Susan lives an interesting life – I mean, she lives in Hollywood and knows Steven Spielberg! She has been involved and written many plays through the years and brings the lessons learned to her current writing.
She wrote a fiction book that has some elements based on her own life. The Road Not Taken is the story of a 50 year old woman and the struggles she goes through.
And she has thoughts on Shakespeare’s Romeo and JulietWebsite https://susanrubinwriter.com/ Susan Rubin Writer website Her Book https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1941861687/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1941861687&linkCode=as2&tag=saschneider-20&linkId=31be61d1ef1b36ed0b426a0947bfab71 Favorites https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00309SD02/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00309SD02&linkCode=as2&tag=saschneider-20&linkId=ab681951d2c08a463ba11d7b67303029 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0684803852/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0684803852&linkCode=as2&tag=saschneider-20&linkId=38883bd1f9ccf2afbd00c81b058674b7 Local Bookstore
So Susan, welcome to a discovered wordsmiths podcast. How are you doing? I’m
[00:01:15] Susan: doing great. And I really appreciate you inviting.
[00:01:19] Stephen: Yeah, I think this is great. I can’t wait to find out more about you and your book. So let’s start there. Tell us a little bit about you who you are, where you live, what you like to do outside of writing.
[00:01:29] Susan: I am a writer. I’ve been a writer a long time, but I’ve written many things. I’ve had nine plays produced in Los Angeles. I’ve written 25 documentaries for an organization. Those documentaries are really fun cause you’re writing about the hard stuff in the world. And I’ve done a ton of blogging for Ms.
Magazine. And I had a bunch of stuff on funny or die. That didn’t seem that funny to me, but it didn’t die. So it was on funny or die for a really long time. I’ve done a lot of different kinds of writing, [00:02:00] decided to write a book. Cause I didn’t have to work with actors. I’m sorry. I probably shouldn’t say that, but that’s the truth.
A book means no production. Good.
[00:02:13] Stephen: That’s funny. Cause I just talked to someone else’s sent the same thing about writing a book is easier than a movie because you don’t have to deal with that. And you live in Hollywood, so movies are big.
[00:02:24] Susan: These are big. And what will probably happen to the book eventually is what’s happening now is that there’s so many different platforms for TV and film that there never used to be that a book like mine would make a perfect movie because it’s about a 50 year old woman and there aren’t, a lot of movies are playing.
TV shows like that. I could conceivably sell it to one of the various movie companies because there’s trillions of them, but I have a new book I’m writing. I just try to keep writing because otherwise, if I don’t write, you’re going to be talking to me next time and I’ll be [00:03:00] in a really nice colored, straight jacket.
But if I can’t write, then I know that I’m going to end up holding my cat. What do I do when I’m not writing? I have, I’ve lived with the love of my life for many years. He’s a writer too. So we go to opposite ends of the house when we write an in-between because of COVID. I have cats, I am a massive animal lover and I love all animals.
I don’t like coyotes living in LA. You really learn to not like coyotes, but we have mountain lions in the backyard and I’m not afraid of them. I am from New York city. I know what to be afraid of. And I’m not scared of mountain lions because they’re not interested in me, but priorities coyotes would eat their mother.
If they got there. They’re not like wolves. I hate to say this for, because I know all my friends who love dogs more than cats, coyotes, aren’t nice pack animals. They will abandon their young and when they abandon them, then they come to my neighborhood cause they’re sick. [00:04:00] And then you have to watch the heartbreak of a coyote, getting sick and dying.
And it’s hard. Anyway. I love Hollywood. It’s very pleasant here. And and because I’ve always written for an organization, I did my documentaries for an organization for 20 years. So I don’t deal with the seamier side of things. I deal with. It was a women’s organization, so that’s always fun.
