. It was something we would all have to work for once again.
—  C. Bukowski, Hollywood.