THINK Sex and the City for the average lonely, directionless suburban woman: abundant sass, bawdy humour and a generous dose of outrageous sexual misadventure but without the extravagances of Manolos, Cosmopolitans and a Manhattan bachelorette pad all apparently paid for by a couple of hours’ work per week.
Ruby Fitzgerald is an actor. Correct that: was once an actor, and might one day be again, if only she can land an audition leading to an actual on-screen speaking role. However, it’s been more than a decade since Ruby last had a proper paying job and her finances are stretched almost as thinly as the wrinkle-free skin on a Hollywood celebrity’s face. Overweight and 40, she knows her odds are close to nil.
Ruby’s quest for love, cash and self-esteem, set against a backdrop of image-conscious LA and supported by a line-up of charismatic oddballs, is close to the author’s heart.
If “Christine Elise” sounds familiar it is almost certainly for the new novelist’s part in the biggest Aaron Spelling TV hit of the ’90s, Beverly Hills, 90210, the series in which she played pill-popping high school wild child Emily Valentine. Less well known is that she cut her writing teeth behind the scenes of the same show, creating characters, storylines and complete episodes.
90210 also introduced Elise (actually her middle name – McCarthy is her surname by birth) to the cast member with whom she would share a five-year real-world relationship: Jason Priestly, at the time one of television’s fastest-rising young stars.
Post-90210 she went on to appear in ER and an array of films, including the one on which this first book is based.
Although fictional, Bathing & the Single Girl draws loosely on the author’s parallel life in the studio fast-lane and on three of her personal passions: photography, dogs and vegan “food porn”.