But I did a lot of work for them for a long time. And my plays were always produced for me. LA had a thriving, small theater scene. It was pretty amazing. Until COVID now there is no theater scene, so that’s my history. And I’ve taught a lot. I’ve taught a lot of at risk kids because the people I worked for prior to writing documentary sense that I had been an at-risk kid, although I am not from a poor family, I certainly was crazy as a bedbug growing up.
I was a very crazy teenager. And then I too could have had, I could have [00:05:00] had a teenagers straight jacket, but it would have been a straight jacket. So I do really well with at-risk kids because I feel for them and because I can get them to write because writing can sometimes save your soul. If you can say it, so I’ve done a huge amount of teaching at-risk kids, Sheriff’s departments, kids who either, either they come to my class that day or they’re considered truant and they can be arrested. So they came to class.
[00:05:27] Stephen: Nice. So it sounds like you have a lot on your plate. And I imagine Hollywood has a lot of room for all of those things for you to do
[00:05:35] Susan: it. It does. It depends on the people I worked for writing documentaries. This is something not everybody knows, but when you work for really powerful people, the first thing you learn is don’t ask for anything.
If they want to say to you, can I read your book? Then you say, oh, of course, that would be very nice of you, but you don’t ever say, could you read my book? Because then you become [00:06:00] different than a colleague. You become. Mollusk, you’ve become you don’t want to ask people who have so much, if you ask them for anything, you just become part of the mass I’ve been at, I’ve been in a lot of events with Steven Spielberg who happens to just like me because he thinks I’m, either because he feels sorry for me or because he likes me, but he’s always doing this to me.
He’s the sweetest man. But I know that if I said to him, Hey, I wrote a book and people really like it. I got great reviews that he would never speak to me again. So that’s a good lesson to learn about Hollywood is if you’re not part of the up the ladder climb, if you’re just a person and you happen to be able to write a book or you’re talented in any way, never ask anybody for anything, don’t even accept lunch.
That’s a lie. I hate.
[00:06:51] Stephen: Interesting. What like events have you actually done that? You’ve been involved with Spielberg.
[00:06:56] Susan: Spielberg was best friends with my writing. [00:07:00] My writing partner was okay. She doesn’t care. My writing partner was Lorraine Sheinberg, who was the mother in jaws. So every time we ever went out to lunch together, I would look around the restaurant.
I wasn’t allowed to mention names and her family because you wouldn’t believe this it’s so many years later, but she’s very wrecking. She’s a beautiful woman. She’s very recognizable. So because her husband produced jaws, her husband discovered Steven Spielberg and her husband was he’s passed now.
But I met Steven Spielberg at two funerals for Sid and at one birthday party for Sid. And because I was part of that family, you’re not at the funeral. If you’re not. These were not big public events. And he knew that I was in the family and he, and also Lorraine always introduced me very cordially as her best friend and the most wonderful writer and the documentaries we wrote together, we had the most wonderful time writing the most grim material, but if you’re [00:08:00] writing.
You gotta laugh sometimes or just have a tuna sandwich. You know what I mean? Sometimes if you’re writing about the worst possible things in the world, you’ve just got, I personally would put my head down on the desk and slam my head a few times until I thought, do I have a concussion yet?
No, I’ll keep writing. So I’m med student in that way, but I met him through the family door and you don’t ever, and this isn’t just Steven. I’ve met a lot of people like that because of Lorraine. And because of Sid, I was always at big shot events with them and they always introduced my husband and I as their close friends.
And so then people want to know about you and you have to be very careful not to say anything that could be misconstrued as asking you can say I really couldn’t even have said I had a book published and gosh, I got some really nice reviews. I’m so proud of my. Do that. You just say, wow, the salmon is really good because most of the [00:09:00] events are fundraising events.
And, I ordered the salmon. So that’s the story I have had a lot of experience with the very, very powerful, my, my godson. Made films with Darren Aronofsky for Darren’s for seven films. And that was also now Darren, I could have asked for something, he just would have said no, but I could have asked because my godson was his producer, but again, you really lean back and go, is that who I want them to think?
