A Bookish Conversation with Marissa Thomas

Marissa Thomas left her home in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to pursue her dream of acting in Hollywood. Without industry contacts, she had to educate herself about the business. In How Not to Succeed in Hollywood, Marissa shares her experiences, both good and bad.

In addition to writing, Marissa is a licensed hair stylist. She also enjoys painting and produced the artwork for the cover of How Not to Succeed in Hollywood.



What’s inside the mind of a comedic author?

I know that I’m always trying to find the humor in almost every situation.  Sometimes it’s easy, and sometimes one has to turn to sarcasm.

What is so great about being an author?

While writing about my own experiences, I was able to better understand them, and even see them
from different perspectives.

When do you hate it?

When I’m at a salon meeting and I’m supposed to be learning about new product or services, and my mind is racing with different ideas about topics to write about or include in my next project. Inspiration is great, but it can be frustrating when you can’t take the time to make notes of everything.

What is a regular writing day like for you?

I just take out my laptop, and see what happens.

How do you handle negative reviews?

I’m still new here, and I haven’t had any.  But, I think that as long as my name is spelled right, I see a negative review as a method of feedback to improve my craft.

How do you handle positive reviews?

Positive reviews have been very encouraging.  Especially when the reviewer seems to have summarized my story perfectly.

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?

They look at me like I’m crazy, or ask if I’ve been drinking.  Especially those who are closest to me.  I didn’t announce my plan to write a book to anyone, but instead showed them the product when I was finished. Friends and clients wonder how a hairstylist can write a book about pursuing an acting career in Los Angeles.  It keeps people on their toes and proves that you can’t judge a book by its cover.

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?

On days I don’t feel like writing, I sit back and relax and enjoy my down time.

Any writing quirks?

I just turn on my laptop. 

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?

Most people around me assume it’s just a hobby.  When I told my family that I had finished writing a book, they simply smiled at me like I was an eight-year-old picking out a name for the new pony I was asking Santa for.  It doesn’t bother me.  I love to shock people.  I keep a physical copy on hand to prove its real, and simply let them know where they can get one, too.

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate?

Yes.  I always seem to get new ideas when I don’t have time to write them down.

Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?

Money is great.  But, I’ve said since day one, I never planned to be an author.  I’d just like to share my story.  If there’s one thing hairstylists and actresses have in common, we like to share the dirt.

What has writing taught you?  Leave us with some words of wisdom.

I haven’t given up on my goals.  I’m not afraid of failure.  I’m afraid of never trying.


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