Ever wondered what it’s like to be a Hollywood sitcom writer? In this second book of Janice Thompson‘s Backstage Pass series we meet Athena Pappas, head writer of the wildly popular Stars Collide sitcom. What she can’t figure out is why, when the show has won major awards, the manager has hired a new writer for the team. Doesn’t the current team’s record stand for itself? When Athena learns that the new writer is a famous Vegas comedian, Stephen Cosse, she begins to fear for her job.
Stephen has been a single dad for several years and is looking for stability for his young daughter. The Pappas family, owners of Hollywood’s hottest Greek restaurant, show him what a real Greek extended family is like. The cousins pull his daughter into their circle and Stephen himself is drawn to Athena, who is not only the Pappas’ youngest daughter but his boss.
Janice Thompson’s books are always filled with humor. One of the things I enjoyed the most in Hello, Hollywood, as a writer myself, was Stephen’s determination to learn about writing sitcoms (as opposed to solo routines). During the novel he takes a course on the Hero’s Journey and keeps Athena informed as to which stage of the classic storyline their relationship is currently at. I got quite a few laughs out of this!
The Director’s Cut
Tia Morales is the director of the popular sitcom Stars Collide. It’s her job to take the script the writers (Athena, Stephen, and team) have created and work with the actors and cameramen to pull the whole package together. At least on the set, Tia’s life is carefully scripted and people respect her. In her personal life, her parents’ marriage is on-again-off-again and her brothers have trouble keeping jobs. Her younger sister has just finished beauty school, and their parents are sure Tia can wave her magic wand and get Benita a job. To Tia’s dismay, it is almost that easy. Now she has to deal with her sister flirting with all the guys on the set as well, lessening Tia’s control of Stars Collide.
Jason Harris, one of the cameraman, doesn’t seem to fall under Benita’s charms. Still, he continually seems to butt heads with Tia. If only he weren’t so opinionated. If only he weren’t so popular with the cast. If only he weren’t so cute.
Jason, for his part, comes from an upper crust family. Tia is ashamed of her own family and, as her relationship with Jason begins to grow, struggles with allowing Jason to see the real Tia Morales. She’s the boss on the Stars Collide set, but in real life, it seems she’s anything but in control.
In The Director’s Cut, the final book in the Backstage Pass series, Janice Thompson wields comedy and reality to provide a glimpse into the makings of a sitcom and one woman’s issues with control.
I reviewed Book 1, Stars Collide here. It’s the romance of the two lead actors on the sitcom and also introduces most of the characters that inhabit the second and third books as well. If you enjoy romantic comedy and are interested in life in Hollywood, you’ll enjoy the whole series. They’re all available in both paperback and digital versions.
Janice Thompson got her start in the industry writing screenplays and musical comedies for the stage. She’s published over fifty books for the Christian market, crossing genre lines to write cozy mysteries, historicals, romances, nonfiction books, devotionals, children’s books and more. Janice is passionate about her faith and does all she can to share the joy of the Lord with others, which is why she particularly enjoys writing. She lives in Spring, Texas, where she leads a rich life with her family, a host of writing friends, and two mischievous dachshunds. She does her best to keep the Lord at the center of it all.
I picked up the Kindle version of Stars Collide when it was free last fall. I purchased the Kindle version of Hello, Hollywood. I received a paper copy of The Director’s Cut from Graf-Martin Communications for the purposes of review. Opinions, as always, are mine alone.
“The Director’s Cut has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group”.