[UPDATE TO LISTENERS: Recordings for Catherine Hein's The Celebrity are on pause for a few weeks while she gets through some health procedures and related tsuris. Wanda will be back! Correspondence and well wishes may be sent via email@example.com. Thanks for your understanding.]
This week: Some people are the type to jump on a message marked "Urgent." For Wanda, it's complicated.
In what one listener describes as "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" if it were written by a woman, Catherine Hein's historical novel traces the journey of Wanda Fleming, the tenacious, calamity-prone co-host fatale of TV's Daytalk in the spring of 1962.
Called to her grandmother's funeral in Orange County, the heroine must face life without her closest ally, settle on one lover, conquer her eating disorder, and ace a round of Password in order to secure a coveted game-show gig. . . if the world doesn't change too much first.
Hein's former life took her from 20 years in the entertainment industry to two years in a homeless women's shelter. That's where Wanda, the reigning spirit of this epic two-volume novel of early ‘60s Hollywood, was born.
Hein's other writing credits include The Bob Newhart Show and a children's story series in The Los Angeles Times about a traveling circus in occupied France. She now holds a master’s degree in English and an MFA in Fiction from California State University, Long Beach.
Host Alan Rifkin's novels, essays and short stories of Los Angeles have been published widely. Learn more about him at www.alanrifkin.com.
Intro music is from the song "Slow," performed by Sally Dworsky. Written by Sally Dworsky and Chris Hickey. Available on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music and all other streaming platforms.
Closing credit music for Season 3 is performed by Ben Rifkin.
Podcast art by Ryan Longnecker.