From the outside looking in, Lily Lockwood, popular star of the hit TV show St. Joe’s, has it all. Recently nominated for an Emmy, her star is definitely on the rise. She shares her gorgeous Malibu beachfront home with her even more gorgeous actor boyfriend. Perfect, right? Not so much! Within a matter of just a few days, it all falls apart. The wind is knocked out of her when she finds out that her boyfriend, on location shooting a western, is riding horses all day and his curvy co-star all night. Before Lily can catch her breath, she gets word that her mother, best-selling author Daisy Lockwood, is in intensive care after a near-fatal accident. Lily flies across the country to be by her side. The girl, who has a hard time deciding if her Chai Latte should be Grande or Venti, is now faced with making crucial life and death decisions. While rifling through Daisy’s papers, she comes across shocking information about her mother that threatens to shake her very foundation. Lily embarks on a journey of self-discovery and closure as she seeks to unlock the mysteries of her mother’s past.
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My Interview with Alison Caiola, author of The Seeds of a Daisy
Tell us a little about you : )
I was born in New York and spent most of my adult life in California. I’m currently living back on the east coast and absolutely despise winter (this is being written during a deep freeze—it’s 9 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Yuck!)I am a mom to my son JD Daniels, who is an actor and has been since he was a child.
I’m an author, screenwriter and producer and love all aspects of the literary world and entertainment industry. I have a daughter-dog named Emma, a Malti-Poo who has me wrapped around her little finger. . .I mean paw.
What inspired you to write The Seeds of a Daisy?
I have been in different facets of the entertainment industry for over twenty-five years. The story is about a young actress, whose mother is a writer who is in a coma after a near-fatal accident. I thought an insider view of Hollywood would make a great story.
Also, I had just gone through a rough time, caring for my mom when she was ill, so I wanted to put in the element of not only deep ties between mother and daughter but also thought it would be interesting to investigate what would happen if a dependent daughter is thrown into being main caregiver and life and death decision maker.
How long did it take to write?
I started the book in February 2005 and finished the very last edit in December 2011. I put the book down for six months at one point.
When and how did you come up with this story?
I started off with the premise of delving into relationships-- between lovers, between parents and children and between friends. I used Hollywood as a backdrop and I planted those seeds (pun intended) and ideas sprouted and grew from there. There was much in the book inspired by my real-life events.
In general, how do you come up with your story ideas?
Usually something that I see, an event or an experience sparks my ideas.
Which character(s) were the most fun writing?
Of course I love ALL my characters and they were each fun in different ways. I LOVED writing the argument scenes between Jamie and Lily I wanted to make sure that it felt real and true to life. Fernando’s character was fun writing, because he is so emotional and so fabulous. Young Daisy during the flashback scenes was also fun. It gave me the opportunity to speak as a pre-teen and then teenager and imagine what she was feeling during those crucial times. And of course Lily’s adventure through the book was the most enjoyable of all. Being that it is written present tense, first person, I really became intimate with her character and all the emotions that she was feeling.
Did you have to research, and if yes, how was that process?
The Hollywood aspect I didn’t have to do much research about, but the medical portion of the book took a lot of research. I spoke to many people in the medical field and asked questions along the way. I read medical journals and did lots of googling!
Are there any messages that you want your readers to see? What is that?
The messages that I hope come through are that we all are incredibly resilient and that growth can come as a result of the most painful of times.
Which actors do you see playing the main characters?
I could see Emma Stone playing Lily and Diane Lane playing her mom Daisy. Marissa Tomei as Daisy’s best friend Donna. I could also see Josh Harnett as Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Jamie. If that were to happen I would be the happiest person on the planet.
When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?
I just wrote a blog about that! I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was about seven or eight years old. I used to devour books and I decided that one day I wanted to be a storyteller and place the right words side by side, fill up countless empty pages and finally release the stories that were spinning around in my head
Is there a place you especially like to write?
I usually write in my living room. My computer sits on my lap and I sit on a beautiful, overstuffed couch. On my right there are large windows that overlook my garden and I get to see and hear the many birds that visit my feeders throughout the day. In front of me, is a sliding glass door that looks out over a beautiful pond, Emma usually sprawls out on the ottoman watching me work. It’s a peaceful room and allows me to relax and let the creativity flow uninterrupted.
What are you currently working on?
I am working on a sequel to The Seeds of a Daisy entitled The Seeds of a Lily. The story continues and follows Lily through the next phase of her life and all the adventures, joys and drama that she experiences.
I am also writing and producing The Tyme Chronicles TV series which is a new action packed series about two close friends (Ex Special Ops) who, with their family, create an organization "Heroes 4 Hire" and go undercover to work with the CIA and FBI. It's buddy movie funny and the romance component and family dynamic really tug at the heartstrings.
For aspiring writers, do you have any advice for them?
I would tell them to hone their craft and never be afraid to delve into themselves; using their emotions and experiences as writing tools.
What are your favorite genres to read?
I really enjoy a good mystery and love reading generational women’s fiction. I also enjoy biographies and historic novels. Throw in a few good chick lits and I’m good to go.
What are you currently reading? What are you reading now?
I recently wrote an article for Boating Times, Long Island and interviewed Tania Aebi who wrote the biography Maiden Voyage. When she was eighteen years old she solo circumnavigated the globe. This novel chronicles her adventure. Even though I read it several times in the past, I am currently rereading it.
Do you have a favorite film? What is it?
I adore Out of Africa, the story is unique, the cinematography is gorgeous and of course the actors are stellar.
Film you are looking forward to see in theaters?
Because of the book signing tour and editing the television show, I am a bit behind on my movies. My son JD was in Les Miserable on Broadway, so it is a favorite of mine. I can’t wait to see the movie. I’m also interested in seeing Silver Linings Playbook, Gangster Squad and Django Unchained.
What TV show do you have to see on a daily basis?
The shows that I watch faithfully are Homeland, Nashville, Sons of Anarchy and almost every single competition reality show. The Voice, Top Chef and Project Runway—I’m obsessed with them all.
Location of place you have never visited, but really want to go to someday?
I would love to go on safari in Africa and also experience The Galapagos.
(This is if you watch the Oscars) Do you have any picks for winners for this upcoming Academy Awards?
I think Daniel Day Lewis and Sally Field were incredible in Lincoln.
Thank you so much for answering my Qs! ~Marissa
My pleasure. Let me know if you need anything else.xo Alison
Author Bio & Social Media Links
Alison Caiola's many years in Hollywood, first as a PR Executive and then as a writer, makes her qualified to write about the entertainment industry and the behind-the-scenes craziness that ofte it often spawns.
Like Daisy, the mother in The Seeds of a Daisy, her son JD Daniels is a successful and award-winning actor. Alison recently wrote, directed, and produced the television series The Tyme Chronicles. She currently resides on the beautiful North Fork of Long Island with her Malti-Poo daughter-dog Emma, surrounded by vineyards, farms, and wonderful friends.
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