Passionately Pursuing Peter Strauss.
I have a T-shirt. It’s silver-grey, with short sleeves It’s 15 years old and I will never throw away. I mean never throw it away. Why? Because this is the T-shirt I wore on the day I interviewed the actor Peter Strauss.
Peter Strauss is my one great love and has been since he played Rudi Jordache in Rich Man, Poor Man. I’ve been completely faithful (apart from a slight wavering in my affections when Colin Firth strode across the screen in tight breeches. His Mr Darcy is the template when I write. He is my Regency hero – when I created Lord Brickdale in A Passionate Pursuit, Lord Brickdale WAS Colin Firth’s Darcy ).
But I digress. Right now we can forget Colin Firth, because it’s Peter Strauss for me which is why, when I went to Los Angeles to interview the cast of The Bold &The Beautiful, I optimistically decided I would interview him as well.
Firm in the belief that anything is possible if you really want it, I began my pursuit. First contacting his agent, then his publicist – the very wonderful Howard Brandy who sadly, has since died.
I was in Los Angeles for a week, interviewing the B& B (they really are so beautiful in real life) while intermittently phoning Howard Brandy’s office. The calls varied from the regular answering service ‘Please leave you message…’ to speaking with Howard who told me that Peter was busy filming in Phoenix but he’d try to fit in an interview if there was time. So I waited, and waited, until finally phoning Howard to say I’d be returning to London soon and I really needed to know if this interview was going to take place.
Well!! The next day the phone rang and, YES, it was HIMSELF, OMG!! “Hello.”
“Yes, this is Gloria Burland.”
“This is Peter Strauss. I’m sorry not to have got back to you sooner –“ He went on talking but I couldn’t tell you what he said. Remember. This is the man I love.
Then he said, “We can either do the interview now, on the phone. Or you can come to the studio tomorrow when I’m filming. Or you could come to my home on Tuesday.
Mmmm … that’s a difficult one – let me think… phone/impersonal studio/ his real life, actual home, the place where he lives, breathes and sleeps. No contest! Blimey!
“Your home will be fine,” I said. He gave me directions and his phone number should I get lost (more Blimey! Was I dreaming?) And that was that.
Home is a wonderful Spanish style house set in the lush vegetation of the Ojai hills where Peter Strauss farms citrus fruit.
He made coffee, talked about his life and loves – Italy and Art - and then it was time to go. We shook hands and that was that.
Sadly he did not fall in love with me.
And the T-shirt? I’d like to say he touched it but that would be untrue. All I can say is that Peter Strauss has gazed upon me wearing that T-shirt and that’s enough for me. I will never throw it away.
And why am I sharing this with you? To let you know that anything is possible if you really, really want it enough. Be it writing your first novel, or passionately pursuing your idol. Go for it. Dreams really do come true. That’s what I believe and that’s why I write romantic fiction.
My first novel, A Passionate Pursuit (which I think of as a ‘bodice-ripping Regency romp -Jane Austen meets Jackie Collins!) is available now. It’s part of a five book series, The Clifton Chronicles and takes place in Clifton, an actual Regency village in England, where all the series will be set.
My second novel in the series, A Widow’s Gamble is out in time for Halloween.
Both novels are available from:
Good luck everyone, and remember to follow that dream.