Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Guest Post & Giveaway: Author Lisa Maliga - Out of the Blue


"Movies and Writing"
By Lisa Maliga

Bells, of the well-named Hanging with Bells blog, has suggested the fun and thoughtful topic of how movies have inspired my writing. Naturally, I'm a movie buff and I'm inspired by so many of 'em! 

Watching The Shining many times I not only thought that Jack Nicholson was sexy—well, before the character of Jack Torrance went haywire—but there's a scene in that movie that I can identify with strongly. I even made sure my Mom saw this part [when I was living at home], and said that whenever I was in my room working on my computer that's what I was doing – working. She was offended because the character was a man who cursed and she always thought that Jack was so dirty that "he could stand underneath a shower for two weeks and he still wouldn't be clean."

There are loads of movies about writers. In My Brilliant Career, Judy Davis plays a young Australian aspiring author back in the early 1900s and the handsome and debonair Sam Neill portrayed her suitor. He actually was one of the inspirations behind the Alexander Thorpe character in Out of the Blue.

Apocalypse Now and The Wizard of Oz played roles in my Hollywood novel, North of Sunset. The main character, Sherman Lee, is an action movie producer so back in 1996 [when the novel takes place] he's watching the mega long version of the Vietnam war film which wasn’t available to the movie-going public back then. On a personal note, I was privileged to see The Wizard of Oz on the big screen in the now defunct Hollywood Galaxy theatre. It was the first time I'd ever seen it in the movies and I had a different perspective and saw character interactions that I'd never noticed when viewing it on TV, whether via the VCR or DVD player. 

I find Sunset Boulevard depressing and Julie & Julia charming but I've not seen every movie that deals with writers. I try to imagine my books as movies, and when writing a scene in Out of the Blue, I listened to music from Rod Stewart to soak myself in the mood of that time period. The song I mentioned, "Passion," was heard in a 1980's movie that I managed to miss, New York Nights. That's why I thank the singer/songwriter in the Acknowledgments section of my book, as his music inspired the scene where Sylvia Gardener, my main character's driving in the snow and imaging Alexander as she listens to the song, almost getting into an accident. Even during the final read-through, I was transported to the imaginary Southern Illinois city of Richport to a cold and snowy December evening…and I hope the reader will also escape to another time…another place.

Author Bio:
Lisa Maliga has been writing ever since she learned how to put crayon to paper back in kindergarten. Since then, she has learned to type and uses a laptop, citing it as way more convenient.

A fan of taking digital photos, you will find some of them on her website and in her nonfiction books. The masthead is a shot of the Pacific Ocean taken at sundown. Variations of this photo are seen on the covers of North of Sunset and her short story collection, South of Sunset. As an avid squirrel-watcher, all photos in Squirrels in the Hood were taken by the author.

Buy Links:

Buy the Amazon Kindle version:
Out of the Blue

Buy the Amazon UK Kindle version:
Out of the Blue

Buy the Barnes & Noble Nook version:
Out of the Blue

Buy the Barnes & Noble Nook UK version:
Out of the Blue

Buy the Kobo version:
Out of the Blue

Buy the Smashwords version: 
Out of the Blue

Sylvia Gardner is a na├»ve cashier who lives with her mother in Richport, Illinois. Upset with being dumped by her first boyfriend; she later falls in love with an English actor after watching him on a TV show. For two years she researches Alexander Thorpe's life and career, saving her money to travel to his Cotswolds village, intent on meeting him. Staying in the village's only hotel, she gets room and board in exchange for working at the Windrush Arms Hotel. Complications ensue when the drunken hotelier, Harry Livingstone, takes a fancy to Sylvia. As in her fantasies, Sylvia and Alexander get together—but with unexpected results.

Giveaway: Two winners will win an ebook copy of Out Of The Blue, and the first place winner also has their choice of one of the following:

Hollywood Office Temp
I WANT YOU: Seduction Emails from a Narcissis
Love Me, Need Me: A Narcissist's Tale
North of Sunset
Notes from Nadir
Satan's Casting Call
South of Sunset
The Wilkes House Haunting
12 Easy Melt and Pour Soap Recipes
Monoi de Tahiti: Spa in a Bottle
Nuts About Shea Butter
Squirrels in the Hood

Click on pic below to find out more about this tour: 


  1. Thanks for being a part of the tour. :)

  2. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me in contest.

  3. I will never watch a Jack Nicholson movie without thinking about what your Mother said. You had me laughing. Jack played a romance writer in AS GOOD AS IT GETS. He did NOT like to be disturbed & in THE SHINING he WAS disturbed.

    A great post.


  4. Thanks, Mary! I also enjoyed him in the movie As Good As It Gets.

  5. Great post! The book also looks very good, would love to read it. Thanks for the giveaway chance!