Monday, May 23, 2011

Sarah Morgan: A Hollywood Star in your living room…..

When you’re a writer, research takes many different forms. Sometimes it’s a long trawl of the internet, sometimes it’s a trip abroad to interesting and exotic places to add authentic flavour to a book (that’s the tough part of the job), and sometimes it’s just a question of interviewing a bunch of friends to find out how they’d react in various situations. ‘What would you do if…..’ must be one of the writer’s most frequently posed questions, along with ‘how would you feel if……..? I actually love this kind of research because it reminds me that no two people ever react the same way. It’s the reason why books with similar themes will always be different – because the characters will always be different.

My next release for Harlequin Presents, A Night of Scandal, is out in the US next month and part of my research for that book involved plying my friends with wine and asking them the key question:

How would you feel and act if suddenly, with no warning, you had a major Hollywood star in your living room?

The hero of my book , Nathaniel Wolfe, is a Hollywood superstar. He’s the ultimate Bad Boy who uses his incredible acting ability to conceal the shocking truth about his past. But secrets, especially nasty ones, have a way of escaping and when his carefully protected world fractures and he realises his past is about to be exposed, Nathaniel needs somewhere to hide. He turns in desperation to the first person he sees, costume designer Katie Field.

Katie lives alone. Coping with family problems of her own, she works hard, spending all her spare time drawing and designing costumes and trying to follow her dream. The closest she comes to glamour is when she dresses other people …….until the night Nathaniel Wolfe begs her for sanctuary. The only red carpet Katie has ever walked on is threadbare and her budget doesn’t allow for meals in expensive restaurants but suddenly she’s entertaining Hollywood royalty in her cramped London flat.

Which brings me back to my research. How does a normal girl behave with a Hollywood superstar in her living room?

The answers varied. Some thought they’d be embarrassed, some tongue tied, one vowed never again to leave the house without loading the dishwasher in case it actually happened (I did point out that this is fiction but she’d already dashed home to start tidying).

Frankly he wouldn’t make it through the door of my house without breaking his neck because my boys always take their shoes off when they walk through the door (well trained) but never quite get round to tidying them away (not so well trained) which leaves a death trap for the unwary. So in my case the Hollywood superstar would have a broken neck and the only ensuing embarrassment would be about where to hide the body, but that’s a whole different round of research.

How would you feel if you suddenly had a Hollywood superstar (a single one, of course) in your living room? Would you be star struck, thrilled, embarrassed…….or would you sneak upstairs and find that gorgeous underwear you’ve been saving for this very occasion?

Sarah  xxxx


Melanie Milburne said...

Hi Sarah,
Wonderful post and a great question! I haven't had a Hollywood star at my house but I have had Danish royalty come to stay at our beach house. It was top secret at the time and so exciting. A prince and princess slept in my bed!
I wouldn't say no to a visit by Bradley Cooper. I think he's pretty hot. And then there's Colin Farrell, the ultimate bad boy, and what about the uber suave George Clooney? Yum!
I can't wait to read your book. Such a great premise.

Pat Cochran said...

I would hope for a visit from David
Boreanaz or Mark Harmon to set my
heart to racing! With my luck it
would probably be the dog (Eddie?)
from the Kelsey Grammer show who
appeared on my doorstep!!

GladysMP said...

I would try to act normal and just have an interesting chat with the guy. You believe me, don't you?

Sarah Morgan said...

Pat, that is so funny - the dog. I know what you mean. That would happen to me, too. But if David Boreanaz does happen to knock on your door then do call me and I'll come over and help you 'tidy'.....

Sarah Morgan said...

Gladys, I totally believe you. Absolutely. Of course it might depend on who it was.......

Sarah Morgan said...

Ooh Melanie, royalty in your bed? That is very cool. I presume you weren't creeping around pressing your camera to the window the whole time :-)

marybelle said...

I would madly phone ALL of my friends to come on over. We would make a party of the occasion.

Sarah Morgan said...

Marybelle, you'd share him?? You are one generous woman:-) But a party does sound like fun....

Jo's Daughter said...

I would cook him dinner and get to know him better. Take loads of pictures as proof, don't think my mother would believe me if I told her we had a "date".

Sarah Morgan said...

Jo's daughter - what a great idea. Photographic proof. And something to show your kids and grandkids in years to come