I am like, it’s like an opportunist who is here to ask them for something a very interesting line. You always want to, I always want to appear as I am with you. I’m here because you asked me because you seem like a smart person and a nice guy and why the hell wouldn’t I be? You know what I mean? But I’m not going to say to you when we’re done.
Do you think you could get this broadcast on? I don’t know, HBO, I wouldn’t do that because it’s stupid. So you learn when you live in.
[00:09:58] Stephen: I do have to get a broadcast on [00:10:00] HBO, but I’d have to hack into, and I might get arrested. I
[00:10:04] Susan: be there to get you out of jail. That much I could promise you I’d get you out of jail. If you got arrested, see I’m getting but you can’t even look around like that. So I’m happy to be here. I’m happy to be.
[00:10:15] Stephen: Great. Susan, why don’t we talk about your book? Tell us what the title is. And a little bit about what it’s about
[00:10:22] Susan: the road not taken it’s about a woman who gets very suddenly widowed at 50 years old. She’s from a New York background. Her parents ran a nonprofit organization, like human rights watch put about one 10th, the size.
So she’s from a family of nonprofits, social people who did really important work, but she doesn’t have any idea. What her life is about. She felt the pressure to get married. She married a doctor and loved him, and it was a very sweet marriage. And then at 25, she had a child and they moved out of New York into [00:11:00] Connecticut where she was lost.
So he dies very suddenly her daughter’s a grownup and she moves back to Greenwich village, which is where she had gone to school. And she begins to, she goes to Bloomingdale’s one day for a gift with purchase. And she meets a woman who is part of a group called the lost, and the lost have been here for 50 million years.
And they created the planet. They’re my version of the boson particle for people who don’t know what that is, it’s what astrophysicists think. Certain astrophysicists believed that we were created by a tiny particle called the boson particle from which the entire universe I believe grew in.
I found out that I. I thought I had made this up and I was so clever. The last people who got here 50 million years ago, actually Thai time mythology includes a hundred people just like me, who got here 50 million years ago. So it’s not my idea, but I didn’t steal it. Anyway. [00:12:00] There are people who have been here watching the planet the whole time and every 10,000 years or so, they ask a human being who they think is smart, but not necessarily, really fully evolved.
They ask them to do a statement for them about what the planet is worth at this point is the planet worth the oxygen it takes up is the planet worth the maintenance. That’s required because in my cosmology, there’s tons of planets out there. And there are planets that didn’t quite work out because the sun shines too brightly.
And there are planets where, there’s tons of planets and this is the year of evaluating planet earth. And they find my care, my protagonist at Bloomingdale’s. And what she sees in Bloomingdale’s is a woman who looks exactly like her. And exactly. And so she’s very scared and the woman says, no, I’m not going to hurt you.
To help you. And from there, she takes her to angel. She time travels with her [00:13:00] through ancient Egypt and through the main thing that happens is she takes her to the museum, the metropolitan museum, where my character walks into van Gogh’s bedroom and oral, and just walks into the her teacher, this woman who was 50 million years old.
And it looks fantastic by the way, takes her and says, would you like to meet Vincent van Gogh? And my character says, of course. And so she has taken inside the painting into the kitchen and she meets then go and they become very good friends. And a lot of the story is about what she does to try to get his paintings back because.
Very upset that the painting sold for so much money on our drive at houses. He painted them for the people to see, and he doesn’t like that anyway. So she gets a bunch of painters who are dead, who come and do copies of paintings. And she does a little painting swappy so that his paintings, his real paintings go into [00:14:00] museums.
And she also has a love affair with one of the other members of the lost. And she learns a lot from that. She has a good time and she gets to see her parents who have been dead a long time. I have a theory within the book that we all live on the time-space continuum, but in different time frequencies.
