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Classic Movies Aficionado - The World of Suzie Wong

Posted by Jennifer Slater on September 23, 2013 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

As a lover of classic movies, I've decided to write about my favorites this week.

Today I will start with one of my all time favorite classics -  "The World of Suzie Wong," a film made in 1960 starring William Holden and Nancy Kwan. It tells the tale of an American architect, Robert Lomax, who goes to Hong Kong to try his hand at being a painter. He meets a beautiful, young Chinese woman on a ferry who appears to be from the upper class and very proper. He meets her again later, only to discover that she is a  prostitute. As he gets to know Suzie better, he learns that she was forced into prostitution as a child because of her improvished circumstances. She falls in love with him, despite his attempts to dissuade her, and he is drawn to her, but the two have many obstacles to overcome before they can find happiness together. 

I first saw this film as a young girl in my native country, Guyana, long before I fully understood what the movie was about. You see censorship was a big part of Guyanese culture, so movies with provocative themes and plots were not shown in the theaters there and if they were, we only saw the PG versions. This was fine by me as I grew up with parents who never swore in front of us and in a country where talking about sex was almost taboo, but I digress.

This movie appealed to my romantic nature and the superb acting by Nancy Kwan made it memorable. It had all the qualities I like in movies ... a good plot, great actors/actresses, spectacular scenery and the requisite happy ending. The fact that it was about an interracial romance, and that Suzie was played by a true Chinese actress and not a Caucasian actress made up to look Chinese, was a big plus. Not only was Nancy Kwan wonderful in the movie, but her beauty and style was admirable. She made the Chinese dresses with the high slits on the sides fashionable during that era. William Holden was terrific in his role as Robert and you are convinced of his passion for Suzie, but I believe that it was Nancy Kwan who stole the movie.

 If you're into classic movies, I highly recommend this one. It will make you laugh and cry, but you will be left with warm fuzzies at the end.

 

 

Dreams

Posted by Jennifer Slater on September 6, 2013 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)

As kids, we all dream about doing something grand with our lives. We imitate our favorite heroes and heroines and fantasize about growing up to become musicians, movie stars and famous athletes. We are encouraged to study hard so that we can become doctors, lawyers and such. Little do we know then, how hard it is to realize our dreams or to hold on to them. We become adults and reality slaps us in the face. We find jobs or careers and try to make the best of our lives. Some people drift from company to company, hoping to find that elusive "perfect job" while others accept mediocrity and settle into stable positions that brings them little, if any fulfillment. A select few, the lucky ones, manage to find that "thing they love to do" and spend their lives doing what makes them happy.

 

I'm fortunate to have finally found the courage to do something that I've always dreamed of doing ... becoming an author. When I started my first book, I only had a vague idea of what I wanted to write about. Once I began writing, however, it was as if the flood gates were opened in my brain and the ideas flowed so freely that I found myself writing every chance that I got. I have a full time job, so this was no easy task, but sacrifing a few hours of sleep to finish a chapter or two was a must for me. I finished my first book, started my second and quickly found out that writing had become my passion.

 

I'm still virtually unknown as an author, but that does not deter me. I'm not so narcissistic that I believe myself to be the next JK Rowling or Maeve Binchy (my personal favorite), but I do believe in my talent and I know that, given time and more practice, I can hone my skill and become someone whose work is worth reading by the masses. My books are more than just romance novels, they are stories of courage, friendship and overcoming adversity. I don't believe in writing formulaic stories just to sell books, but rather I write from my heart and hope that my readers come away from my books feeling uplifted.

 

They say, "If you build it, they will come" - that is not necessarily true for authors. Readers don't flock to you just because you wrote a book. They can't become fans of your work, if they've never heard of you or of your books, but in a vast literary ocean teeming with hundreds of titles, the chances of a new, self-published author being discovered is pretty slim. Still, I will persevere and I will hold on to my dreams of building a fan base, one reader at a time ... for a life without hopes and dreams is a life only half lived.

