A unique book signing is planned Sunday afternoon for Diane Haithman’s new book Dark Lady of Hollywood (Harvard Square Editions) as local actors stage a reading on Sunday.
Diane is a longtime Studio City resident, who writes for the industry website Deadline Hollywood and wrote about TV and arts for the Los Angeles Times. She and her husband Alan Feldstein, who takes people to Africa on his amazing tours through Infinite Safari Adventures, have hosted amazing meet-and-greet events with a live cheetah for the Cheetah Conservation Fund (until the event got too big for their house and they had it in a more public space).
Both Alan and Diane have columns about their adventures, and I know many readers know and love the “A Paw in the Door” columns that Heidi and Diane wrote about exploring wonderful businesses and people in the Studio City area.
See Alan’s tribute here: blog.infinitesafariadventures.com/heidi-boo-feldstein
Heidi passed away last year, only days after I lost my job at Studio City Patch, and a few months later, I met with Diane and their new dog Alley at our favorite dog spot Jinky’s Café in Studio City, where Heidi and I also shared many brunches. Alley was a little more excitable, but she’s young, and she’ll learn.
On to Diane and her book, though.
I have been privileged to serve as a judge for many book award shows in the past decade, and so I am forced to read a lot. It takes a lot to wow me, and yes, even though I have known the author for most of my nearly 30 years I L.A., I can honestly say this book is among the best I’ve read in the past decade. I was captivated by this book, and couldn’t wait to read the next chapter.
This “Dark Lady of Hollywood” is funny, poignant and simply a good read.
Yes, there may be some people she met while covering the entertainment beat that inspired some of the characters in Diane’s book, but it is a work of fiction.
“I have heard some of these words come out of some of the mouths of people in the television business,” says Diane. Some of the most ridiculous statements in the book are real, and were obvious inspirations for this tale. Diane has always found that TV is more interesting that the movie business. Even though it’s a red-headed stepchild as far as artistic creativity, the TV world makes more money and reaches more audience than movies—and the competition and turnover is incredible.
The novel takes place with the TV industry in the background, and there’s homage to William Shakespeare in the mix.
The book focuses on Ken Harrison, who works for a local (unnamed) studio who is 36 and finds himself relegated to obscurity. He dives into “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare,” which he never read in college, and becomes captivated by the mysterious “Dark Lady of the Sonnets,” a 16th century enigma whose identity has baffled scholars for centuries.
Then, the protagonist finds his real-life muse to that Dark Lady in Ophelia Lomond, a biracial actress with questionable talent. There’s murder, there’s humor, there’s cancer, and there’s a true sense of reality to this book.
Can Diane see this as movie? Or perhaps a TV show?
Well, check out the live reading on Sunday afternoon.
Come One, Come All
Sunday, June 8, 2014
Gallery 800 at Lankershim Arts Center
5108 Lankershim Blvd, NoHo Arts District 91601
Street Parking , 5250 Weddington Structure
And Lot 627, on Magnolia just West of Lankershim
Signing, Schmoozing and Snacks to celebrate the release of Diane Haithman’s new novel Dark Lady of Hollywood (Harvard Square Editions), a Merry Mash-up of Shakespeare and the TV Biz
Staged Reading with REAL LIVE ACTORS! 3:30 p.m.
“It takes a special kind of talent to simultaneously skewer Hollywood and Shakespeare while writing a thought-provoking novel, and Dark Lady of Hollywood proves
Diane Haithman has this genius.“
— Jill Allen, ForeWord Reviews
See more at dianehaithman.com