Given my love of movies, old Hollywood, casting and fiction writing, it was probably inevitable that my first published novel would encompass all of these. And not too surprising that it would star the late, great Bette Davis.
Bumpy Night of the Walk of Fame is being released as an e-book by Uncial Press in June. Here’s the story line, a blend of film lore, fiction, speculation and wishful thinking.
After Bette Davis posthumously founds a museum-theater complex at her hometown college, the Producer on high fulfills her longtime dream of playing Scarlett O’Hara. But Bette has no idea how much she’ll shake up her career and her love life by starring in Gone with the Wind. And that’s only the beginning. Her cosmic do-over also manages to scramble eighty years of world history.
Ronald Reagan will win two Oscars and never become President while John Kennedy marries Grace Kelly and serves two terms. Marilyn Monroe will turn into a sitcom legend, Jacqueline Bouvier will run a style empire and Martha Stewart will become a celebrity chef.
To curator Dana Foster’s horror, the casting reboot plays havoc with her exhibits and replica Hollywood Walk of Fame. It turns egotistical superstar Patrice Clark into a nobody just as she is about to become the museum’s first Hall of Fame inductee. She’s outraged when she finds Meryl Streep is being honored instead and the Patrice Clark Walk of Fame star now bears Michelle Pfeiffer’s name.
Racing against time, the movie-loving academic and the high-strung diva form an uneasy alliance to unravel the mystery before the next day’s induction ceremony.
While they spend a stressful but enlightening day trying to restore order, the Producer takes Bette on a bumpy multi-media ride of her own. As she sees favorite film roles elude her and her onetime husband marry another, she mourns all she has sacrificed by starring in Gone with the Wind and fears her derailed history can’t be fixed.
Seeing that Patrice and Dana’s investigation is stalled, Bette gets permission to make a cameo appearance on earth and lend them a hand. In the process, the trio learns new lessons about film, fate and roads not taken.
If you want to learn more about Bumpy Night on the Walk of Fame or pre-order a copy, here are the Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo links: