Audrey Hepburn’s iconic “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” gown sets the standard for the decade’s little black dress, Marilyn Monroe’s sultry rendition of “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy heats up the New York stage, and James Bond makes his first big on-screen appearance. It is a time of glamour, where martinis flow freely and socialites puff cigarettes as a symbol of class. The petticoat is on its way out and the pillbox hat is in while the birth control pill penetrates American bedrooms.
In the midst of sweeping change, one convention remains. The American Dream: A fairytale based on a white picket fence and a woman’s commitment to being a perfect housewife. Bridget Jeane, a 22-year-old New Yorker, is about to say “I do” to this idyllic domestic future. Until the night she’s almost killed in a car accident.
Waking up in a hospital room, Bridget recalls a fight and her drunken fiancé losing control of the car. In the aftermath, Bridget abandons her matrimonial future. She says goodbye to the Midtown lights and swanky nightclubs of the Big Apple. On the eve of her move, Mr. Frank Connery, a successful Madison Avenue advertising executive, asks Bridget for a date and won’t take no for an answer. Mr. Connery shakes and stirs Bridget through a cocktailed dreamscape of Manhattan’s glitzy nightlife.
But there’s a twist in the evening’s drink that she doesn’t see coming.
Inspired by the popular AMC television series “Mad Men” and garnished with themes from Ira Levin’s novel “Stepford Wives” (which was twice adapted to film), “Seeing Red” is an historical, coming-of-age novella about a young woman’s self-determination during a rapidly changing era.
“This 1960s period piece almost defies description but captures the era and unveils an ending I didn’t see coming. Surprise!”
–Melanie C. Duncan, Georgia Peach Award committee member
Want a behind the scenes look on the making of “Seeing Red” from start to finish? Have a look at my post on how watching the first season of “Mad Men” sparked me to write a novella.