Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Guest Post by Donna Figueroa, author of Fall Again: Beginnings

I'm thrilled to welcome Donna Figueroa today, but before Donna takes over, here's a little bit about her book. And don't forget to check out the excerpt below! 

About the Book:What if you were to meet the perfect person - your best friend, soul mate and the great love of your life - but at the wrong time? That question is at the heart of Fall Again, a contemporary romantic series about two working actors set against the backdrop of New York, Los Angeles and points in-between.

In Beginnings you’ll meet Marc & Lauren in the optimistic New York City of the late 1980’s. Marc and Lauren meet when they are very young and building careers as professional actors in New York. Despite an obvious attraction, decorum dictates that their relationship remain platonic.

Over time Marc and Lauren find themselves struggling to maintain the fa├žade of being just friends to those around them, as well as to each other. Regardless of their best efforts to remain friends Marc and Lauren fall in love.

Guest Post: It’s what I do

One of my first professional writing jobs was a play I wrote for the Indianapolis Fringe Festival where my husband Tony and I performed together. One evening, we joined another married couple for dinner; performers who also had a show in the festival.
Christian and Catalina amazed audiences with magic and telepathy, while our show was based on our marriage and living in Hollywood.
Catalina proposed our next show. “You should do a show about your experiences as actors in Hollywood! People will find it fascinating.”
This sounded strange. “But it’s not fascinating! It’s just what we do.”
Catalina disagreed. “Not to people outside of the industry who are dying to know about the real Hollywood! I’ve enjoyed listening to your stories and others would too!”
Hollywood is a city, an industry and a state of mind. For me, it’s also home.
I never wrote that show, but never forgot Catalina’s words.
When I began to write Fall Again, I focused on bringing the tortured romance of Marc and Lauren to life. But remember, this is also a story about the lives of working actors.  I soon found myself thinking about my own experiences in the industry along with experiences of my fellow actors. Many of these events found their way into my manuscript and became elements in the careers of the actors in Fall Again.
When we first meet Lauren Phillips, she’s just completed her first day of work on a network soap, the fictional Clayton’s Crossing. For years, daytime dramas provided work and on the job training for many actors. My first job on network television was on NBC’s Days of Our Lives. Like Lauren, I was nervous…especially when I learned that my scene was with Genie Francis, formerly Laura Spencer on General Hospital, and soap opera royalty! This was Genie’s first day as reporter Diana Colville. She comes to Salem’s University Hospital searching for someone who can identify a person in a photograph and approaches the nurse at the desk…me! I had five lines of dialogue that day. Ten days later I was back on set, and would return to DOOL regularly as Nurse Evelyn for ten years.
Lauren will eventually book a job as a guest star on a sitcom. The event was inspired by my own appearance on The Robert Guillaume Show. Yes, I was thrilled when I booked the job and loved working with Robert. But for me this was just another job; it’s what I do.   For every amazing day in an actor’s career, there are ten or more ordinary days.
 As an actor, I’m not always in control. But as a writer I’m in complete control! In Fall Again I’ve created a world that provides a realistic glimpse into the lives of working actors.  Hopefully I’ve dispelled some misconceptions of my profession while telling Marc and Lauren’s love story. I want my readers to experience the triumphs and heartbreaks throughout my character’s careers, and most importantly, enjoy their journeys!

He heard her quick light footsteps coming up the three flights of stairs before she finally came into view on the landing at the bottom of last flight of stairs. 
As Lauren Phillips turned the corner she looked up at Marc and stopped, seeming surprised. “Marc?”
Marc responded as he took notice of the striking woman at the bottom of the stairs. “Yeah.”
 An expression of pleasant recognition crossed her face. “Oh my God… Marc Guiro! I didn’t realize that Mel’s friend Marc… was you!” She confidently bounded up the last flight of stairs seeming very happy to see him.
But Marc was confused.  This girl appeared to know him, but as far as he knew he had never laid eyes on her.
Lauren quickly realized this. “I’m Lauren Phillips. I went to NYU and we lived in Weisman Hall at the same time the last two years you were in school.  We were in different towers but I saw you in the cafeteria and in the laundry room from time to time.  You were two years ahead of me… but we were in a dance class together one semester.”
Marc looked at her closely. “I only took two dance classes while I was at NYU.” He continued to look at her blankly.
Lauren tried not to take this personally and attempted to play off the situation with humor.  “Well whichever class you’re thinking of now… I was probably in the other one.” 
Lauren flashed a cool controlled smile at Marc as Mel came into the hallway.
“Lauren…you made it!” 
Lauren ran to her roommate giving her a big hug. “Thank you for today!  It was wonderful!”
 Mel didn’t want to take credit for booking Lauren on her show.  Casting liked her look and personality.  All she had done was to deliver Lauren’s photograph and resume to the Clayton’s Crossing’s casting department. “No, Lauren that was all you.  I just gave casting your photograph.  Once they called you in for your interview I was out of it.”
 Lauren was suddenly aware that she was ignoring Marc and looked back towards him.
“Mel got me a day of background work on Clayton’s Crossing today!” Her excitement was getting the best of her.
“So I’ve heard.  That’s great!  Why don’t you both come inside?”
 Marc ushered them both into the apartment while still questioning himself.  Had he ever met this girl?  He would have remembered.
Lauren was attractive.  She had deep set dark brown eyes and dark hair which she was wearing pulled back into a perfect lose ponytail.  He could see that she was wearing a lot of makeup, but she would be after a day on set. The makeup only enhanced her high cheekbones and smooth skin.  She was dressed nicely in a gauzy long Indian skirt and blouse that she wore belted which showed off a tiny waist. She was slender.  Over her shoulder she carried a large tobacco colored leather satchel. 
But Marc found himself looking beyond her physical appearance.  She had what some might call a sparkling personality, not to mention a bright and wonderful smile. Lauren’s energy was contagious. When she came up the last flight of steps toward him, it was as if someone had turned on an incredibly bright light.
Donna Figueroa is an actor and writer living and working in Los Angeles CA.  She has worked on stage and on the big and small screens. Her credits include appearances on several daytime dramas, voiceovers for animation, commercials and industrial projects, and several television commercials.
She is a producer and storyteller at The Story Salon, Los Angeles’s longest running storytelling venue where she has written, performed and developed 3 one person shows.
Donna considers herself an athletic shopper always in search of the ultimate bargain.
She lives in Hollywood with her husband writer/comedian Tony Figueroa, and their three neurotic cats.

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