First of all, a huge thank you to Elizabeth for allowing me to blog on her site today. I appreciate it very much!
Illusions is my first published book, so I'm really new at guest blogging. I looked around at the other DSP author's blogs to get a few ideas and I found a few that I thought were interesting. One that I really liked was "How did you arrive at the title for the book". To me, that was one of the hardest things to do because you want to incorporate all of the things about the book and pull them together into - what you hope - is a cool title.
What is an Illusion? Webster's describes it as something that looks or seems different from what it is : something that is false or not real but that seems to be true or real.
When I was trying to find a name for the new book, I thought about all the characters. Most were living in some state of illusion. Right out of the gate, we have Skylar waking up with a huge handover to find that a fan has managed to sneak by all of his reserves and end up in his bed. Skylar doesn't remember her or their night, but quickly realizes that Emma (the fan) thinks she is in love with him and is convinced that Skylar will fall in love with her - once he meets her.
Ryan, who is Aiden's best friend, is another huge fan of Skylar's. He's completely star struck and is convinced that Skylar is the character that he portrays on television. Needless to say, Ryan sometimes has a hard time separating the actor from the character.
Kelly, the 80's "It" girl feels like she can pay for plastic surgery and keep the illusion that she still "Twenty-something" going on forever. And then we have the arsonist, whose entire agenda is based on an illusion. Now, that I think about it, Aiden may be the only one with his feet planted firmly on the ground. But even he buys into the illusion of Skylar and Sophie at some point.
Then we have Skylar who has an illusion regarding the entire world. He feels he can do what he wants, when he wants and no one gets hurt. That's an illusion because it's not possible to treat people any way you like and expect no one to be hurt. One might even argue that the fact that Skylar says he will never fall in love, never need anyone, is also an illusion. But is it really an illusion if it could be true?
However to me, Hollywood is the biggest illusion of them all. The entire entertainment business is build on illusions. When it comes to celebrities, normally the general public sees what Hollywood wants you to see. Unless you're in a celebrities inner circle, you'll continue to see exactly what is played out for you on the big screens and on the red carpet. And sometimes that "sight" is a well-oiled, fine tuned story. With the use of social media and the internet, it's become harder for celebrities to hide behind their illusions as well as they used to, but it's still there. If Hollywood wants you to believe that two people are in love off set, then you can bet money that it will be hard for you to believe otherwise. Because some illusions are better than real life.
How about you? Have you ever been a part of something only to realize later that it was all an illusion? Not real at all?
Thanks for everything!
Ever since arriving in Hollywood, Skylar Murphy has been loving life. He’s starring in a hit television show and on the verge of grabbing the lead role in the most anticipated movie of the decade. Poised on the edge of superstardom, he doesn't want or need any complications to distract him from that goal. Whether he’s sleeping with a woman or a man, his noncommittal, no-strings-attached love life suits him perfectly, and despite his rep for playing gay roles, the world still thinks he’s straight.
At the launch party for his new show, Skylar meets Aiden Moore, an openly gay firefighter by day and cater waiter to the stars by night. Skylar is immediately attracted to him, but Aiden rejects him. When an arsonist appears to have targeted Skylar, their paths keep crossing. Always up for a challenge, Skylar works to win Aiden over, and he agrees to a date. Soon enough they can’t stay away from each other. Despite hiding their relationship away from the ever-present paparazzi, they’re happy together until a jilted fan joins forces with the arsonist to sabotage their future.
(Lead in-- Skylar ran into Aiden, who was serving champagne, at the premier party for The Executives. When there's a fire at the sound stage near Skylar's, he spots Aiden again. Not having been introduced, he refers to him as "Mr. Champagne".)
"..." refers to edited dialogue for length
It couldn’t be… could it? Skylar looked again to make sure he was not mistaken. This time Skylar saw the flicker of recognition in Mr. Champagne’s eyes before he turned back to continue talking to his chief. As Skylar stood there, trying to decide his next move, he watched Mr. Champagne grab an ax from the side of the truck, put on his helmet, and disappear into the building. That was it. Maybe it was the sheer hotness of that guy just grabbing his ax and walking into a smoke-filled building, or maybe it was the memory of that rock-hard body, but Skylar knew he had to know more about him, fan or not.
