Those of us who are fascinated by all things golden-era Hollywood can sometimes forget that it wasn’t the only city in the business of myth creation. When I started writing my Hollywood’s Garden of Allah novels, my focus was entirely on Los Angeles. But as my series and research progressed into the 1950s, I was reminded that there was another city in the process of creating its own myths: Rome.
It wasn’t the only place, of course. Paris, London, and Scandinavia were also busy reviving their post-war cinema, but in the course of my reading, I came to see that Rome in the 50s was much like LA in the 30s, which is to say an effervescent ferment of creativity where the right people with the right skills and the right look rose to the surface. Together they created the legendary careers of people who we still talk about today: Lollobrigida, De Sica, Rossellini, Loren, De Laurentiis, Fellini, Zeffirelli.
And not just people, but places, too, like Via Veneto, the home of café society and paparazzi (originally called scattini) centered at the Café de Paris, and the vast studio facility, Cinecittà, where the Italians were filming their own mythic Roman Empire stories, and where Hollywood studios came to shoot productions like Quo Vadis (1951), Roman Holiday (1953), The Barefoot Contessa (1954), Three Coins in the Fountain (1954), Helen of Troy (1956) and Ben-Hur. (1959)
By the mid 50s, Hollywood filmmaking could no longer take place on back lots. 1952 saw the inauguration of the first commercial jet services, which gave rise to faster air travel, which in turn birthed the “jet set.” This development brought the world to Hollywood, and Hollywood to the world. This meant that it was no longer the epicenter of filmic mythmaking. I struggled for a while to find a title that straddled both Hollywood and Rome until I had a head-slapping “DUH!” moment. The perfect name had been staring me in the face all along.
I am very happy to announce that my new novel
“CITY OF MYTHS”
is now available.
When you live in a city built on shifting sands of myth, it can be hard to know which way is up.
Kathryn Massey spends her days spreading rumors and keeping secrets. Losing herself one headline at a time has left Kathryn’s personal identity scattered—and dumps her at the narrow end of the bargaining table with the man she trusts the least.
Gwendolyn Brick has simpler aspirations. As a costume designer, her sights are set on glamour, not heights of fame. But her friendship with Marilyn Monroe puts her directly into the crosshairs of studio head, Darryl Zanuck—and he’s someone you don’t say no to.
Marcus Adler is stuck in a much more precarious situation. Exiled in Rome but under the spell of an unexpected romance, he’ll have to learn to say goodbye to everything he’s accomplished in order to give love a chance.
The road through Hollywood bears sharply to the right as those who dare to play its game can easily become lost in its intoxicating glow.
City of Myths is now available in the following formats:
Book Depository (free shipping worldwide for all paperbacks)
Audiobook – COMING SOON!
For more information, see the CITY OF MYTHS page on my website.
And when you have read City of Myths (assuming, of course, that you enjoyed it), if you have the chance and inclination, I’d really appreciate it if you could leave a review on whichever website you bought it. Rate it as many stars as you see fit, and give your honest opinion. Just a couple of lines will do! The more reviews a book has, the higher its profile rises. Thanks!
THE HOLLYWOOD’S GARDEN OF ALLAH NOVELS:
- Book 1 – The Garden on Sunset
- Book 2 – The Trouble with Scarlett
- Book 3 – Citizen Hollywood
- Book 4 – Searchlights and Shadows
- Book 5 – Reds in the Beds
- Book 6 – Twisted Boulevard
- Book 7 – Tinseltown Confidential
- Book 8 – City of Myths
- Book 9 – details to be announced
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