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Mary MacDonald Rival

Novel in Progress

I'm now about half way to completing the novel based on my first screenplay, Portrait of a Suburb Bunny and I'm finding it to be a fantastic experience. It did very well in screenplay competitions (Beverly Hills Film Festival, Las Vegas Film Festival, and several others), but after receiving coverage from Slamdance Film Festival suggesting I get more into the head of the character Maggie... I decided to add author to my hyphenate and turn it into a novel. The plan is to then rewrite the screenplay based on what I learn from the process, meaning I'll have both a novel and its film-ready script ready for market. (And with my love of musical theatre, who knows what else.) Stay tuned!


Here's a synopsis. Guaranteed it's going to change once I'm finished with the novel!


The lives of two childhood friends diverge and then merge in this stiletto vs. sensible shoes journey of self discovery and unconditional friendship.


MAGGIE is an adventure-seeking tomboy who has spent her childhood dreaming of the world that awaits beyond the boredom of her small rural town. Her father left when she was 8 year-old, and Maggie has plotted and planned her own escape ever since.

Maggie's best friend, and sister substitute, is MADISON, a pretty, finely-featured blonde girl with delicate mannerisms that are in sharp contrast to Maggie's rough-and-tumble persona. Madison lives in a huge Victorian-style house down the street from Maggie and her alcoholic mother.

The story begins in the mid 1970s when their town, still detached from the urban influences of a nearby city, was a place where doors remained unlocked and children ripe with imagination played outside after dinner. Maggie and Madison were inseparable, until the passage of time... the inevitability of growing up... and the sprawl of suburbia changes everything.

In the shadow of turning 40, Maggie, now a successful journalist stationed overseas, returns home on a gut feeling. She is shocked to see the physical and social transformations that have taken place. The acres of farm land have been replaced by acre estates, filled with "Suburb Bunny" trophy wives addicted to the services of the Tate Image Clinics.

Worst of all, Madison is caught in this plastic world, in a bad marriage -- controlled financially by her wealthy mother-in-law who is set on destroying her. When Madison's chronically cheating husband finally caves under pressure to leave her, Maggie decides it's time to stop running and establish some roots... while helping Madison regain her independence and spread her wings.

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