In the March issue of Orange Coast, I check in with “Protectors of the Past” — local archivists and the amazing collections they preserve and curate. I found Disneyana, Huell Howser’s televised road trips, the 37th President (O.C., after all, is home to the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum), even a center devoted to surf culture. Cowabunga!
Getting bookish with Bond, Bergman … and Bill!
I get to give Santa some pointers about this season’s best entertainment-themed reading in my review roundup in the December issue of BookPage. Along with a stunning pictorial study of Ingrid Bergman, there are lavish coffee table spreads on Bond film production design and the history of musicals, an insightful delve into famous comedians, and a cheeky look at cult clown Bill Murray.
I put the squeeze on Dita Von Teese
In the December issue of Orange Coast, I interview the burlesque superstar about her O.C. past, including her days (actually, nights) at the (former) Lake Forest strip club called Captain Cream’s, her pivotal work in Playboy, and her love of lingerie. Dita also shares tips from her new beauty book. Among ‘em, exfoliate!
Hollywood sure sounds like it was a lot more fun – and definitely more scandalous – in the Golden Age! If you don’t believe me, take a read of John Brady’s upcoming “Frank & Ava: In Love and War” (Thomas Dunne Books), about the stormy hookup of Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner. I give it a rave in the just-out print edition of BookPage, which you’ll find in the nonfiction review section at bookpage.com/print-edition
Founded in 1986, Sisters in Crime is an international organization promoting the professional development and advancement of women writing crime fiction. Today, SinC is made up of more than 3,000 members in 48 chapters worldwide — authors, readers, publishers, agents, booksellers, librarians, and others who love mysteries. As a Board Member of the Orange County Chapter, I’m currently touting our October 3 event: “Ladies of Intrigue,” a day-long program featuring over a dozen local and international mystery writers who will discuss how they come up with all their murderous plots, villainous killers and brilliant sleuths. Intrigued? Go to ocsistersincrime.org.
As “The Happiest Place on Earth” celebrates its 60th anniversary, I take a look at the man who started it all. “Walt Before Disney,” scheduled for the September issue of Orange Coast, examines the influences that shaped the visionary genius. They include a love of trains (his obsession with choo-choos was integral to the formation of Disneyland), his adopted hometown of Marceline, MO, and the story behind the creation of a certain feisty little mouse.