Wednesday 26 February 2014

Guest Post: Christine Elise McCarthy

I have been a professional actress for 25 years - but I always had aspirations to write. A wrote a few episodes of the original 90210, but that didn't satisfy my fantasy of being an author. Then, a few years ago, a friend challenged me to write a short essay & submit it to a Los Angeles comedy show called Four Stories & a Cover. It was a live show at the United Citizens Brigade Theater in Hollywood where writers read true, comic stories about themselves. She said she would do it if I did. Well, I did – and she didn’t. I was accepted & the night I was to read it on stage, they asked me for a title. Caught off guard, I quickly said, “Uhm – Bathing & the Single Girl?”

They said OK & my journey began. I read the piece that night and it was really well received. A friend who saw me do it said, “You should have recorded that! It was hilarious! Your agent could use that to show casting directors that you can be funny!”

So – I read it again at another theater – Naked Angels. A friend videotaped it and I posted that video on Facebook.

A few days later, a friend who happens to be an A-list commercial cinematographer wrote me and suggested I turn it into a short film. He said, “The piece is so funny but that video is so ugly. Make a movie! Make it pretty!”

So – I did. That ten minute short film of the same name went on to screen at over 100 film festivals and won 20 awards. It was at this point that yet another person made yet another fateful suggestion.

“Say, Christine! You should expand that movie into novel form!”

So I did! I wrote the book in a few short months. I shopped it around and got an agent and she shopped it around and I rewrote it a few times and about two years later - Bathing & the Single Girl – The Novel – was released! It is not the great American novel. It is intended as pure comedy. It is Fifty Shades of Grey – if Larry David had written it. It is HBO’s Girls – 15 years & no personal successes later. It is a book of awkward sex and embarrassing, personal defeats. It is a book of always trying and never succeeding. 

It is raunchy and raw and, I hope, it is the funniest book you will ever read.

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