Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...
A MEMBER OF THE CLUB
"I'm adorable and I have very thin thighs," says Olivia Goldsmith, 42. A minute later, she recants. "Actually my thighs aren't thin. But to my friends, I am adorable."
To say nothing of exhilarated. Her fourth novel, The Bestseller, the saga of five novelists, has just been published (to mixed reviews), and the screen adaptation of her debut opus, The First Wives' Club, opens this fall. Club was initially rejected by 27 publishers. "Some of the letters said, 'Keep your day job and never darken our door again,' " recalls Goldsmith, whose novel in progress, Marrying Mom, has just been sold to Hollywood along with The Bestseller. Although she's now a certified success, she keeps working as though she were still struggling. "While I was touring for First Wives' Club, I started Fashionably Late," she says. "I'm not so smitten with myself to think I write like Dickens. I'm a cabin-class Dickens."
Goldsmith grew up in The Bronx, N.Y., and New Jersey. After 11 years as a management consultant, "I cashed in my stock options and decided to give myself two years to publish or perish. I thought if I failed at this, at least I'd fail at something noble." Now she has a New York City apartment, a stone house in Vermont and her primary residence—"a charming Key West-funky-style home" near Hollywood, Fla.
A five-year marriage to a marketing executive and a rancorous divorce inspired Club. In the movie she's just a bit player, a mourner at the funeral of the wife who commits suicide. "I got to have a reaction shot when I see the rotten husband who starts the action," she says. "I flared my nostrils very dramatically. They're small nostrils, but they flare well."