Mr. Champagne walked out of the building, which was now almost smoke free, and headed toward the fire engine. As he removed his helmet to wipe the sweat off his face, Sophie knew immediately why Skylar was so interested. It was the hot serving guy she had seen him flirting with at the party.
“Is that the guy?” asked Sophie, motioning toward the firefighter.
Skylar moved to block her from Mr. Champagne’s view. “Yes, that’s him, and would you please stop being so obvious?”
“Are you going to talk to him?” she asked.
Getting annoyed at the constant string of questions, Skylar just glared at Sophie and said, “I might. I haven’t decided yet.” Then, motioning toward the soundstage, he said, “But will you please meet me on set? I’ll be there in a second.”
“Okay, fine, but I really think you should talk to him.” At Skylar’s second glare she said, “I’m leaving, I’m leaving. See you in a few.” Sophie walked off down to Soundstage 5.
Turning back to Mr. Champagne, who looked slightly busy trying to get the hose latched onto the truck, Skylar tried to be patient. But after a few more minutes, Skylar felt he had waited long enough. It’s now or never, he thought as he started toward the fire truck and the sexy fireman.
“Hey,” said Skylar as he walked up behind Mr. Champagne.
Mr. Champagne turned around. Upon seeing it was Skylar, he said, “Hey,” and then he immediately turned back to his truck to finish tying in the hose. He had no time for the disappearing actor.
Okay, what the fuck? Not sure exactly how to take that reaction, but not wanting to back down, Skylar continued, “I saw you a few minutes ago, talking to your fire chief, and I thought that I recognized you. Didn’t you work The Executives premiere party the other night?”
Aiden paused for a second, then turned back and replied, “Yeah, that was me.” And then, unable to stop himself, Aiden said, “Although, I must say, I’m surprised you remembered me. If I’m not mistaken, you were more than wasted that night.”
“You can say that again,” Skylar agreed. “….” “Yet, I do remember you, so I believe that proves that I did have some clarity that night. But I have to admit, if you introduced yourself to me, your name was lost someplace between six and eight gin and tonics.”
Aiden looked at him for a second before responding, “Actually, I didn't find it necessary to introduce myself. I was just serving champagne to the party guests.”
Well, damn! Skylar, a bit taken back by the chill in the fireman’s voice, said, “Okay. I only thought that you might have because in my experience, most fans introduce themselves right away. Forgive me, I didn't mean to assume something so simple.”
Aiden turned all the way around, looked Skylar straight in the eye, and said, “Actually you’re still assuming, if you think I’m a fan. Truth is, until that night, I didn't know who you were.” He paused before finishing with, “Sorry about that.”
Skylar, a bit insulted yet somehow intrigued, stood there for a moment, taking all this new information in. Then he smiled, held out his hand, and quietly said, “No apology needed. Let me introduce myself. My name is Skylar Murphy.” And you are certainly going to know me now.
Meet S.A. Ozment
S.A. Ozment was born and raised in North Carolina. From day one, she had stars in her eyes and by the time she hit high school she wanted to move to NYC and sing on Broadway. The fates (her parents) had other ideas, so she was hustled off to college and four years later, she was an accountant and had pushed those dreams aside.
For many years, on her time off, S.A. worked with different actors as a forum manager/social media promoter. Today, she is again an accountant by day but still finds time to promote a few actors (some officially, some not so officially) at night.
In 2013, she was laid off from her accounting job of twenty years. While looking for another job, she had free time to do other things. She had always loved to tell stories and therefore, she decided to use some of her experiences and write a book. Once the writing bug hit her, there was no stopping it. She has just finished her second book and is beginning a third.
Most nights, you can find her curled up in the recliner with her laptop either writing or working on some type of promotion. unless "The Walking Dead" is on, then she will be found in front of the television.
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