Guest Post/Virtual Tour ~ How Not To Succeed In Hollywood by Marissa Thomas

Why Book Covers Are So Important

I’ve always been a painter.  Not the tortured soul kind, willing to sacrifice food to buy canvas and spread my message to the world, but I enjoy my craft.  Mostly portrait paintings for friends and family.  For events and Holidays, or just having craft time with my mother.  I’ve always been familiar with the statement that a picture is worth a thousand words.  It’ll capture your attention, or inspire you to look the other way. 

I was also familiar with this concept, since pretty much all productions, film, television, and theatrical have some sort of picture to capture an audience’s attention, and make them want to see the performance.  While I was writing How Not to Succeed in Hollywood, I was inspired by the idea of watching it as a film, and I knew it had to have a great cover.

I painted the picture I used as the cover for my book.  The bright colors, and cartoon effect almost make it look like the cover of a children’s book, but with pictures that adults of any age can relate to.  The original canvas doesn’t need to be hung in a museum for onlookers to stare at and debate for hours on end.  But, there is an idea I hope readers can take away from it.  I hope that anyone who has read the book summary, and sees the cover will see that it is a comedic look at what people of any age might have to go through to accomplish their serious goals. 

Publisher: Marissa Thomas (July 20, 2017)
Genre: Humor/Fiction
ISBN-10: 0692924426
ISBN-13: 978-0692924426
ASIN: B0745J76YT
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository


In HOW NOT TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD, Marissa Thomas offers readers an inside view of one young woman’s journey to fulfill her dream of becoming an actor. The personal and humorous story of Lisa reveals the often difficult and inspiring process of navigating the entertainment industry.

The acting bug bit Lisa during her first elementary school talent show. After receiving positive reviews for her performance from her fellow students and impressed parents alike, Lisa basked in the high she felt from being on stage. She ventured further into the acting world as a teenager when she enrolled in a twelve-week acting program. Although plagued with some doubt about her potential to become an actor, the experience reignited the spark that had originally lead her down the road of performance.

HOW NOT TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD follows the staggered path that Lisa took on her journey to achieve her acting dream. Her love for acting expanded when Lisa entered college and began auditioning for plays produced by the theater department. Reassured by the exhilaration she felt while acting, Lisa made the decision to leave her home and move to Hollywood to pursue her passion, but first she had to tie up a few loose ends. After a whirlwind romance with a fellow student, Lisa found herself moving into her own apartment while juggling school and work, as well as taking the steps to fill out her acting resume. A car accident that resulted in serious physical injuries led to a slowdown in her momentum. However, Lisa’s best friend, Mike, who already had a solid plan to move to Hollywood, gave her the encouragement she needed to overcome multiple obstacles so that she could move forward with her goal.

Marissa wrote HOW NOT TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD to give “anyone curious about Hollywood culture another point of view from someone coming from a completely different world, aka the Midwest, taking the plunge, and immersing herself in a new life.” Marissa says the book is “the story of my life. I can’t tell anyone any surefire methods of getting cast for your dream project. I’m just sharing my life experience. Anyone with a relentless dream has to find sanity in the limbo between a self-motivated fantasy career and the harshness of having to survive real life in the process. We’re all human, and sometimes all you can do is laugh. Set a goal, and break a leg.”

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.


Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

Excerpt ~

“I’m glad you get to come to opening night of the play,” I said to my boyfriend, casually, while we started digging into our boxed dinner.

“I know. I’m glad, too.  You’ve been working hard, and it seems pretty important to you,” he replied.

“It is. We’ve all been working on it for months,” I reminded him.

“Well, is it because you’ve been spending all this time on it, or is it because it’s something you really want to do?” he asked.

It seemed like a very obvious question. I hadn’t thought about it that way. Why do we put all the time and effort into projects like this? Projects that don’t provide a paycheck, cause us to rearrange our schedules, and even add stress due to the unwritten requirement to provide a quality performance. He really made me think. It wasn’t even a conscious decision on my part. I welcomed the chaos of the production into my life. The answer to his question was as obvious as the soy sauce on the egg rolls.

My mind started to wander. I almost felt like I was becoming a part of an actors’ anonymous group and professing my addiction. My name is Lisa, and I’m an actress. I could picture the scene:  Beautiful people sitting in a circle, each of them with a monologue in hand. And everyone waiting his or her turn to speak about the repercussions, good and bad, that the industry has had their lives. It was like a support group, to help each other through the bad auditions, drop hints about where to find the legit ones, and tips on how to nail them. Who knew how true that statement was? After a brief moment of fantasy, I was back to reality.

“I do. I really want to do it.” I turned back to my food and continued eating. “It’s something I want to pursue.” It felt good to say it out loud, and to admit it to myself.

Tour Schedule

Monday, December 4

PUYB Book Teaser at YouTube

Book Featured at PUYB Virtual Book Club

Book Featured at Bound 2 Escape

Tuesday, December 5

Book Featured at I’m Shelfish

Guest Blogging at Dear Reader, Love Author

Wednesday, December 6

Interview at The Writer’s Life

Thursday, December 7

Book Featured at My Bookish Pleasures

Book Featured at C.A. Milson’s Author Blog

Friday, December 8

Guest Blogging at Sheila’s Guests and Reviews


Monday, December 11

Guest Blogging at Blogging Authors

Tuesday, December 12

Guest Blogging at My Life. One Story at a Time.

Book Featured at A Title Wave

Wednesday, December 13

Book Featured at Book Cover Junkie

Thursday, December 14

Book Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook

Friday, December 15

Book Featured at What Is That Book About


Monday, December 18

Interview at Nuttin’ But Books

Tuesday, December 19

Guest Blogging at The Story Behind the Book

Book Featured at Write and Take Flight

Book Featured at CBY Book Club

Wednesday, December 20

Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner

Thursday, December 21

Interview at T’s Stuff


Wednesday, December 27

Interview at Confessions of an Eccentric Bookaholic

Thursday, December 28

Interview at Book Bloggin’ Princess

Friday, December 29

Book Review at Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’









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  1. Looks like an amazing read, Thanks for your generosity.

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