From the Author
My Inspiration for the Story (It All Started With Daniel)
My TV was tuned to a late-night show - I don't remember which one. Watching the show, I got bored with it, so I was listening with only half an ear. The host, who is usually pretty funny, was interviewing a handsome-but-arrogant young actor promoting his new movie. It was very hard to like this actor (unless you're among the legions of his young female fans). He's rich and talented and insanely good looking... and a real twit. You get the feeling that he believes he is too cool for this sort of thing and has submitted to the interview only because his contract requires it. He is ungracious, he doesn't care, he is awkward and unpoised. His answers are short, dumb and uninteresting. He is not engaged... until the host asks an inane question which, I thought, could not possibly have an interesting answer:
"What's it like to go out on a date with you?" asks the host.
The actor is completely arrested. He stares at the host, speechless, his eyebrows high, his eyes wide. For that little time, you see the young man, you see the person. You see that his fame and celebrity have impossibly twisted his life. There is longing in his face, just for that minute: a date, a simple thing - dinner, a movie, a concert, whatever; something fun, something done together with someone else. The possibility of intimacy.
Then the resignation in his answer:
"Date?" he half-laughs, "I can't date." There is real pain in his answer. He is sincere for the first time. It's sad.
So, watching that interview, I ended up liking the young actor a lot more than I had before. I probably projected way too much meaning into that short interview, but it got me thinking: What if a boy had come to fame too early? Now he is grown. What if, under all the celebrity and the crazy life, there is a smart, likeable young man? What is his history? What would his life look like? Could such a person ever experience any real intimacy?
Daniel grew out of that interview, and I built the rest of story on his character.
About the Author
Felicia Rose Levitt is the granddaughter, daughter and stepdaughter of Hollywood writers.* After a lifetime of doing other things, she finally decided to test her genes; her first novel, The Road to Aradell, is the result.
Ms. Levitt grew up on Los Angeles's Westside before settling in Montrose, nestled up against the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. The "lifetime of other things" includes owning a small business in Downtown L.A., two marriages and two daughters. She plays online games, she loves her family, tends to her garden, and experiments with her cooking. She adores people; believes everyone is worth knowing, and that we each inhabit our own unique universe of fascinating ideas, desires and impulses.
(* John Farrow, Jack Rose, Gene Levitt, should you wish to check IMDb.)