While writing my Vampire Babylon books, I always try to read something that will give me a Hollywood vibe. Makes sense, because this is the setting for all the paranormal mystery-noir action, and reading so-called "true" stories about the business and playtime in Tinseltown add fodder to my tales.
My latest research tool was the audio version of THE TWINS OF TRIBECA by Rachel Pine. Here's the deal: Pine used to work for Miramax, the "big little" independent company based in New York. If you keep up with movies, you know that Miramax used to be the baby of Harvey and Bob Weinstein, and this production company was masterful at putting together successful Oscar campaigns. Pine was one of their worker bees for a limited time, and she has fictionalized her experiences in this book, painting very broad pictures of well-known people while giving them fake names to "hide" their identities. (For those references that are harder to figure out, just read the book with IMDB.com open on your computer, look under "companies," and type in Miramax. You'll get a long, long list of their releases, and you'll be able to figure out just about every tongue-in-cheek nod.)
TWINS was pretty fun to "read" (I bought the audio version helmed by Ana Gasteyer, the SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE alum. She's absolutely great.). I loved trying to guess who was on stage at each given moment, and there's some good inside juice here, too. Sure, it goes over the same ground as THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA and THE NANNY DIARIES, but I felt as if TWINS' heroine wasn't as much of a doormat. Fun stuff.
Coming soon, another bookshelf offering: THERE AND BACK AGAIN: AN ACTOR'S TALE by Sean Astin.