Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Susan Meissner's "Stars Over Sunset Boulevard"

Susan Meissner is a multi-published author, speaker and writing workshop leader with a background in community journalism. Her novels include Stars Over Sunset Boulevard, Secrets of a Charmed Life (a 2015 Goodreads Choice award finalist) and A Fall of Marigolds, named by Booklist’s Top Ten women’s fiction titles for 2014. She is also RITA finalist and Christy Award winner. A California native, she attended Point Loma Nazarene University. Meissner is a pastor’s wife and a mother of four young adults. When she's not working on a novel, she writes small group curriculum for her San Diego church. Meissner is also a writing workshop volunteer for Words Alive, a San Diego non-profit dedicated to helping at-risk youth foster a love for reading and writing.

Here Meissner dreamcasts an adaptation of Stars Over Sunset Boulevard:
It might surprise you to know that dream-casting my books with current-day movie stars is usually really hard for me. I think it’s because I spend a year with these people when I am writing their story, so they already seem fully fleshed in their own right. I think it’s much easier to dream-cast someone else’s novel rather than my own! I admire people who can ponder a book’s characters and then quickly come up with an ensemble of perfectly-suited actors.

But I persevered and have done the work to give you my dream cast for my newest book, Stars Over Sunset Boulevard. This novel is about two studio secretaries who become best friends while working on the 1939 movie set of Gone With the Wind. They are both on a desperate search for happiness, and their desires will sometimes collide despite the affection they have for each other. This story is framed with a contemporary thread about a young woman who owns a vintage clothing re-sale shop in Hollywood, who is stunned one afternoon when the iconic curtain-dress hat that Vivien Leigh wore as Scarlett O’Hara shows up in her boutique.

For Violet, studio secretary #1 who wants to be needed, I pick Anna Kendrick of Pitch Perfect and Up in the Air. For Audrey, studio secretary #2 who wants to be wanted, it’s Elizabeth Debicki, who played Jordan in The Great Gatsby. Audrey has very distinctive Lillian-Gish-like features and Elizabeth has the needed doe-eyes and classic features. And for Bert, the kind costume assistant infatuated with Audrey but whom Violet loves, it’s Andrew Garfield, lately of The Amazing Spiderman. For my present-day vintage store boutique owner, it’s Emma Stone, for sure.
Visit Susan Meissner's website.

Writers Read: Susan Meissner.

--Marshal Zeringue