Writing is easy. Good writing is agony.
Never-the-less I'm a writer. That's what I do. Fortunately I've actually been able to make a living at it. In a former life, I wrote educational radio in Chicago and advertising in Paris. I wrote poetry and plays in New Orleans, where I won some awards, was published, and produced, but I wanted to break into show business. So I packed up my son and headed for Hollywood.
Within two years I was writing network television. I worked on a lot of shows you'll probably remember, but I was most famous for penning that icon of pop culture, the 'Who Shot J.R.?' episode of DALLAS. It was a big deal and at the time the most watched show in history.
I quit TV in the 90s to fulfill a life-long ambition. I wanted people to read my words as I'd written them and not think some beautiful actor made them up. I believed I'd be able to finish my first book THE SCANDALOUS SUMMER OF SISSY LEBLANC in six months. It took me three long years and for a while nobody wanted to publish it, although editors agreed it was beautifully written. They said so in their rejection letters. They also said they didn't know how to sell it. Then Rebecca Wells, bless her heart, published the Devine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and suddenly there was a market.
A perspicacious editor at William Morrow bought SCANDALOUS SISSY. It became a Literary Guild Selection, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick, a national best-seller and is now in its 21st printing in paperback. Sissy is the ultimate Desperate Housewife, trapped in a little town in a bad marriage when her old high school boyfriend comes back.
My second book, THE SOUTHERN BELLE'S HANDBOOK, SISSY LEBLANC'S RULES TO LIVE BY, was published because people kept telling me they were going through SCANDALOUS SUMMER and writing down all Sissy's 'Rules.' It's a little gift book and a compilation of Sissy's wisdom.
My new novel, now going into its second paperback printing, is THE BAD BEHAVIOR OF BELLE CANTRELL. It's about Sissy's wild suffragist grandmother Belle when she was a beautiful young widow who kicked up her heels in 1920. It's another story of murder, adultery, and regular church attendance, but on a deeper level it's a story of intolerance and love, my main themes, and one woman's search for her moral center in a violent time, much like today.
Quick update: My son, David Mulholland, whom I packed up and moved to California, is now a writer and editor living in London. I continue to live in Los Angeles with my writer-producer husband, Carleton Eastlake, and continue to enjoy bad behavior.
For more check out: www.LoraineDespres.com.