So you and I right now are on the same time frequency, but if suddenly you were taken back to the 1880s, Possible. And in my cosmology, then I would wait for you to come back to now to be able to see you. That’s what the book is about. And she learns at the very end, she gives a speech about whether she thinks that this planet is worth the energy that it takes to keep going.
And she is slightly more optimistic than I am. But the major message of the book is if we can’t stop being cruel, hang it up. That’s my major message. And it stays with me.
[00:14:56] Stephen: Wow. Now that sounds very
[00:14:59] Susan: unique.
[00:14:59] Stephen: [00:15:00] What made you want to write this particular book in that particular?
[00:15:03] Susan: The. The documentary job, which I had for 20 years ended. When my partner, I told you Lorraine, when her husband passed away, she did not want to she just really was in such a state of mourning that she couldn’t work anymore.
And so my job ended and at the same time I produced a final play here and COVID started and everything I had going in terms of producing plays at theaters and working on docks ended. And I was sitting in my house and I’ve always been a storyteller when I w I like to say when I was six years old in elementary school, kids who hated me would sit with me at lunch.
Cause I would tell a story at lunch. And even if they didn’t like me, I told good stories. And so I thought, you’re either going to sit here looking at the cats or you’re going to write. I felt really strongly that there aren’t a lot of books out there with female protagonists who [00:16:00] are a little bit different.
I’m not saying there aren’t fantastic books out there, but I like Simone de Beauvoir is novels. I’ve never read the second sex. I don’t need Simone de Beauvoir to tell me that I’m, the second sex, but her novels which not a lot of people in America know about are phenomenal.
And she wrote a novel about a new mortal man and a woman who falls in love with him. And I thought, oh, I could write something magical because the documentary. Not magical and there’s not a word of fiction in them. And even the blogs that I wrote on the place that I wrote, I was, I tend towards surrealism, but that’s not the same as writing a book in which your character, my character would enter engine Egypt by going to the temple of Dendur at the metropolitan museum of art.
And when she would enter the, have you ever been there to the temple of Dendur? It’s a reconnection when the Aswan dam in Egypt got removed a lot of pyramids drowned, [00:17:00] and the temple of Dendur was maintained and brought stone by stone to the metropolitan museums. And I love Egypt. So you can go into the temple and be in a very narrow passageway with hieroglyphs on both sides of you.
And you’re really in ancient Egypt because it was real. So my character would go there. And within seconds, she would begin to feel woozy. She began to understand what it was. It took her a little while. She’s not as smart as we are, but she would begin to feel Lucy as time traveled her back to when there really were temples in Egypt.
And she became friendly with some mythological characters in Egypt, because I know a lot about it, depression mythology, and she became friendly with ISIS, endo Cyrus, who are brothers and sisters and husband and wife. We can deal with that at another time. And and she really, they become helpful to her in her struggle to understand the planet.
And they also help her with the [00:18:00] forgeries of the Vincent van Gogh paintings. She eventually does to get all of his real paintings back into museums so that people can see them because then go is a very spiritual guy. And he really believed his paintings were his direct conversation. The heavens all say.
And so anyway, she meets these mythological Egyptian creatures and they become friends of hers. And jeez, I wanted to write a book about something spectacular for a minute, an early middle-aged woman, because I don’t see a ton of that. And I’m a huge procedural, most of what I watch is law and order.
And so I’m also a big proponent of justice and huge proponent of justice, social and personal. And I’ve learned that there’s a difference. And I learned it. I wanted to write about this woman wanted to write about a family that was gone, but that she could reconnect. If they were in the right time frequency, she could [00:19:00] see her dead father and say things to him.
And I just, I need in my life to believe that right now is not all we have. And I’m not traditionally religious, I’m not waiting for the rainbow Ridge. I had a lot of cats in my life. I don’t expect to see them on the rainbow bridge, but I know that they’re on the time-space continuum. You can turn this off anytime you want to call 9 1 1, but I know that nothing that has ever okay.
