I Want To Read Blue Elephants
by Phil Brody
Recently, in an effort to promote my debut novel, The Holden Age of Hollywood, I’ve been sourcing photographs that bring to life some key lines and passages from the book.
The other day, I stumbled upon a painting by Yolanda Goulet Marsolais. I typed “Blue Elephants” into Google’s search engine, so it makes perfect sense why I was led to the image you see below. However, I ended up staring at it for a long while because of how effectively it brought to life the following words.
Painting by Yolanda Goulet Marsolais
"When you’re a kid, you color without abandon. You color outside the lines. You color however you feel. Blue elephants, red bears, purple trees, green oceans. It’s all good. As you get older, though, everyone tells you to stay inside the lines, to color everything just like you see it. Why? Where’s the fun and intrigue in that? Writers care too much about coloring within the lines. They all seem to be painting by numbers, everyone wanting their stuff to look and sound exactly like what they see up on the big screen. It’s a shame. A few write what they want. A few make their mark, but then everybody copies them and they ultimately wax and wane into the masses. Damn shame. Should write what you feel. Write outside the lines. We need more green oceans, blue elephants. I want to read blue elephants."
The Holden Age of Hollywood is at once a modern detective novel, an unexpected love story, and a provocative exposé of a broken industry. With dark humor and incisive commentary, the novel immerses readers in a neo-noir quest to attain the Hollywood dream, integrity intact.
The conceit of the story involves the search for the one writer in Hollywood who does not want to be found.
After all, we all long to be discovered. Don’t we?
That passage is part of a late night phone call the protagonist makes to a nameless writer he doesn’t know, one he’s only read. He’s drunk, talking into a machine, but nonetheless, waxes poetic and makes an important point in the process.
“I want to read blue elephants.”
Well, I want to write blue elephants, which is what I aimed to do with The Holden Age of Hollywood. I believe I succeeded in that goal. So far the reviews for the novel concur.
I’d love to know if you agree. At any juncture, you can tell me what you think by emailing me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: That email address is also found at the back of every copy of the book. I want to know what you all think of the blue elephants I painted onto every page. Hope my words resonate and inspire. Hope they make you long for more.
Phil Brody lives in Los Angeles and writes every day.
The Holden Age of Hollywood is his first novel
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