Saturday, May 8, 2010

"Seeing Stars"

Diane Hammond, the author of Going to Bend and Homesick Creek, is the recipient of an Oregon Arts Commission literary fellowship and served as a spokesperson for the Free Willy Keiko Foundation and the Oregon Coast Aquarium. In 2008 she applied the Page 69 Test to her novel Hannah’s Dream.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Seeing Stars, and reported the following:
Page 69 begins a new chapter, in which stage-mom-in-training Ruth Rabinowitz has just shelled out a cool $995 to buy her daughter Bethy’s way into the production of a short movie about surviving middle school. The project has been put together by talent manager Mimi Roberts, and is a scam, a shortcut that will make the young cast eligible to join the Screen Actors Guild. SAG membership will enable Bethy, a thirteen-year-old, to audition for much higher-paying and prestigious TV shows, movies and commercials.

This is a fitting moment for Ruth, who has done nothing but shell out huge sums of money since arriving in Hollywood just over a month earlier. She is appalled by the cost of everything to do with ramping up Bethy’s professional acting career: the costs of haircuts, waxings, straightenings, headshots, acting lessons, acting showcases and coaching for auditions—to say nothing of the cost of rent, food and other miscellaneous services. Still, Ruth doesn’t even consider denying her daughter these things and more. After all, stardom is at stake. And Ruth, like all stage mothers, is utterly convinced of her daughter’s qualifications for joining the Hollywood pantheon of young stars. But she is also at the crest of a steep slope towards the self-doubt and disillusionment that will soon set in.
Read an excerpt from Seeing Stars, and learn more about the book and author at Diane Hammond's website.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue