Hollywood is a location, but more than that, Hollywood is an idea. In “Palm Avenue,” I explore the idea of Hollywood, and what it means to a girl from Kansas who is seeking that idea. I was in a doctor’s office with a friend last week and we had the book with us. The doctor, from India, saw the cover and was asking about it. “Oh, I have a true story for you,” he said. He went on to tell us about a very pretty girl from India, who ran away from home and came to Hollywood to become a movie star. “She got into a very desperate situation. Hollywood wasn’t what she would thought it would be. Her family had to come and get her,” the doctor said.
That was just one true story. A girl from INDIA came all the way to Hollywood to become a star and got into trouble. Maybe that was the story I should have wrote. Ashley in the book, only came from Kansas. How many stories are there like that? Thousands? Somebody told me that between 60,000 to 100,000 actors arrive in Los Angeles every year seeking fame and fortune. And, just as many leave and go home defeated every year. There would be 9 billion people in LA if some of them didn’t leave.
Of course, many become working actors for a time, and not stars, so to speak. I work out at LA Fitness in Universal City. The gym is full of young, good looking people and many of them are working actors, because I hear them talking. I don’t recognize them from television, because I don’t really watch television. So, the point is, there is a demand for fresh faces in Hollywood, it’s just that there are very few slots available for new “stars”.
In “Palm Avenue,” I use the actual location of Hollywood in detail throughout the book. I like reading books about places I know, so as I read it, I can say, “I know that place!” Many of the location I mention in Palm Avenue no longer exist, like the Mayfair Market on Franklin, which is now a Gelsons. I mention the old Chasen’s restaurant on Beverly Boulevard, which was a Hollywood landmark, and it is no longer there. I mention actual hotels, like the Peninsula in Beverly Hills, and the Chateau Marmont. The Log Cabin in west Hollywood is featured in the book. Many people will know what that is.
So what planted the seed in Ashley’s mind that brought her all the way from Colby, Kansas to Hollywood? From the book, “Ashley remembered how she first caught the Hollywood bug. She had probably been nine or ten years old. She was at the gas station in Colby with her father. He was gassing up their farm truck when a sleek sports car, a blue Porche, pulled into the station. The most glamorous woman Ashley had ever seen got out of the car. It was the actress….”
Palm Avenue is now available on Amazon as a paperback, and will soon be available as an ebook on several different platforms.