Sunday, March 29, 2015

Hallie Ephron

New York Times best selling author Hallie Ephron grew up in a family of writers and a household filled with books. Her parents were Henry and Phoebe Ephron who wrote screenplays for classic movies like Carousel and Daddy Long Legs. Hallie was the last of their four daughters (she’s #3 of Nora, Delia, Hallie, Amy) to start writing or, as she calls it, succumb to her genes.

A three-time finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark Award, Ephron’s new suspense novel is Night Night, Sleep Tight. Set in Beverly Hills in the 1960s and 1980s, it is inspired by Ephron’s experiences growing up there in a Hollywood family.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Ephron's reply:
I just finished savoring Tara Ison's Reeling Through Life: How I Learned to Live, Love and Die at the Movies.

Ms. Ison is a self proclaimed “child of the movies, a movie freak, a film junkie, a cineaste.” Her book is perfect for the similarly afflicted. I grew up, as she did, in movie-obsessed Southern California, my parents were screenwriters, and I think my "reality" came more from the movies than from real life, too.

Reeling is part literary memoir and part a cavalcade of those movies that moved her and taught her essential life lessons like “How to go Crazy,” “How to be a Drunk,” and “How to Lose Your Virginity.”

My own movie lessons on losing virginity came from two Natalie Woods movies: Splendor in the Grass and Marjorie Morningstar, both cautionary tales from a more innocent (or perhaps just more secretive) era. Coming along ten years later, Ms. Ison’s came from Little Darlings and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. I love that she includes excerpts from the scripts -- and why not, after all she's a recovered screenwriter (co-writer of the cult film Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead). Her reflections are deeply personal, profound, sad and hilarious.
Visit Hallie Ephron's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue