It tells the deeply hideous story
of what happens when my mother dies
and I'm dragged three thousand miles away
from my gorgeous boyfriend, Ray,
to live in L.A. with my father,
who I've never even met
because he's such a scumbag that he
divorced my mom before I was born.
The only way I've ever even seen him
is in the movies,
since he's this mega-famous actor
who's been way too busy
trying to win Oscars
to even visit me once in fifteen years.
Everyone loves my father.
Everyone but me.
One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies takes place in Hollywood, just a few miles away from where I'm living now. I grew up near Boston, but moved to L.A. in my twenties to work for a famous film director. The first time I walked through the gates of MGM, the guard actually saluted me and said, “Welcome aboard!” I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Hollywood seemed so glamorous and exciting. But it was like living on a different planet. So when I was writing Ruby’s story, I could draw on memories of my own culture shock. Seeing palm trees everywhere, movie stars standing in line at the drugstore. I even got a ticket for crossing the street—just like Ruby.