Reading e-books before bed.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tour Stop: The Holden Age of Hollywood Spot Light, Guest Post and #Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on The Holden Age of Hollywood book tour, brought to you by Innovative Online Book Tours. Today I have a guest post from the author, Phil Brody himself. You can also find the synopsis, an excerpt, and a giveaway at the end of this post. Don't forget to visit the other blogs on this tour for more information about this book and the author.


“Hollywood died on me as soon as I got here.
Welles said that, not me, but damn if he didn’t nail it, you know?”

A few years back I was working like a dog in documentary TV, looking forward to a hiatus of the show I was writing for because I was jonesing to work on a project of my own. Thing is, I was not certain what I wanted to work on. At the time, I had ideas for two screenplays—one was a heist flick, the other a superhero movie. I also had about fifty-odd pages of a book I had been toiling with off and on for nearly two years. The screenplay ideas were completely fleshed out, outlined, and ready to go. The book was a mess—an odd assortment of scattered ideas, random scenes, and paper-thin characters. Thing is, it was an assortment of ideas I could not get out of my head. Those scenes haunted. And the characters would not stop talking to me.
Work was winding down and I needed to make a choice—heist, superheroes, or book.

One evening as I awaited notes from the network on a just-emailed script, I plopped down in front of the computer. Pan to a bottle of wine. Music up (do believe I was listening to Radiohead’s Kid A). I sat and wrote something. It didn’t involve a heist. And nobody was flying or fighting crime in it.
No, instead I wrote half of a chapter entitled The Good Luck Club, and when I finished, I experienced one of those moments in life that confirms you’re definitely doing what you’re supposed to do. I hope you know what I’m referring to, because those moments are pretty choice.
That night, I discovered the voice for the book I aimed to write. I nailed down two key characters, finally figuring out who they were and how they interacted with each other. Writing instructors will call that a breakthrough. But, like I said, I called it The Good Luck Club.

Two weeks later, that much- anticipated hiatus kicked in and I fell off the grid and immersed myself in my chosen project. I came up for air (and for Facebook and Twitter) four months later with a first draft of a novel entitled Ass Eyes in a Sea of Spec.
A few friends of the tell-it-like-it- is variety read that initial draft. They all told me they enjoyed the read. Whew.

That’s when I called up a good friend and asked her if she’d help me edit what I had penned. She said yes, and we spent the next three months pouring over the work, transforming it into a polished and much improved manuscript.
Those asked to read Version 2.0 gave it a thumbs up. Whew 2.0.

June 2010. I began sending out query letters, which is the process of pitching your book to lit agents and managers in hope the idea/synopsis resonates and they’ll agree to give the manuscript a read.
As you can imagine, that process is a crazy-wild rollercoaster of daily successes/failures and weekly ups/downs. It’s like interviewing for a job multiple times a day, day after day . . . for months on end. Most of the time, you never hear back from those you query. Some respond with a polite no, thank you. Some ask to read the first three chapters. And some request the entire manuscript.
If they like what they read and agree to take you on as a client, you then work with them to edit and polish your book before it’s sent off to prospective publishers.
That did not happen for me. I was four months into my personal rollercoaster ride and, well, I’m not going to lie to you, the daily grind sucked a big bag of dicks. I was discouraged, but resilient. I continued sending query after query and kept giving copies of the book I had printed up to anyone who would read it.
That’s how and when a filmmaker friend of mine got a hold of it. He read it, loved it, and did something that altered the crazy-wild ride I was on. After telling me about a good friend he had at a medium- sized publishing house called Medallion Press, he said I should get the manuscript over to them, along with his recommendation.
I sent it off a day later. The date was Monday, September 28, 2010.
Seven days later. Medallion Press acquired Ass Eyes in a Sea of Spec with an intent to publish it in August 2012. Whoa.
Needless to say, I was thrilled out of my mind. I lawyered up and we worked out the details of the contract—a vital process that was lengthy and, truth told, often maddening. However, when the business end was finally complete, it became official: I was going to be a published author. Mthrfckr!

