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The Victims of Sudden Fame

Douglas Wood
Douglas Wood Author Interview

Ladies of the Canyon follows two women who get caught in a complex and twisted relationship that turns violent. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?

As a child, the film, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? terrified me. No monsters or anything supernatural for that matter, just two women whose relationship is toxic. I wondered how such a story might play out in 2020 as opposed to the early sixties of the film. We’re now so familiar with child stars gone bad via reality shows, TMZ, etc. but I wanted to explore the details behind the lurid headlines and hear the story from one of the victims of sudden fame.

Devon and Nikki’s characters are intriguing and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind their character development?

I aspired to keep things real regarding the characters’ motivations and to delve into their pasts to help explain their current behavior.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The need for acceptance, surviving trauma, past and present, the effect of sudden fame and how a lack of self esteem drives our actions.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Not currently working on another book.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

Sometimes it’s deadly at the top…

Devon O’Keefe, star of the popular streaming TV series Beverly Hills Banshee, is losing her grip on life and her sudden fame. When substance abuse and erratic behavior cause production of her show to come to a halt—and after burning through all of her money on drugs and legal fees—the young Midwestern transplant finds herself alone and homeless in L.A.

Enter Nikki Barnes, notorious aging child star and Hollywood survivor with her own tabloid exploits, who waylays Devon after a twelve-step program meeting. Nikki sees a younger version of herself in Devon, having battled addiction, eating disorders, and the effects of personal tragedy for decades. She offers to share her decaying Laurel Canyon mansion with the troubled young actress, determined to help her avoid making the same mistakes she’s made. But soon a series of mysterious and disturbing incidents occur and the two women find themselves locked in a complex and twisted relationship that spirals downward into violence.

Ladies of the Canyon explores the universal need for family and acceptance, and how a toxic environment can affect the choices we make.

The Only Antidote

Sarudzai Mubvakure
Sarudzai Mubvakure Author Interview

The Mirror Without Reflection follows Sofia as she struggles to escape an abusive relationship while losing her reflection. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?

I have a particular interest in motivational speakers and inspirational content. In particular I was interested in self value and the impact it has on interpersonal relationships.

In my study of the interpersonal relationships of the individual with the narcissistic personality disorder I found the dynamic of one individual gaining power through the devaluation of another. Thus the abused would lose themselves and their ‘new’ identity could only be painfully defined by their abuser. The other devastating dynamic to these relationships was that the abuser and the abused were drawn to eachother like a magnet. The only antidote being that the abused was to find themselves and to love the person they found. This was the fuel I used to craft Sofia’s story. I wanted to see her gain that inner strength that would ultimately lead to her freedom.

Sofia is an interesting and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?

I wanted to develop a character who was strong internally but with flaws that allowed the inexplicable disrespect of ones own boundaries. I wanted to show how childhood wounds have a major impact on ones overall development to adulthood and the ability to navigate relationships. I wanted to show how an independent, accomplished individual can make some of the most astounding misjudgments in life.

What were some themes you wanted to capture in the relationships that Sofia has with men?

Mainly an expert ability to ignore red flags because of an internal signal that tells her that she can’t manage on her own. This is a protective strategy that helps her to avoid rejection.

A desire to please in order to gain accceptance.

The opinion of these men is the one that matters the most.

What is the next novel that you are working on and when will it be available?

At present I have taken a very short break from writing. I will resume to begin the sequel to The Mirror Without Reflection. Could Uche return to destroy Sofia’ happiness?

The are two other novels I have started outlines for and will be able to share on these in the future.

I am also working on some genealogy research for my family which will be documented shortly.

Author Interview: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Sofia Blackwell is a passionate horticulturist who loves a plant until it flourishes. This love has spread from the thyme on her window sill to her mother’s secret patch of cannabis at the bottom of the garden. So much love but unfortunately her world has not treated her in quite the same way. People have conspired to crush her spirit until when she looks in the mirror she sees no one there.

Uche, the Nigerian hustler says that he never married Sofia for British papers and yet it’s a wonder as to why he tried to break her. But he is just one of the many players in the game of spinning Sofia in a spider’s web of lies.

But then there’s Michael. He bumps into her twice but she doesn’t see him. He falls for her but he doesn’t know where to find her. Then to his astonishment the next client that shows up in his therapy practice is her. She’s looking for help. As he listens to her painful past he struggles to not cross the threshold to loving her and as the truth in her life unfolds will their struggles rob them of stepping into a love where their lives will bloom.

THE OTHER CHEEK

THE OTHER CHEEK: Boy meets girl. Girl beats boy. Just your typical love story... by [JAFE DANBURY]

Rich has everything going for him: a job for which he has been well-trained and loves, a family who loves him unconditionally, and a beautiful and talented wife. Rich has just one thing going against him–his beautiful and talented wife. Their life together was supposed to be ideal. Her budding career as an actress and his job as a trusted member of television production crews should have combined to form the perfect union. But all is not as it seems in Rich’s life, and try as he might, he can’t seem to crack the code to Tami’s mood swings. The not-knowing is killing him–literally.

The Other Cheek, by Jafe Danbury, is the story of one man’s struggle with domestic abuse. Rich faces the unknown every day since his marriage to Tami. He wakes and sleeps only according to her inner demons, and his battle is one for the record books. No one is more patient or giving than Rich. Time and time again, he chooses to face the barrage of insults and the physical abuse that seem to stem from something deep inside Tami’s very soul. Never knowing what will trigger an episode and always scraping the bottom of the barrel of excuses, Rich grows increasingly haggard and mentally defeated as he rides out one horrific day after another.

Danbury’s portrayal of a husband being abused at the hands of his seemingly less physically intimidating wife is captivating in every way. As I began reading, I wondered why the author chose a third person point-of-view. It didn’t take long to realize that the story is all the more horrifying from the outside looking in. Danbury does a truly fantastic job of drawing readers into Rich’s life. Wanting to reach out and rescue Rich, I found myself increasingly stressed and anxious for a positive turn–just anything to make his life with Tami more bearable.

As someone who fled an abusive relationship, everything about Rich’s ordeal hit home–from Tami’s fits of rage to her manipulation of his emotions and attempts to distance him from his family. Danbury’s writing is spot-on. Every ounce of fear, every second of Tami’s attacks, and each and every moment of Rich’s hesitation to share his experience with anyone. I can relate to Rich’s unwillingness to reach out for help, and I know I am not alone. Danbury is reaching an audience not often addressed in realistic fiction.

I absolutely flew through Danbury’s work, absorbing one of Rich’s emotions after the other and fearing Tami right alongside him. I recommend this book to anyone who has survived abuse, thinks they may be a victim, or knows and loves someone who is dealing with a controlling significant other. Danbury is making important strides with The Other Cheek.

Pages: 288 | ASIN: B07YWC791R

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