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Mountains – Reason 8

Here are my TOP TEN REASONS for writing The Mountains Bow Down.

#8: Movie Stars

Mountains Bow Down

Some actors have my undying admiration. I can name three of them right off the top of my head: Robert Duvall, Clint Eastwood, and Tom Selleck, who is perfection personified in those Jesse Stone TV movies.

But too many actors use scandal to build entire careers. Serial divorces, trips to rehab, drunk-and-disorderly behavior—it gets their name into the papers. And, like a lot of people, I’m sick of the meaningless “news” about insecure narcissists whose f-bombing mouths have nothing interesting to say. And please, don’t get me started on their politics.



Among the greatest pleasures of writing novels is the ample opportunity to channel annoyances into character portraits. Which is why The Mountains Bow Down brims with Hollywood people—from actors and producers to bodyguards and hangers-on.

Inspiration was always close at hand. As a reporter I wrote a lot of celebrity profiles, including one about an actress *cough-photo* who tried to get me fired because the story wasn’t flattering. Unfortunately for her cause, the story was accurate.

When Raleigh Harmon’s forced to work among preening “beautiful people,” her threshold for baloney is higher than mine. But not much.

Here’s a short excerpt from The Mountains Bow Down. Raleigh is trying to interview the Hollywood people about a movie producer who was discovered dead that morning:

I showed my FBI credentials, reminding the producer’s wife.

“Huh,” she said. “Is this something with the movie?”


“Did I ever tell you I did two movies that had FBI agents in them?”

Three times. “Yes, you did.”

“None of the agents was female,” she continued, once more. “If I’d played the agent we would’ve made money.”

I gave my official smile, an expression Quantico issued on graduation day. “Is Mr. Sparks available?”

“You know how to spell my name, right?” She spelled it. “Rhymes with ‘Harrah.’ “

“Got it.” Larrah-Harrah. Scarrah.

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