So nothing that has ever existed can cease existing. What is it? Neither matter, nor whatever it is, can neither be created nor destroyed. And I believe that. So I took that. I wanted to write about her possibilities to Changed some stuff with her parents that have been hard for her, which she does cause they’re dead and they’re very nice when they’re dead and they can still have wine.
So there’s a lot of very kind of sweet metaphysics in it. Considering that, I was sitting in the house going, can I go out yet? Am I going to get COVID it’s been a hard couple of years for the [00:20:00] entire universe and people who have read the book have said, how did you come out? So hopeful? And I said, gosh, I wasn’t sure it was that hopeful.
But the fact of me looming that if you’ve ever known anybody there somewhere, they may not be able to reach you, but they’re somewhere. And that’s very soothing to me. So I wanted to write a book about.
[00:20:25] Stephen: Nice. And you mentioned some of the feedback. What’s some other feedback you’ve gotten,
[00:20:30] Susan: I give her a really good time. She’s 50 years old and I’m not sure I’m allowed to say this on your interview. Just, X me out. I wanted people to know that a 50 year old woman who loses her husband could get a boyfriend.
So she gets a boyfriend and a lot of the book is about her relationship with him. It’s it’s a very physical relationship and he really falls in love with her, but he’s one of the loss. So he’s been alive 50 million years. So if you think she’s the first person who’s been in love with that would be [00:21:00] wrong because he’s had relationships with women for 50 million years, but he really does find her unique.
And I try to make the point, but he’s also. One of the chores of the people testing the purse, they’re asking my protagonist to give them a summary of the cosmos. And before they do that, they want to make sure that she has dynamic to her personality and it’s his job to test her stamina. And he does some very unkind things to her as part of his job.
And she can’t tell if it’s part of his job until her mentor, the woman who looks exactly like her tells her. And I want it to say 50 year old women have lots of boyfriends or they don’t have boyfriends or they remarried, or they, it’s not all about connecting on the internet with a wifi date, but I really wanted her to be phytol and to learn, to be able to learn and to be able to figure out what the hell life was about.
And then her daughter has a child [00:22:00] and she’s very young to be a grandmother. And when she goes to see the child, one of the nurses is a priestess from the Europa tradition. I don’t know if you know what that is. It’s an, it’s the basis of Hoodoo. And it’s what the slaves brought over from. Nigeria is Europe.
And she meets a Europe, a priestess who’d be friends, or a lot of people see in her. Very kind and very smart woman who has absolutely lost in the, she can find her way to Bloomingdale’s and she can figure stuff out. If she’s given, as I said, all this information and the Europa priestess tells her some stuff about how strong the human spirit is in creating new realities and how powerful the human spirit can be if it’s used properly.
And I believe that too, I believe the human spirit is what we have going for us. If we’re kind, and I’m not saying that I’m not a bitchy person who has said to people, you just stepped in front of me, you fat load but I’m basically a kind [00:23:00] person. And if you said to me, oh, I need help. I would give it to you.
And so she meets up with this Europe, a priestess who happens to be a real friend of mine, and she learns a lot about episodes, real episodes in which. In which the Euro, the tradition and the has changed has saved lives just by their spirit. And so I love that because, as I said, I don’t see myself on the rainbow bridge greeting, Roy Rogers, trigger.
I see myself as someone, but I do see myself as someone who believes that life is unending. That’s why I wanted to write the book. Some of what happened.
[00:23:39] Stephen: And you’re talking about the different time frequencies. I find it interesting that you chose a 50 year old woman, a 50 million year old man, because that way of thinking they’re they could be the same.
[00:23:53] Susan: That’s inter not seeing now you taught me something. I didn’t even think of that. But 50 years old to me [00:24:00] seemed okay, that’s as old as I can make her without really making a statement. I don’t want to say 75 year old women can find boyfriends because of course they can, but that’s a really different story.
