Hollywood glitz unveiled for Richmond Literature Festival

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Novelist, journalist: Daisy Waugh Novelist, journalist: Daisy Waugh

Novelist, columnist and journalist Daisy Waugh will transport audiences to glamorous 1920s Hollywood where her latest two novels are set.

Waugh, who has published seven novels, worked as an agony aunt and wrote the Sunday Times lifestyle column, will talk as part of this year’s Richmond Literature Festival.

Her novels Last Dance with Valentino and Melting the Snow on Hester Street explore the showbiz world of Hollywood, which she was drawn into while working as a documentary researcher.

She says: “When I first came up against all that period I was living in Hollywood at the time.

“Because I didn’t have children in those days and had a lot more time I became completely obsessed.

“I had this massive and wonderful area of knowledge which I have always wanted to write about.”

The mother-of-three comes from a family of literary heavyweights but prefers to do her own thing and enjoys the variation of writing.

She says: “I do my own thing. I write what I write. I get a bit tired of it all. It would have been lovely if I had ended up making aeroplanes but I haven’t. It’s what I do.

“I quite like the variation and whatever I am doing I hanker after the other.

“With journalism you get the adrenaline and kicks from deadlines.

“Novel writing is lovely. It’s a sense of creating your own magical world and a massive sense of achievement when you have done it and you feel you have done it well.

“You create this world no matter what is going on in the outside world you can retire into, unlike journalism when you are right in it. It’s a wonderful private world which you created and which you have complete control over.”

Melting the Snow on Hester Street follows a charming high-society couple, actor and actress Maximilian and Eleanor Beecham who appear to have it all.

Beneath the sophistication and glamour of their world their insecure and unhappy marriage is on the brink of divorce and their finances are teetering on a knife’s edge.

Last Dance with Valentino introduces the Gatsby-esque elegance of 1916 New York, where Jenny Doyle, who set sail from war ravaged London, finds her only escape in her friendship with Rodolfo.

But when Rodolfo takes his place on the silver screen will the world’s most desired film star and his lost love have their Hollywood happy ending?

Daisy Waugh at Richmond Literature Festival; Kitson Hall, Kitson Road, Barnes; Friday, November 8, at 7.30pm; Tickets £10, concessions £8.50. Visit richmondliterature.com; call 020 8831 6494.

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