Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Proposal: Book One (The Beautiful People) by Danielle Blanchard Benson

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Remember the late 90s and early 00s? Movie stars were larger than life, event films were the norm and it was the last breath of an age of cynicism tinged with innocence.

The Beautiful People series is a unique look at young Hollywood during a particular time in the film industry when movie stars still carried their own particular magical brand of clout and films made money; before the period of celibutantes and reality television.
 From the gritty streets of the San Fernando Valley to the ritziest addresses in Beverly Hills, the Pacific Palisades and Bel Air, The Beautiful People takes you on a ride. The journey to fame and fortune in Hollywood is not for the faint of heart.

Danielle Blanchard Benson is a world traveler and currently a university student earning her degree in Creative Writing with a Minor in Specialized Languages (French). She has written The Beautiful People series, which will be released in eight separate volumes.
Ms. Blanchard Benson is currently working on Murder, IncThe Pop Stars Series (which will be released beginning in autumn of 2012) and a full-length novel, DeGeneration (which will be released in winter of 2013). Ms. Blanchard Benson has lived in Stockholm, Manchester, Los
Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and Portland. She currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.

What will readers like about your book?
If readers are into a certain type of chick-lit (although I have had men read it and found it enjoyable as well) or if you're merely fascinated by the entertainment industry (which I was at one time) then I believe you will find this to be an enjoyable series.

Why did you self publish?
I follow a blog called Paris (im)Perfect and Sion spoke about a good friend of hers who had uploaded her novel on Kindle. I had no idea it could be done until about a month ago. I would have published this series ages ago if I had known. I also got sick of all the rejection letters (though to be fair, they were always polite and basically I was told by agents' I had a great concept but they weren't looking for my type of fiction).

What is your writing process? I'm pretty neurotic so I usually plan the whole storyline before I even begin to write. My newest novel I am working on (which has been shelved due to all the time I have to spend promoting TBP series) is actually the first novel I am writing as I go along. I have a general concept of where it will go but it isn't written down anywhere and that is highly unusual for someone like me.

How long does it take you to write your first draft?
It took almost three years to finish this novel and it was written over ten years ago. I think that is why it feels authentic as I didn't have to go back and check what existed at the time; it was truly written during the time it takes place! I love high-brow literature, don't get me wrong, but I also love a trashy beach read and that is what I consider TBP series. It isn't going to win the Pulitzer and it was never meant to be in that type of category. It is just something fun, light and airy.

What inspired you to write this particular story?
I love Jackie Collins; she is one of my favorites. Unfortunately, I still read her but I haven't truly liked a novel she has written since Rock Star. I wrote this book because this is the novella series I would have wanted her to write bit she never did. I'm glad she didn't or I would seriously be accused of plagiarism! I love her Hollywood style but she is dated and I feel my novella has a fresh perspective because I am young enough to understand today's culture. I am part of Generation X so I can truly write about this subject because I understand it so well.
Lauren stopped talking and leaned forward in her seat which snapped Thomas out of his reminiscence.
She looked up from the script and placed it on the oak desk before she appraised her newest client with almost a lost sense of longing. She was thoroughly impressed Thomas was much better-looking in person than paparazzi photos and magazine covers.
His naturally flaxen blond hair was cut short and dyed light brown with beach-blond highlights which complimented youthful sun-kissed skin. His eyes resembled the ocean in a Jamaican paradise while his small mouth, shaped like an overly ripe rosebud, brought out a slender yet masculine Scandinavian nose. He was tall, at least six foot two, and one hundred and ninety pounds; his body showed signs of active athleticism from constant clubbing and his other favorite sport, basketball.
Lauren had read in the L.A. Varietythe bible for the industry’s movers and shakers, along with The Hollywood Reporterthat Thomas was single after he’d recently ended an eighteen-month affair with lingerie model Melody Parker.
This was false of course.
He was dating the beautiful and exotic Kaysa Ohlsen, a half-Brazilian, half-Danish Supermodel who happened to be three years Thomas’ senior.
This tidbit of information did nothing to dissuade Lauren since she had no intention of starting a relationship with Thomas; she was merely interested in a quick test drive.
Thomas shifted uncomfortably in his seat as he reached for a Marlboro and lit up, courtesy of a silver Zippo lighter. As he exhaled, Lauren scrunched up her petite nose in distaste.
“Do you have to do that?” she wondered out loud, her whiny voice contrasted disagreeably with her cool good looks.
“Oh, come on, Lauren, I read part of the script last night and it’s a complete joke. What’s the real reason you called me in here today?” Thomas inquired in a deep-throated voice that drove all the women as crazy as his blue-eyed gaze.
“I want you to take my advice seriously and stop acting like a child. Galaxy and Meridian—two of the hottest studios around—want to make this movie. The script has been offered to you! Do you know what that means?” she questioned icily.
“Yeah, I know what it means. While I’m still hot property, they all want me but when I’m nothing and my popularity has faded, I won’t even be able to buy a script in this lousy town.” he replied coldly.
Lauren’s warm smile contradicted her predatory cat eyes as she responded, “Well, you know how Hollywood is babe. When you’re hot, you’re hot and when you’re not—you might as well be dead. That’s the game, Thomas, like it or not. The only question is: are you willing to play?”
It was his turn to smile. “Yeah, I’m willing to play. On my own terms though, not yours.” Thomas stood. “There’s a reason why I pay you and you don’t pay me. You can advise me but I ultimately have the final say-so. I’m overexposed right now. I just did a cameo in the new Byrnes’ film, not to mention the fact that I’ve played an American soldier and a Russian prince last year. I’m going to relax until I find a role that will challenge me and if you don’t like it, that’s too bad, isn’t it?”
“Fine. As you said, you do have the final say-so. I can only guide your career, I can’t save you from making a royal disaster.” she expressed bitterly.
Thomas turned on the charm full blast; he knew she was more than just a little upset by his flippant attitude. “Lauren, you are one of the best agents money can buy. I know if there is a script out there worthy of my attention, no one can find it better than you.”
Lauren licked sensual lipstick-covered lips. “You know it’ll cost you big time,” she murmured softly.
The double entendre was not lost upon Thomas.
“Maybe I should leave a down payment,” he heard himself say.
Lauren stood and with a panther’s grace, began to approach her client, thought it over and instead sat on her desk, again crossing slender legs, a hint of thigh high on display. “We're not in the ghetto, Thomas, and I don’t do layaway plans. I will accept nothing less than full payment up front.”
Thomas stood; his blue-green eyes were determined as he stubbed out his cigarette and took off his shirt. “Aw, shit, we better get it over with then.”
She placed a well-manicured index finger on his lips. “Shush, you’ll spoil the mood.”

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