My 50 year old woman, he takes her to Moscow and they fly. Air space out. I don’t know how they get to Moscow, but one of the van Gogh paintings she wants to retrieve is in a mansion in Moscow. And he takes her there. I took her a lot of places that I want to go. I’ve always loved the Saint Basil’s cathedral in red square.
It’s so beautiful. And I hate the Russians so much for what they turned into, but yeah, 50 and 50, I never thought of that but my understanding of the, of quantum physics, which is believe me tiny, I think they think the world is about 15 million years old. And I never thought of that. Thank you so much.
50 and 50. So maybe that is something that was, yeah. I wanted her to be [00:25:00] 50 because
[00:25:00] Stephen: okay, so Susan what are some of your favorite books and authors that you like to read?
[00:25:07] Susan: I love Simone de Beauvoir is novels. Don’t bother with the second sex. We all know about that. Her novel. All men are mortal is about a character in French mythology that nobody knows about. He’s about the count of censure, man, the French.
Some French people really believe this. They believe that the count of Sandra man became immortal in the year 1200 and that he walks the banks of the river sand. And that you can hear him at night. If you listen walking the banks of the river center. So she writes a book about a woman who meets him and falls in love with him and he moves on.
I love Simone de Beauvoir. I love PD James. I’m flipping over now. I love mystery stories. I have read every mystery story ever written. My favorite authors are Josephine. PD James Elizabeth, George. I used to like Robert [00:26:00] Parker cause he wrote like Raymond Chandler, then it got a little bit like, okay.
That’s enough of that already? Shakespeare. I assure like Shakespeare. I don’t I love his poetry. I like Bertolt Brecht poetry. I cannot say that. I love his place. I like Wendell Berry. I like some of what I’ve read of Margaret Atwood. I sure as hell was scared by the Handmaid’s tale. I’ve read a lot.
I’ve most of the women who are novelists, who are considered novelists of some stature. And my favorite is to go for it because she is. Beyond incredibly smart. And she writes about stuff I’m interested in and she’s very critical of women is weird because people think of her as this huge proponent of women.
But she is like me. I understand that if people are the second of anything, they’re going to have some ways of dealing with people that aren’t great. And all men are mortal. And then if you really like her, the mandarins [00:27:00] is the story of the Vichy Francis intersection with the existentialist movement.
And I love that for playwrights. You’re not asking it black playwrights. You want novels? I’ve told you Josephine, I love Shakespeare. You can’t really touch Shakespeare for certain things. A glooming piece this morning with it brings the sun for sorrow will not show its head. Oh my God, please leave me alone.
So I love Shakespeare is certainly my favorite playwright. I love a lot of playwrights individual plays because I was in theater a long time, but most of the people I really liked weren’t as famous. I obviously I used to love Woody Allen’s writing. Unfortunately, you get confused between the person and the funny, I love Broadway, Danny rose, but that’s a movie.
It doesn’t really count. I love. Mystery stories. And I do some Wendell Berry wrote some poems that were almost the mad farmer’s Almanac is almost unbelievably [00:28:00] brilliant and tons and tons of stuff Shakespeare wrote. He didn’t write a lot for women characters. I think there are, I used to be an actress.
I think there are five women characters that have anything to say, and one of them is lady Makino who, and she doesn’t end up so good. So she ends up a little bit with get the smell of blood off my hands. And I think wash your hand, sweetie. Get some of the new wipes we have for COVID. I’m trying to think if I’ve missed anybody.
No, I really love those people. And.
[00:28:30] Stephen: You mentioned Robert Parker. I actually just picked up,
[00:28:33] Susan: The first 475 of them are fantastic. They’re really fun. He just does a thing that I was trying to do. I will admit, I was trying to say, I’m going to say something, but you’re going to have so much fun listening to what I have to say that you won’t mind it because I’m going to put in wine and time, with them being romantic and Parker does that better than anybody.
