It’s exceedingly difficult for a journalist to write a novel, which I found out when I did just that at the onset of the 1990s and loudly flopped with it.
I had all the details right. I just couldn’t build a strong work of fiction around it since it felt like a work of non fiction being suffocated by a roman-a-clef.
The real people and events we journos are accustomed to documenting are just so much more interesting than anything most of us could ever make up, which is why my novel paled next to my regular columns of club antics and blind items.
But Us Weekly film critic Thelma Adams seems to have found the knack with her wickedly witty novel Playdate.
It’s a satirical romp through the complexity of relationships and families, set in a California suburb about to be symbolically disturbed by neighboring brush fires.
The central characters are Lance, a former weatherman and stay-at-home dad, and his workaholic wife Darlene, who’s sort of a nouveau Mildred Pierce, with her very own diner franchise.
Add a sexually randy couple down the street and throw in a tantric sex scene that involves “enflaming the drag goddess,” and you’ve got enough complications for a hit novel.
The one I never wrote!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 14, 2011