by Kyle Mittan
Tucson author Steven Painter is an expert in film studies, and he’s sharing his expertise with his latest book, Take Her For A Ride.
The book, which follows a film producer in 1930s Hollywood as he tries to save his studio from demise during the Great Depression, calls on a number of actual events that Painter said he researched during the course of his writing. A graduate of the University of Arizona’s media arts program, Painter holds a master’s degree, and researched events from the period using the help of a few professors.
Inspiration for the novel’s premise, Painter said, came from a long-standing interest in movies from that era.
“I’ve always been entranced by classic film,” Painter said, adding that the 1942 classic Casablanca, despite being from a later decade, served as a basis for “Take Her For A Ride’s” storyline. Many of the characters, he added, are based on actual Hollywood actors from that time period.
Though Painter decided to take on the challenge of self-publishing the book, it wasn’t quite as difficult as it can be for some authors, he said, adding that his job with a local publisher gave him an inside look at the process. Additionally, Painter added that the story itself is what counts, regardless of who’s behind it.
“I was told that it’s the quality of the story that counts,” Painter added. “It doesn’t really matter who’s publishing it if the story is good.”
Overall, the process took eight months after Painter began writing in August last year.
While the novel’s premise obviously caters to those interested in classic film, Painter added that anyone interested in mystery and historical novels would enjoy Take Her For A Ride. The theme of the book, he added, was to give a more accurate look at the glamour of Hollywood, and illustrate how difficult filmmaking is.
With the first book on shelves, Painter said he intends to make a series set in the 1930s, with Take Her For A Ride serving as the leadoff. He added that the Great Depression made for a “perfect decade” to write about.