And so began the long and winding road to getting published —nearly two years of twists and turns. I’m not complaining when I say that, because the entire process was a labor of love and, thanks to my publisher, one I was allowed to be involved with on a daily basis.
We agreed to change the title. We explored cover art and, after a lengthy deliberation, arrived at the image above. We also revised, polished, edited, and turned a little manuscript I wrote into a novel I’m sofa-king proud of.

The other day the doorbell rang, I answered, and the UPS guy handed me a big box with a sticker on the side that read: The Holden Age of Hollywood. I cracked open the box, held the final version of the book in my hands, and experienced another one of those confirming moments.
That was a really good day. And now everybody everywhere is able to purchase and read the book. So far the response to the book has been great and the reviews have been stellar. Wow. Just . . . wow.

Through all of this, one thing that continually makes me smile is that chapter entitled The Good Luck Club. I read those pages now and marvel at the fact it has barely changed since that evening years ago when I broke through while sipping a little red and listening to some music—that night those voices in my head achieved clarity and turned into these confident characters I fell head-over-heels with then and love so much to this day. I hope you love them too.
I have to smile, because through all the revisions, polishing, and editing, that half chapter, which begins with the question ‘Nother Round? and ends with the statement Hands down, best thing I read today—a total of three pages in the final book—remain intact, like an engraved cornerstone of a solid home. This continually tells me, holy shit did I make the right decision. Hope you agree.
Oh . . . and a funny anecdote: that heist film and the superhero movie are referred to in the novel. Yep. I couldn’t resist.

Title: The Holden Age of Hollywood
Author: Phil Brody
Genre: Mainstream Fiction
Add to Goodreads
Sam Bateman came to Hollywood to settle a score, but amidst the sunny and 75, his plans went astray. Everything changed the day he drank in the intoxicating legend of Meyer Holden, the greatest screenwriter Hollywood has ever known, the one who pulled a Salinger and walked away. Holden now tacks pseudonyms onto his works and buries them in the bottomless sea of spec that is Hollywood’s development process. They’re out there for anyone to find—but at what cost? In his quest, Bateman severs all ties and sinks into a maddening world of bad writing and flawed screenplays. Paranoid and obsessive, the belligerent savant encounters an eccentric cast of characters—each with an agenda—in his search for the one writer in Hollywood who does not want to be found.

Phil Brody’s The Holden Age of Hollywood is at once a detective novel, an unexpected love story, and a provocative exposé of a broken industry. With dark humor and incisive commentary, the novel immerses readers in a neo-noir quest to attain the Hollywood dream, integrity intact.


I escape to the patio, perch myself at the bar, where the bartenders can’t pour the Red Bull or the Kettle One fast enough. I watch them work, mesmerized by the stampede for this overhyped mixture of depressant and upper. I know no one uses terms like that anymore— depressant, upper. Call me old-fashioned. Actually, call me well-rounded. Helps me do my job and deal with the reason I’m doing time in this town. Drink to that.
“Another gin and tonic?”
I nod once to my best friend at this party, my only friend in this fucking town—the bartender. Not this bartender per se. Every bartender. They mix a cure for what ails me. Sure, it’s a momentary cure, but those are some of my happiest moments. Way it is.
Too many people. Too loud. Attitudes starting to asphyxiate. I stare at the sea of lights, the view from the Hills of this coldfuckcold city that’s 75 degrees every day. It’s an endless four- story grid of isolated, lock-the-door-behind-you lives, where everyone is either so wrapped up in creating their own success story or so damaged from their failure that resentment for one another is all we have in common.
Lights everywhere twinkle, look so inviting, but it’s a trick. I know it.

