Monday, December 04, 2006

Douglas' Quest
twists, turns
to iUniverse

In Diana Douglas’ new book, The Quest, Carolyn Reed is searching for answers and searching for her mother. Reed’s investigation leads her from her sheltered Los Angeles life, to a cabin in Maine and then on to France to unravel a cover-up dating back to World War II.

Douglas’ efforts to write and publish the book took almost as many twists and turns before ending up at iUniverse.

“I had started some time back. Quite a long time back,” Douglas said. “It was in the 80s when the search for Klaus Barbie was still going on. I had always been intrigued by the background of The French Resistance and did quite a lot of research on it. An agent accepted the first draft and was about to send it out to publishers, when Klaus Barbie was captured. The agent said to me 'That'll teach you not to base any fiction on a living character' and withdrew it.

“Over the years I would come back to the idea and it went through (more than one) metamorphosis, ending up close to 400 pages. My new agent, Claudia Menza, was very enthusiastic about the book and submitted it to top publishers who were complimentary about the writing, but unsure about what genre it belonged in. After almost three years of this, at my husband's urging, I said ‘the hell with it — I'll cut scenes and characters, speed it up and make it into a thriller.’ Hence, iUniverse.”

Her husband, Donald Webster, has two books with iUniverse, The Beckoning and Blood Son.

Douglas already had a publishing credit to her name before putting out The Quest. In 1999, Barricade Books published her memoir, In the Wings. Douglas tells how she met and married a young actor, Kirk Douglas, in New York City. While the marriage was short, it did produce two sons, Michael and Joel (Michael wrote the forward to the book). She later married the late actor-producer-novelist Bill Darrid. She enjoyed steady work as an actress herself. Her television credits alone cover a wide variety of productions including Flipper, Barnaby Jones, The Streets of San Francisco, Days of Our Lives, The Waltons, Knots Landing, Lou Grant, Remington Steele, Cagney & Lacey and The West Wing.

“(In the Wings) originated because my son, Michael, asked me for a memoir for his son, Cameron,” Douglas said. “It took four years. I wrote it with no thought of publishing until friends suggested that it should be, and Barricade Books took it immediately.”

Diana, Kirk, Michael and Cameron Douglas all starred in the 2003 theatrical release, It Runs in the Family.

Diana has some additional projects in the works.

“I'm working off and on on a sequel or addition to In The Wings, as so much has happened since. I'll call it The View from Here. I have a play I wrote called Valldemosa about the time that Frederic Chopin and George Sand spent with her children in Majorca. It will be performed at the theater in Woodland Hills at The Motion Picture & Televisions Fund for a charity benefit on Feb, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th.”

Douglas had a positive experience with iUniverse.

“I was very impressed with the assistance from iUniverse. They designed a splendid cover without my help. (They) did a very good blurb piece on the back,” she said. “When the author copies arrived, I had the same reaction as when Wings came out - checking all the pages like counting my babies toes!”


Anonymous Chris Webber said...

Tried both the e-mail addresses you sent me and they both bounced back! I'm interested in working with you - but how do I get in touch?
Beyond Beowulf

December 12, 2006 at 3:00 PM  

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