Now I'm going to turn the blog over to today's guest blogger, Phil Brody.
I’m Here. This is happening.
by Phil Brody
I think Radiohead said it best: “I’m not here. This isn’t happening.”
To me, that line from my novel, The Holden Age of Hollywood, sums up what Los Angeles can feel like at times. While striving to be discovered, one can often feel lost, as if they’re nowhere to be found.
The chapter (and the song by Radiohead) is called “How To Disappear Completely.” It’s a chapter that explores the extent someone will go in order to obtain success. The main character in my story chooses to go it alone at this juncture and severs all ties as he begins his quest.
The book itself is an allegory or extended metaphor for that creative battle those chasing the dream deal with on a daily basis. Every week spent trying is a roller coaster ride—dramatic ups making it hard to stifle whitened smiles, and then down—the impossible to escape woe-is-me daze I refer to as bLAh. For some characters in my story, Hollywood feels like a jail term. It feels like you’re doing time. One character comments, “It’s an endless four-story grid of isolated, lock-the-door-behind-you lives, where everyone is either so wrapped up in creating their own success story or so damaged from their failure that resentment for one another is all we have in common.”
Yes, it can be tough. Sorry for the lack of sugar-coating, but, “Way it is.”
Later in the novel, that same character says, “Doing time changes people. That’s a fact.” It is a fact. However, it’s how you let it change you—for the worse or for the better—that’s to be determined. In large part, that’s what my story is about.
The Holden Age of Hollywood is at once a modern detective novel, an unexpected love story, and a provocative exposé of a broken industry. With dark humor and incisive commentary, the novel immerses readers in a neo-noir quest to attain the Hollywood dream, integrity intact.
Personally, I never allowed the bLAh get to me. Instead, I wrote about it. I chose to analyze the world I’m doing time in by turning it upside down via the unique quest of searching for the one writer in Hollywood who does not want to be found. That’s the conceit of my story—that’s what makes it unique.
After all, we all want to be discovered. Truth told, it’s why we’re here.
More truth: my time here in Hollywood has changed me in many ways. However, I believe it made me a better person, a stronger individual, and a better writer. Hell, this place was the catalyst for my debut novel—a work I’m proud of and anxious for everyone to read. I believe the book will resonate with anyone anywhere with any kind of hopes/dreams/aspirations. So far the reviews concur.
And all that made me realize, “I’m here. This is happening.”
I’d love to know what you think. At any juncture, you can tell me what you think by emailing me at: email@example.com
Note: That email address is also found at the back of every copy of the book. I want to know what you all think of the story I needed to tell. Hope my words resonate and inspire. Hope they make you long for more.
Here's a little bit about the book:
“Hollywood died on me as soon as I got here. Welles said that, not me, but damn if he didn’t nail it, you know?”
Sam Bateman came to Hollywood to settle a score, but amidst the sunny and 75, his plans went astray. Everything changed the day he drank in the intoxicating legend of Meyer Holden, the greatest screenwriter Hollywood has ever known, the one who pulled a Salinger and walked away. Holden now tacks pseudonyms onto his works and buries them in the bottomless sea of spec that is Hollywood’s development process. They’re out there for anyone to find—but at what cost? In his quest, Bateman severs all ties and sinks into a maddening world of bad writing and flawed screenplays. Paranoid and obsessive, the belligerent savant encounters an eccentric cast of characters—each with an agenda—in his search for the one writer in Hollywood who does not want to be found.
Phil Brody’s The Holden Age of Hollywood is at once a detective novel, an unexpected love story, and a provocative exposé of a broken industry. With dark humor and incisive commentary, the novel immerses readers in a neo-noir quest to attain the Hollywood dream, integrity intact.
Reviews have been rolling in and here's what the critics have to say:
“The Holden Age of Hollywood by Phil Brody delivers the premise and promise of its title. It is an original, rollicking, picaresque novel that would make J.D. Salinger proud.”
~ Stan Corwin, former publisher/CEO of Pinnacle Books, author of Betty Page Confidential and Oxy-Morons I Have Known
“Brody’s debut novel has an ambitious agenda. It’s a coming-of-age novel, a mystery, a love story, and a stinging, knowing send-up of the movie biz. Brody melds these disparate elements with energy, wit, snarky insider dialogue, and a clipped, telegraphic narrative style. . . The Holden Age of Hollywood is fine entertainment."
~ Thomas Gaughan, Booklist (May 1, 2012)
“As the sun came up today, I turned the last page of Phil Brody’s The Holden Age of Hollywood. That’s because I couldn’t put it down. I can rarely make time for novels, but this one had me rifling through pages with constant anticipation. The back drop of this story is the same backdrop I live and work in. Hollywood. With all its fast-talkers, posers, and users, Brody weaves a tale through all the madness that is Hollywood with a voice of reason, integrity, and hilarious sarcasm. . . I have rarely been this entertained, while being informed, all from reading the same book."
~ Doug Jones, Actor, Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy I and II, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer
“If anyone knows Hollywood, author Phil Brody knows Hollywood. The Holden Age of Hollywood is a cynical and witty look at the real town . . . exposing the often underappreciated business of screenwriting, all while unfolding an unexpected love story. . . .”
~ Jessica Druck, The Five-Stir
“Readers will enjoy watching a fascinating Bateman get sucked into the Hollywood drama machine. Filled with a quirky cast working humorous scenes, this is a fascinating character study as Bateman goes the extraordinary extra kilometer to find a Holden screenplay.”
~ Harriet Klausner, Genre Go Round Reviews (June 18, 2012)
The Holden Age of Hollywood by Phil Brody
excerpt from Chapter 1: Doing Time
I escape to the patio, perch myself at the bar, where the bartenders can’t pour the
Red Bull or the Kettle One fast enough. I watch them work, mesmerized by the stampede
for this overhyped mixture of depressant and upper. I know no one uses terms like that
anymore— depressant, upper. Call me old-fashioned. Actually, call me well-rounded. Helps
me do my job and deal with the reason I’m doing time in this town. Drink to that.
“Another gin and tonic?”
I nod once to my best friend at this party, my only friend in this fucking town—the
bartender. Not this bartender per se. Every bartender. They mix a cure for what ails me.
Sure, it’s a momentary cure, but those are some of my happiest moments. Way it is.
Too many people. Too loud. Attitudes starting to asphyxiate. I stare at the sea of
lights, the view from the Hills of this coldfuckcold city that’s 75 degrees every day. It’s an
endless four- story grid of isolated, lock-the-door-behind-you lives, where everyone is
either so wrapped up in creating their own success story or so damaged from their failure
that resentment for one another is all we have in common.
Lights everywhere twinkle, look so inviting, but it’s a trick. I know it.
About the Author
Phil Brody lives in Los Angeles and writes every day. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, he relocated to Chicago after college and enjoyed a successful career in Chicago in advertising. After moving to LA, Brody toiled in development, penned a few spec scripts, and has worked as a writer, producer, and director in documentary TV. His short film, A Blue Christmas, was the grand prize winner in The Short Film Group’s First Annual Script Competition and was acknowledged in the WorldFest-Houston and Cleveland International Film Festivals. Brody is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio and an alumnus of Writers Boot Camp in Santa Monica, California. The Holden Age of Hollywood is his first novel.
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