Monday, April 5, 2010

Diane Hammond to Read at Broadway Books

We hope you'll join us tomorrow night to hear Diane Hammond read from her recently published fourth novel, Seeing Stars, a novel about child actors in Hollywood based in part on Diane's own experiences with her daughter during a two-year sojourn in LA for Kerry to pursue acting.  Here's a brief description of Seeing Stars:

Ruth Rabinowitz believes. She believes that her daughter Bethany is a terrific little actress, so they have come to Hollywood, where dreams come true. Hugh Rabinowitz, who thinks their quest for stardom is delusional, has stayed behind in Seattle. Joining Bethany Rabinowitz in Hollywood's often toxic waters are fellow child actors Quinn Reilly, who has been cast adrift by his family and excels only on Hollywood sets; beautiful Allison Addison, who is misled by her powerful need for love; and Laurel Buehl, who brings a desperate secret to LA that makes the stakes impossibly high. As talent managers, agents, coaches, directors and teachers nurture—and feed on—their ambitions, stars will be made, hearts will be broken, children will grow up, and dreams will both be realized and die.

As I mentioned, the novel is based on some of Diane's family's own experiences. On her website, she talks about the inspiration for the book. (And by the way, if you want a good chuckle, check out Diane's bio on her website. You certainly get a good idea of Diane's terrific sense of humor!)

"Seeing Stars, the story of four child and teen actors seeking fame in Hollywood, was inspired by the two years my own family spent in Hollywood supporting our teenage daughter as she pursued a professional acting career. While Stars is not autobiographical, I certainly relied heavily on the things I saw, heard and discovered while we were there....I will always be grateful for the amazing, exhilarating, alarming and transformative experience those years proved to be for all three of us.
"Stars addresses many of the real-world issues and obsessions shared by most young actors and the families that love and support them: ambition, talent, drive, guts, hard work, justice, injustice, and more than a small measure of luck. It also explores the roles that adults inevitably play in the lives of child actors—the parents of other child actors, as well as photographers, managers, talent agents, coaches, teachers, casting directors, movie directors and producers, and more."

Diane was born in Queens and grew up in Upper Nyack, a suburb of New York City. She earned her BA from Middlebury College in Vermont. She has lived in Honolulu, Washington DC, LA, and Tacoma. While living in Newport, Oregon, she was the press secretary for Keiko, the killer whale star of the movie Free Willy. Currently Diane lives in Bend, Oregon, where her husband is the wildlife curator for The High Desert Museum. Her daughter Kerry, having seemingly lost the acting bug, is a student at Evergreen College in Olympia.

Diane's previous books are Hannah's Dream, Homesick Creek, and Going to Bend. She is currently at work on her fifth novel, which focuses on "three middle-aged misfits." Diane loves to participate in book-group discussions of her books by phone or in person when logistics allow for that. Diane read at Broadway Books when her previous book, Hannah's Dream, came out, and we are so excited to welcome her back to the store! Please join us Tuesday night at 7 for a wonderful evening of entertainment.

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