For the last day of July I have a humongous treat for you. Author, screenwriter, and filmmaker Lindy Hudis joins us to chat about her novel Weekends, which has received rave reviews. A former actress, Lindy is also a wife and mother of two children.
Welcome to The Book Connection, Lindy. It’s wonderful to get the chance to speak with you.
Thank you for having me!
Congratulations on the birth of your son, Cameron. I hope everyone is doing well.
Oh, yes. It is going great. Cameron is 4 months now, and starting to sleep through the night. Time sure flies, it is unbelievable. Our little girl is getting used to the idea of having a little brother. He is wonderful, starting to smile and laugh out loud!
Let’s start off with finding out a bit more about you. Where did you grow up? When did you decide to become an actress? How did that lead to you becoming an author, screenwriter, and filmmaker?
I actually grew up in Germantown, Tennessee. Then, I went north, to New York City to go to NYU. I studied acting and theater there, and I aspired to be an actress on Broadway. Well, my singing and dancing was not that great, so I went west to Los Angeles to pursue a film career. I just love drama, I love to create it, just ask my husband, hehe. I decided to quit acting when something strange happened to me during an audition. You can read all about that in CITY OF TOYS, my “Hollywood” book. I have always done some writing, just for fun. I just fell into it. When I get pregnant with my daughter, I just started writing.
As a wife and mother do you find it challenging to make time for your writing?
Yes! Cameron is howling as I write this, and Veronica is screaming for her chicken nuggets, lol. I love a challenge though. It is the Virgo in me. I am a “write when I have time” kind of author.
I love hearing about how writers work. Can you tell us what your writing process is like? Is there a time of day when you’re more productive than others?
Well, being a mom and a writer, I write when I can. I do prefer the morning, because I have more energy, but anytime is good to get the creative juices flowing. I try to write every day, but that is hard to pull off. I just sit at the computer and what comes out is what I work with at that time.
Let’s chat about Weekends. The synopsis had me intrigued.
“An innocent-sounding family reunion at an exclusive California beach resort turns into a weekend of murder, deceit, exposed secrets and unexpected intimate encounters. John Peterson has it all: he is a respected, successful Beverly Hills entertainment lawyer with a loving wife and grown son, the strikingly handsome young film director Joe Peterson. John also has a secret, and he decides to gather his disparate family members at the elegant Hotel Del Moor in picturesque Linda Bella, California for some luxurious fun, togetherness and re-connecting before revealing his secret. Unbeknownst to the family, a brutal serial killer is lurking in the midst of all the wondrous festivities.”
Where did the idea for this story come from? How much time elapsed between forming the idea and finishing the first draft?
I live in, and love, California. Growing up in Tennessee, California was my dream, a magical, mystical place that I used to dream about. It is so beautiful, and it is definitely my inspiration. The beach, the mountains, and all the artistic and creative people...I could not live anywhere else. All of my stories take place here. I guess you could say that was my inspiration. I wanted to give the reader a romantic beach story, and there you go. As far as time goes, I think it was about 8 months.
In the first chapter, the Petersons are on their way to a family reunion. It seems that they have everything—wealth, status, adoration. After reading the excerpt found on Pump Up Your Book Promotion’s Virtual Book Tour blog (http://virtualbooktoursforauthors.blogspot.com/2007/06/weekends-virtual-book-tour-07.html), I both envied and hated them. How did you go about creating these characters? Did your time in Hollywood influence how you developed them?
Yeah, there are plenty of families out here in Los Angeles who seem to have it all. It is easy to become envious, but I just remind myself that everybody has different karma, and we all have different paths that we have to go on. I do aspire to become that, I won’t lie about that. I just try to be as spiritual about that. Fate will bring me what I am destined to have in good time. I do get the inspiration from all of the interesting and successful people that I meet out here.
They often say that you should write what you know. Your descriptions of California display your knowledge of the area in which the story is set. But did you need to perform research of any kind for this novel?
Oh, yes. I did plenty of research for this story. I just love California so much, and the whole beauty of this place was my inspiration. I love the beach, the mountains, the desert, and the urban areas. This place just lends itself to a story. I was just inspired from living here.
In addition to this novel, you wrote an independent film titled The Lesson, which was screened at the 2000 Seattle Underground Film Festival and Cine-nights LA. How is writing a novel and a screenplay similar? In what ways are they different?
Going to NYU, you definitely get bitten my the film bug. I acted in quite a few student films. Also, being in Hollywood, well…it is hard not to want to try your hand at directing. So, I wrote a short film, raised the money, and shot it over one weekend. Both are similar because you are telling a story. You want to move and inspire the audience. You want to entertain and make people think. My husband, who has been working in the film business since he was 12, helped me out. So, I have a little piece of film that is all mine. The difference? Well, you can’t hand a producer a 300 page screenplay, they would faint at the cost to shoot such a thing! You have to tell your story quicker, and get to the meat of the story faster. Each page in one minute of film, and each minute of film is money!
With your varied experience you must have heard lots of advice over the years. What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Did you ever receive any bad advice?
The best advice I have ever received is to follow my own advice. The worst advice? “Don’t move to LA”. That was given to me by a jealous ex-boyfriend,
What’s up next for you? Are there any exciting projects coming up that fans and your fellow writers will want to know about?
I have my screenplay, CRASHERS, that my agent is sending out to producers. It is pretty interesting. It is a gritty, action-packed story about a group of young people who get caught up in the seamy underworld of auto insurance fraud. After losing their "real" jobs, the avaricious trio stages car accidents to collect the insurance blood money. It is an edgy story that chronicles the nightmarish descent of the group as events spiral out of control.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Please visit my website for more information about my work, and me: http://directorbabe.tripod.com. Email me to say hello. I love to hear from readers and fans.
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today, Lindy. I wish you much continued success in your career and with your family.