Olivia Stark’s Diary, A Novelette Prequel

OLIVIA STARK was introduced in Below the Beltway, Book 1 of The Beltway Series. She will be the main character in Olivia’s Turn, with preorders in late fall, publish date in January 2018.

Diary of a Hollywood Hottie…and Other Starlet Indignities is Olivia’s diary. Below is an excerpt.

It’s free on Amazon.

Happy New Year

I got shot.
It gets worse every time I rerun the tape in my head.
It’s a shadow in every random encounter.

Did it really happen?

It was unfathomable.

He wasn’t going to kill me.
At least that’s what I thought.
I had to take him seriously.

Everything pretty much changed after that.
I haven’t written in my journal since.

There was just something about it that shook me. {{{laughing}}}

That’s funny.

It sounds funny… After you’ve had a bullet tear through your thigh … I mean, thank God, Thomas was a bad shot.

What happened to him afterward was swift and brutal.
Not to worry.
Hollywood hunks can recover from anything.

I’m the girl Thomas Tanner shot.
Must have been my fault, right?
I was there.
I “let” him take me.
I “let” him shoot me.
And, my favorite, I must have known what he was capable of doing.

What do you say about yourself when your boyfriend kidnaps you at gunpoint and you can’t get out of it or talk yourself out of it, and he is so out of it he actually goes all the way and pulls the trigger?

Looking back on it, I’m ashamed. I know it wasn’t my fault, but I’m still ashamed. Getting myself in that situation. Unpacking how it happened …

Sheesh … I don’t want to go back there. I’ve hashed it out with my new therapist. If it hadn’t been for Alex, I don’t know what I would have done. She took charge, along with Eddie, and turned “victimhood” into heroine status, and my stock went up.
I can’t say why I’m hashing through this again now, after all this time. It just seems like a time to start journaling again, and I can’t start without noting a moment in my life that blew all my plans away.

It’s been a couple of years – long months and important days of self-reflection.

The last two years, I didn’t ignore what happened with Thomas, but I was more interested in me. How could I get caught up with a man who was so volatile, unhinged, and dangerous to me?

That is always there … It has always been there.

Dating since it happened hasn’t been an option. I want to make sure I don’t do this again. I can’t just blame him. {{{laughing}}}

I put myself in that situation.


It’s not like we were so together, and so in love and so perfect.

The sex was way out of balance. That should have been my first warning. Right? When a man is having a hard time having sex with you … You can be patient for a while, but …

The day before I called Alex, this was well over two years ago … The day I found all the porn stuff, that was a wake-up call. The sex video??? I mean, WTF?

Why did I give up my power?
What was it about him?

As an actress, it’s such a character study. How did I surrender to him? Thomas Tanner is gorgeous, but how did I … Obviously, it was my ego. I’m not dumb. I know it was my ego, but why? I have to figure out why I gave up my power to him.

It’s not just about Thomas.
It’s the same thing in my career.

The skimpy outfits aren’t the issue. Who doesn’t appreciate a beautiful woman? I’m lucky to be better than average. I can’t say more than that.

As an actor, nobody made more than I did last year, no woman in my age group, that is.
For the first time, I made more money than Thomas Tanner.
Maybe that’s what he saw in me.
Maybe he saw, in his waning virility at the age of 30 …
Maybe he saw something in me that helped him validate his manhood.

That’s worth paying attention to. I can mine that for my work.
Every time I meet casting directors or producers, especially the latter, their reaction to me is obvious.

It reminds me of when I was doing community theater. It seems like a million years ago. There was this scene at the end of Act One where the entire cast disrobed and got naked. It was the first time I was nude on stage. It was weird. I was really proud of my body, which sure as hell wasn’t perfect, but it was way better than average. The first day, I was ready to do it, but, when I looked around, most of the other girls weren’t. One girl was an exhibitionist and she stripped down during the first dress rehearsal, but no other girl was brave enough to do it.

Day by day, we went toward full nudity slowly. After a few rehearsals, I got naked, along with some of the other girls.

Jesus, the guys went buck-naked on the first day, and they were totally immodest about it.

It didn’t take too long for everyone to get comfortable with being naked on stage in front of an audience. One of my friends, who happened to be the assistant director, pulled me aside. He said that a couple of the producers were up in the lighting booth, and they were joking around about paying the lighting guy to point a spotlight at me.


Everyone would be nude, but I’d get a spotlight.
As an actor, it was a compliment.

It’s not like I had a perfect body. That wasn’t it. I think they wanted to shock me. There’s something about me, the girl-next-door type. People think I’m super straight and conceited because I’m a bit introverted.

People get a feeling about what you’re like and they label you.
They get this picture in their heads, which is fine.
Nothing you can do about it. But you’ve got to make sure their label fits for you, especially if you’re an actor.

Oh! Wait. Excuse me. I’m a woman, so I’m an ACTRESS.

Fuck THAT.

I’m an ACTOR.

You know?

It’s just another way they try to separate us by gender so we can’t get OVER THERE … OVER THERE to the Big Boys’ Club where they make the real money.
I’m done playing second to some asshole that, just because he has a penis, gets an extra ZERO on his salary.

If I don’t make what Thomas makes … and what some of the guys above Thomas make … NOW, in my mid-20s … when will it happen?

I’ve got to go for it this year.
I’ve got to make sure that I demand a salary that’s fitting, or, by the time I’m 30, I’m going to be fucked.

This is randomness personified … data dump … and it always leads back to …

I still don’t understand what I thought I was going to get from Thomas. The inability to see what he was doing. See how he was manipulating me.

In so many ways, Thomas was pushing me out of the door, but I wouldn’t go. I kept accepting worse and worse behavior from him.

How did I get in that situation?

It’s been two years – therapy for two years.
I didn’t know what PTSD was until I got out of the hospital.
It’s not just for soldiers.

I wanted to crawl away … I was so ashamed. My friends … I’m not good at confiding in women or anyone else, except Alex.

Without Alex and Eddie, I don’t know what would have happened to me. Alex was amazing, and it’s not like she didn’t try to warn me. She had been telling me for a long time that Thomas wasn’t my equal.

Why did I like it that way?
Thomas having the upper hand all of the time was NOT a turn on.

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I still don’t know.