 

My Favorite Movies

Posted by Jennifer Slater on August 27, 2013 at 12:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Movies are my second passion (after books), but I'm not a fan of block busters or the shoot-em up/ car chases types or those scare me out of my seat ones. What I enjoy most are romantic comedies, movies that move me emotionally, and musicals. Here are a few of my favorites:

 

Life of Pi (2012)

An Education (2009)

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

The Butterfly Effect (2004)

Bride & Prejudice (2004)

Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

The Full Monty (1997)

Sling Blade (1996)

Pretty in Pink (1986)

A Christmas Story (1983)

Little Darlings (1980)

Grease (1978)

Ice Castles (1978)

Saturday Night Fever (1977)

The Way We Were (1973)

Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)

The Sound of Music (1965)

The World of Suzie Wong (1960)  

Auntie Mame (1958)

 

 

 

 

Love, Hope & Friendship -Themes in My Writing

Posted by Jennifer Slater on August 21, 2013 at 1:25 AM Comments comments (0)

My inspiration for writing Dark Clouds, Silver Linings came from a tee shirt that my teenager daughter was wearing one day. The acronym TWLOHA was written on the front of it and when I asked her what it meant, she explained that it stood for "To Write Love On Her Arms" and that it was the slogan for a support group for people suffering from depression, addiction, self-mutilation and other personal emotional problems. I was intrigued, and after some research and deep thought, an idea took shape in my head and thus, Samantha Leighton - one of the central characters - was created.

 

I love writing about personal struggles and hardships faced by believable characters who are flawed in some ways, but who manage to overcome the obstacles they encounter in life.

This theme can be found in my other novel, A Time for Us, which deals with a couple's second chance at love after being separated for years by jealousy and betrayal. My books are about real life issues with threads of romance, hope, perseverance and friendship woven through them. The requisite happy ending is a must for me as life is hard enough without having to read only about sadness and despair in fiction too. I like my readers to come away from my books with that warm and fuzzy feeling.

 

I hope to touch many hearts with my writing and to inspire all of my readers to be positive and to never give up hope. Life can be a roller coaster ride, but we should not lose sight of the fact that we should live each day to the fullest.

 

 

 

A Few of My Favorite Books

Posted by Jennifer Slater on August 17, 2013 at 7:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Many of us have read books that have touched us or influenced us in some way. There are several great authors who've managed to evoke deep emotions in me and who have left a lasting impression with their masterpieces. Here is a list of 5 of my all-time favorite books:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - Elizabeth Bennet is the epitome of the strong, female heroine who had a mind of her own in an era when women were not encouraged to think for themselves. And what young woman does not dream about meeting a man like Mr. Darcy (sigh). I could never tire of this story.

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot - This wonderful book about the adventures and misadventures of a veterinarian in the English countryside kept me laughing from start to finish.

The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel - Set in prehistoric times, the theme is dark and the tale grim, but I was totally immersed in this story of a young girl who must find her way in the world after she is orphaned and left homeless in the wake of a big earthquake.

The King Must Die by Mary Renault - I had to read this book in my English class during my senior year in high school and I never forgot it.  Any lover of Greek mythology would enjoy the story of Theseus  and his many adventures as he grows from a child into a man.

Memoirs of  a Geisha  by Arthur Golden - This amazing book tranported me to Japan in the 1940s and a look at a lifestyle that existed for some women during that time. This was one of those books that I hated to finish.

What are some of your favorite books and why?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Would Love Your Support

Posted by Jennifer Slater on August 14, 2013 at 9:50 PM Comments comments (0)

As a new Indie author trying to make a name for myself in this already crowded industry, I could use the support of my readers. If you have read A Time for Us or Dark Clouds, Silver Linings, please don't hesitate to leave me a message here on my website to let me know what you thought of either or both of my books. Please be kind with your comments and constructive with your criticisms as it is hard enough being a new author without people trying to tear you down.

The digital age has made it easy for us to download electronic books, but a few people still like a good old-fashioned paperback, so whether you purchased my books as paperbacks or as ebooks, please leave a positive review at the site where you purchased the books. I don't expect everyone to like my books, but if you think that my work is worth raving about, I would appreciate it if you could spread the word to your friends, family and anyone else who might be interested.

I love to write and I hope to continue doing so for many years to come, so please help keep this aspiring writer's dream alive by supporting my literary efforts. Thank you kindly.

 

 

Jennifer Slater

 

 

 

 

 


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