[00:29:00] He really, every single page is filled with some kind of human enjoyment. I met him. He was the father of someone who did one of my plays and he was he is gone. I don’t want to speak ill. He was not the happiest fella in the Napa valley, but he was a really wonderful Raymond Chandler, and I loved his books. I love the character. Have you started it yet? Have you started your first job, but halfway through, so is Hawk in this? Yeah, that relationship is really fresh and really their dialogue really sorta can’t be touched if you’re looking for popular dialogue. And I loved that and I like his relationship with the woman that he’s involved with.
And I think in a certain way, I wanted that I wanted a level of lightness because what I have to say about the planet is not so light. My second book is. Is autobiographical fiction. Cause it’s about a house. My family owned in Greenwich village [00:30:00] in which all of the beat poets ended up. This is not, I’m not making this up.
All of the beat poets ended up living in the house at one time or another. So I had to look into them. And two out of four of the people who lived there were murderers. And I thought, really, this isn’t like fun, but it was interesting. And and I as I said I don’t want to write stuff that takes you four hours to read a paragraph and then you have to read it again that doesn’t, I’m smart.
It still doesn’t interest me. I will tell you one funny story. I read Romeo and Juliet in high school, but I could only read the first half because I just, that was it. I went and I saw the movie that’s deffer, Ellie made. And when they die, I almost had to be taken out in an ambulance. I was in London when I saw the movie, the lovely usher came up to me and said, why didn’t you stay and watch the first half again.
And then I’ll take you out. And she looked at me like, what kind of moron are you? You didn’t read the second [00:31:00] half or they die. And I said, no, I wasn’t, I didn’t read it. I liked it. They got married as far as I was concerned. Okay, good. So when they died, it was a terrible, I’m so embarrassed. It was a terrible shock.
And she had to give me candy. She was so sweet because I was lying on the floor, like pounding my fist. And I don’t know anyone else who was that stupid, but I was, so those are my favorites and I you’ll love Rob. You’ll love him. I’ll tell you what some of them are. You can’t, you just don’t want to do your show or even get up and take a shower.
Cause they’re so like engaging in the Lang his language is so would be, and I met him and I said, you are my favorite pop culture writer. And he got so mad at me and I thought that’s a big compliment coming from me. I don’t like phony intellectual realism. I don’t want to read a seven page paragraph, but he didn’t like it.
He said, I am not a pop culture writer. And I [00:32:00] said, Hey, sorry. I loved his books and that sort of made up for it. You’ll have a, you have a great seven years ahead of you. He wrote a lot of books,
[00:32:09] Stephen: nonstop, Robert Parker reading, at least the good thing is the good thing is you can find them at all the used bookstores, very readily,
[00:32:19] Susan: right?
Josephine tase book, Brett. If anybody is interested, it’s old and it’s out of print, but Brett Farrar is one of the most amazing mystery stories. She’s the progenitor of a certain kind of mystery story where the person isn’t too, it’s the talented Mr. Ripley, the person isn’t who the person seems to be, but she does it.
She’s a wonderful writer, Josephine , but she’s from a long time ago. So I don’t know if people would care. It’s not an old fashioned novel because, oh, I’m sorry. Forgive me. Agatha Christie kept me so happy for so many years. I could read her fuel, borrow novels [00:33:00] over and over again, because same deal. I liked my stuff kind of light, but still, with good material in it.
[00:33:09] Stephen: Did you see the a nine?
[00:33:12] Susan: No. Tell me. Oh,
[00:33:16] Stephen: Check it out. It’s very Agatha Christie. Our Hitchcock feel it’s got a lot of stars in it, but it’s a good little mystery. Very well done, very fun movies, check it out. My
[00:33:27] Susan: husband and I looked for something every night because otherwise we watch law and order and law and order because those episodes, some of them are so brilliant and that, a lot of them are written by a playwright named Warren light and another playwright named Eric Overmeyer.
