Inspiration for Fallen Star
When I was a child my father and his best friend, a screenwriter, took me to see Orson Welles’ The Magnificent Ambersons. After the film, they inevitably speculated what might have been if the studio had not edited (some say butchered) and destroyed footage from Welles’ original cut. Would Ambersons have been the greatest film ever made? The answer to that question will never be known. But in my child’s imagination I dreamed that one day, hidden in some dusty attic or garage, a box would be discovered that contained the precious footage.
Fallen Star begins with this premise but takes it into the world of my imagination, where discovered footage is valuable not only as lost art but also because it contains clues to capturing a murderer. The story is a complete work of fiction of my own invention. Still, people, places, gossip and rumors that are part of Hollywood lore have served as inspiration for some of my fictitious musings and reinventions.
More about the story
Film student Kate Bloom discovers lost footage that holds the key to who murdered her grandmother, legendary screen goddess Gloria Reardon.
Kate is Gloria’s spitting image, yet she couldn’t be more different. After all, it’s 1975, screen sirens are a thing of the past and Hollywood appears to be on the brink of real change brought about by a new, grittier breed of filmmakers. Kate wants to be a part of this change. She sees old Hollywood’s glamorized myth-making as destructive, embodied by the tabloid objectification of her grandmother's death.
When Kate discovers lost footage from the infamous film never completed because of Gloria’s murder, she is swept up into events that happened years before she was born and into the seductive world of Hollywood’s elite. Gloria may be dead but friends and lovers from her heyday are still very much on the Hollywood scene and it seems everyone has something to gain or lose from Kate’s discovery. Suddenly Kate has powerful enemies as well as a powerful benefactor who sets her up in a lavish mansion to keep her and the precious film safe.
Kate is abruptly pushed into the glittering, turbulent world of 1970’s Hollywood as she and film restoration expert, Dylan Nichols, race to repair the fragile film.
As the film comes back to life, Kate discovers clues to her grandmother’s murder and begins to investigate what really happened to her. Drawn into the details of Gloria’s past, the otherworldly presence of Gloria seems to come to life. At times, Kate even feels possessed by Gloria, especially when in moments of high tension Kate’s normal inhibitions dissolve and she behaves with the sly sexuality of a bombshell from another era.
Whether Kate is haunted or losing her mind, she’s not sure. What is certain is that as her investigation brings her closer to unmasking the killer, a series of accidents and threatening events have placed her life in danger. Is Kate destined to meet Gloria’s gruesome end? Or, will she learn to use her intelligence, with a dash of Gloria’s bravado, so that this time the bombshell outwits the murderer?