Writing What I Know: The Backstage World of a Working Actor by Kathryn Leigh Scott
The old adage “write what you know” certainly applies to me with my twin careers as a writer and an actor. My mystery romance series is set in Hollywood and features a veteran actress, Meg Barnes, who once starred in a popular TV series playing amateur sleuth, Jinx Fogarty. I began my career as an actress playing Josette DuPres in the classic Gothic daytime series Dark Shadows, which has a cult following to this day. I completely relate to Meg Barnes, who knows that no matter what other roles she plays in her career, she will always be known as Jinx Fogarty. Thanks to my role playing the fiancé of vampire Barnabas Collins, I will always be remembered as Josette.
I wrote my first romance novel, Dark Passages, with a wink and a nod to Dark Shadows, but made the ingénue actress a real vampire struggling to live a normal life among mortals. Of course she fell in love with her leading man, a handsome Brit actor not at all happy to find himself cast as a vampire in a television series! Yes, I had a lot of fun drawing on what was so familiar to me from Dark Shadows, but even though I drew on my experiences as a young actress doing a live television soap in the 1960s, the story I created is entirely fictional. Nothing in the plot of Dark Passages ever happened in the real behind-the-scenes world of Dark Shadows—and I certainly wasn’t a vampire! But how delicious to set my imagination free and explore “what if” I was a vampire and fell in love with a mortal. I already have the plotline for the sequel—and yes, despite the complications, she and her leading man are finding true love together.
I draw on everything I’ve experienced in my career as an actress working in theater, film and television to write the mystery romance series featuring Meg Barnes as Jinx Fogarty. Meg is a beloved actress who has enjoyed considerable success, winning an Emmy for her portrayal of Jinx Fogarty, and lives an enviable life until she falls for the wrong man. Her second husband turns out to be a conman and she loses everything, including friends, career, home and reputation, and ends up living on the streets of Beverly Hills in her “Ritz-Volvo.” She uses everything she’s ever learned playing an amateur sleuth to track down her fugitive husband and find redemption—and love with the right man, a handsome FBI agent, who at first suspects her of being an accomplice in her husband’s fraud.
I know the behind-the-scenes world of Hollywood well, and the sound stages where I continue to work in such popular television series as The Goldbergs and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. In my newly-released novel Jinxed, the sequel to Down and Out in Beverly Heels, Meg finds herself on the comeback trail with a new series—and facing an old adversary, who jeopardizes her life and a chance at redeeming all that she’s lost. I know how precarious the career of a working actor can be and I pour all of what I’ve personally experienced, from the bitter disappointments to the heights of exhilaration, into the fictional world of Meg Barnes.
Kathryn Leigh Scott, author, publisher and actress is probably best known for her star turn as Josette Du Pres, ingénue bride of reluctant vampire Barnabas Collins in the TV cult classic “Dark Shadows.” Her third novel, Jinxed (a Jinx Fogarty Mystery) (Februrary 2015), is a sequel to the successful Down and Out in Beverly Heels (Montlake Romance, 2013). While continuing her acting career, Kathryn launched Pomegranate Press to publish books about the entertainment industry, “Dark Shadows” fan books, and other nonfiction and fiction titles. She continues her acting career playing George Segal’s girlfriend Miriam in “The Goldbergs” and she recently appeared in the 2015 mid-season launch of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
Your journal can be your therapist, your best friend and ..
Book’d in Burbank, a social gathering that treats book lovers ..
Kathryn Leigh Scott is the author of Down & Out in ..
There's nothing we love more at Shelf Pleasure than a ..
Author and Shelf Pleasure contributor Karen A. Chase on how ..
One of author Mary Miley’s favorite things about being a ..