Reviews have been rolling in and here's what the critics have to say:

“The Holden Age of Hollywood by Phil Brody delivers the premise and promise of its title. It is an original, rollicking, picaresque novel that would make J.D. Salinger proud.”
~ Stan Corwin, former publisher/CEO of Pinnacle Books, author of Betty Page Confidential and Oxy-Morons I Have Known

“Brody’s debut novel has an ambitious agenda. It’s a coming-of-age novel, a mystery, a love story, and a stinging, knowing send-up of the movie biz. Brody melds these disparate elements with energy, wit, snarky insider dialogue, and a clipped, telegraphic narrative style. . . The Holden Age of Hollywood is fine entertainment."
~ Thomas Gaughan, Booklist (May 1, 2012)

“As the sun came up today, I turned the last page of Phil Brody’s The Holden Age of Hollywood. That’s because I couldn’t put it down. I can rarely make time for novels, but this one had me rifling through pages with constant anticipation. The back drop of this story is the same backdrop I live and work in. Hollywood. With all its fast-talkers, posers, and users, Brody weaves a tale through all the madness that is Hollywood with a voice of reason, integrity, and hilarious sarcasm. . . I have rarely been this entertained, while being informed, all from reading the same book."
~ Doug Jones, Actor, Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy I and II, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer

“If anyone knows Hollywood, author Phil Brody knows Hollywood. The Holden Age of Hollywood is a cynical and witty look at the real town . . . exposing the often underappreciated business of screenwriting, all while unfolding an unexpected love story. . . .”
~ Jessica Druck, The Five-Stir

“Readers will enjoy watching a fascinating Bateman get sucked into the Hollywood drama machine. Filled with a quirky cast working humorous scenes, this is a fascinating character study as Bateman goes the extraordinary extra kilometer to find a Holden screenplay.”
~ Harriet Klausner, Genre Go Round Reviews (June 18, 2012)

Author Bio

Phil Brody lives in Los Angeles and writes every day. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, he relocated to Chicago after college and enjoyed a successful career in Chicago in advertising. After moving to LA, Brody toiled in development, penned a few spec scripts, and has worked as a writer, producer, and director in documentary TV. His short film, A Blue Christmas, was the grand prize winner in The Short Film Group’s First Annual Script Competition and was acknowledged in the WorldFest-Houston and Cleveland International Film Festivals. Brody is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio and an alumnus of Writers Boot Camp in Santa Monica, California. The Holden Age of Hollywood is his first novel.



Phil Brody is giving away $30 Amazon GC to one lucky winner. To join, fill the tasks on the rafflecopter widget below. Wait for it to load or refresh your browser if it doesn't show up.

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Follow the Tour

8/22 All Things Writing - Review and Giveaway
8/24 Just Me, Myself, and I - Spot Light
8/24 For The Love Of Film And Novels - Spot Light and Giveaway
8/27 My Devotional Thoughts - Spot Light, Review, and Giveaway
8/28 White Sky Project - Spot Light, guest post and Giveaway
8/28 Night Owl Reads - Spot Light, guest post and Giveaway
8/29 Janiera Eldridge - Spot Light, guest post and Giveaway
8/29 Books and Beauty - Spot Light, guest post and Giveaway
8/29 My Chaotic Ramblings - Interview and spot light
8/30 The Bunny's Review - Spot Light, Interview, and Giveaway
8/31 ¡Miraculous! - Review and Giveaway
8/31 Window on the World - Review and Interview
9/3 Dahl's Doll - Spot Light, guest post and Giveaway
9/3 The Self-Taught Cook - Review
9/4 I am, Indeed - Spot Light, guest post, and Giveaway
9/5 Bibliophilia, Please - Spot Light, guest post, and Giveaway
9/6 Full Moon Bites - Spot Light, Interview, and Giveaway
9/6 House Millar - Spot Light, Interview, and Giveaway
9/7 Jenn's Review Blog - Spot Light and Guest post
9/7 Storm Goddess Book Reviews & More - Spot Light, guest post and Giveaway
9/7 T B R - Spot Light, guest post, and Giveaway

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