In November 2008, I had the thrill of publishing my first novel…I say “first” as if I’ll ever have the strength to do another!
TARNISHED HALO took me almost two years to write, but it was an experience I’ll never forget. As usual, I drew from real life when writing the book. Here are some examples:
Fred Spencer is based on Cary Grant. Fred is my husband’s name. Betty is my mother’s name.
At the beginning of the book, Fred Spencer is filming a movie with Diane Calic. In 1945, Cary Grant filmed Notorious with Ingrid Bergman. Diane is based on Ingrid, although later in the book it is revealed that she is friends with the real Ingrid Bergman.
Walter Charleston is Alfred Hitchcock, who directed Cary and Ingrid in Notorious.
Col.William Martin (aka movie star Bill Martin) is based on Jimmy Stewart, who returned from the war and the party at the Starlight Club actually happened. Laura Holmes is based on his wife Gloria, who was a model when he met her. Laura Holmes is my daughter’s name.
Fred’s story of his childhood and rise to fame is based on Cary’s real-life story. Cary’s mother was really named Elsie.
Joyce Barrington is based on Cary Grant’s second wife, Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton. The reference to Fred working behind the soda fountain at Woolworth’s was intentional.
Harvey Hawkins is based on Howard Hughes. The incident where he and Fred are missing in Mexico actually happened.
Cary Grant was awarded the King’s medal for donating his film slary to the British War Effort.
Betty’s reference to Jim Hicks’ accident in Paris really happened. Jim Hicks is my father, and he ended up in the hospital for three days when we vacationed together in Paris.
Debbie is based on someone from my life, who shall remain nameless for obvious reasons!
Susan Anderson is based on Cary’s fourth wife, Dyan Cannon.
Jeremy Webb is based on a very dear friend. He forgives me for killing his character!
Ingrid Berman died of breast cancer, just as Diane Calic does.
Cary Grant’s daughter was named Jennifer.
Love Forever is actually Love Affair. Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer starred in it in 1939, not Clark Gable, as it says in the book. Cary Grant remade the movie into An Affair to Remember.