Dick Wolf was the first person to take playwrights into the TV. No, I’m sorry. Homicide. Baltimore was the first one and it was Eric Overmeyer. But anyway, I love playwrights and I think they write the best TV [00:34:00] procedurals because. Playwrights.
[00:34:04] Stephen: Nice. Okay. Susan there, around your neighborhood in Hollywood or wherever, do you have a favorite bookstore?
[00:34:11] Susan: Yes, it’s called counterpoint and there’s another one called skylight and they’re pretty in close proximity to me in Hollywood. Skylight is on Vermont, right below Franklin and counterpoint is on Franklin at Bronson and people. People in this vicinity should go there because they’ve survived. COVID and they’re both very large and they, and each of them has the regular bookstore.
I’m so sorry. Counterpoint has a bookstore, but it also has records and CDs used records and CDs, and they both have art bookstores right. Adjacent to them. And those are interesting. I didn’t think they would survive COVID but I guess they did. They’re really beautiful. And if you want a bar, I like books and paintings.
Counterpoint and skylight are the [00:35:00] two in my vicinity. There used to be what the hell is the name of that? I’m so sorry, Barnes and noble somewhere nearby, but they’re not here anymore. So those are my bookstores
[00:35:11] Stephen: or so Susan, before we go on the first half of the podcast here, Good. Tell everybody real quick, why they should,
[00:35:21] Susan: why they should.
Read my book. Is that what you said? I think it’s very unique and I think that if you want to read about, there’s a lot of mythological stuff in it, a lot of time travel, I don’t time travel to Disney world. I time travel to ancient Egypt, to the Giza pyramids. And I really do know a lot about Osiris and ISIS.
And if you like mythology and or painting, I have a couple of scenes where basically every painter you’ve ever heard of comes together to do this project of copying van Gogh paintings. It’s a unique look. [00:36:00] At paintings and painters and mythology. And that’s not for everybody, but I will say this for the other people design a lot of really pleasant sex in it.
And a lot of red wine and they eat a lot of good New York food. And most of it when she’s not in ancient Egypt, she’s on Bleecker street, near McDougall. And if anybody knows what that is at the time I was writing about it, that’s as hip as it gets. It is no longer, but Bleaker and McDougal is as hip as it gets.
Or as we used to say, that was where it was at. And so it’s got a lot of New York in it for people who do or don’t like New York. It’s a very it’s a New York lovers look at New York. I don’t talk about what is obviously a preponderance of terrible stuff. Read the book. If you’re interested in something that you won’t have ever read, anything like before it’s trippy and it’s.
And she doesn’t take drugs. I, that she thinks red wine, but these people take her a lot of places that nobody else gets to go. And then [00:37:00] in the end, see if you agree with what she says about whether the planet is worth saving and if so, how do we save it? Cause we, we’ve been given the some. Sort of negative information about it’s too late.
The scientists said it’s too late. I never think it’s too late. Save it already. You know what I mean? If you think it’s worth it, save the planet if for nothing else for the cats and the dogs and the elephants, because they had nothing to do with this and we should save the planet for the animals. They had nothing to do with all of this stuff.
So if you want to read, oh, there are, excuse me, two cats in the book who are boyfriend and girlfriend. And they live with my protagonist and they are very wise as they are Greenwich village cats and they speak to her and they, they criticize her, she brings home the wrong thing for them to eat.
And they’re very lovely cats. If you like animals, you like the book because the cats. Also take her to the zoo where she meets us, no leopard, who she becomes friendly with all of the animals are talkative. [00:38:00] And so it’s only if you want to take a trip with this woman, but it’s a fun, it’s a very fun trip.
There’s no tragedy. There’s no moments of, there are no moments of terrible sorrow. There’s one moment of terrible fear, but she gets out of it. She wins. My, my protagonist is a winner.
[00:38:19] Stephen: Nice. All right. This is a great target. When you write your book, we’re not going to go do some author discussion here next, but I appreciate it.
You’re in the book. Thank you.
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