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Austin Author May Cobb Is Killing it With a Sexy LaLaLand Thriller and a TV Murder Mystery Series

Austin suspense writer’s fifth novel hits bookstores this month, while her second novel is in production as a STARZ network series with some big names leading the lineup

May Cobb (photo by Jeska Forsyth)
Austin Author, May Cobb (photo by Jeska Forsyth)

Is Austin author May Cobb having the best year ever? Certainly the stars are aligning nicely for her. This week marks the publishing date for her fifth novel, The Hollywood Assistant. Even while she is busy mapping out bookstore appearances and author chats, she is flying back and forth from Austin to Charlotte, North Carolina, where STARZ is filming her second novel, The Hunting Wives, for a streaming thriller drama series starring Malin Ackerman, Brittany Snow, Chrissy Metz, and Dermot Mulroney, among others.

The Hollywood Assistant Out Now

Cobb’s novels — perfect poolside or beach reads — have become a sure sign of summer. Cobb has mastered showcasing the deadly behavior of wealthy, lusty characters who inevitably draw Cobb’s starry-eyed heroines into their murderous webs. The Hollywood Assistant will surely please her fans who have come to expect wicked and salacious misdeeds from Cobb’s characters.

“All of my thrillers…revolve around the same theme: Adults Behaving Badly. In this one, as in my others, obsession is a huge driving force behind the narrative,” Cobb elaborates. This Austin author brings her characters to life in ways that move the story along while building anticipation. Readers can follow her adults behaving badly through fast-paced, tense moments and juicy plot twists.

Cover of The Hollywood Assistant by May Cobb

Cover of The Hollywood Assistant by May Cobb

Book Cover of The Hunting Wives by May Cobb

Book Cover of The Hunting Wives by May Cobb

Toxic Hollywood: Money, Sex & Murder

The Hollywood Assistant promises to bring us all the racy details and sordid surprises we want from Cobb, with one significant change: the setting. Los Angeles is a far cry from the East Texas setting that has been a staple of Cobb’s previous four novels, Big Woods, The Hunting Wives, My Summer Darlings and A Likeable Woman

With this book, Cobb strays from Texas, yet still draws on her own experience of working as a Hollywood assistant to create the world of her latest book and the characters who inhabit it. For this story, Cobb explains, she wanted to “do a deep dive into a toxic marriage that involved an innocent onlooker getting swept away in its undertow.” 

In the book, the naive Cassidy Foster takes a job as an assistant for the glamorous Sterlings. They in turn introduce her to some of the perks and pitfalls of Hollywood secrets, including a murder, of course. 

Cobb says, “I wanted to try a fresh setting with this thriller, and having lived in Los Angeles over twenty years ago (and having returned to visit many times) I wanted to draw on the more noir aspects of Hollywood from my memory while giving homage to one of my favorite film genres: the erotic thriller. I love films like Body Double, Fatal Attraction, Unfaithful, and wanted to attempt to do a book version of that.”

The Hollywood Assistant is bound to be another wild ride driven by Cobb’s active imagination. It officially launched into the world on July 9, 2024.

May Cobb on set of The Hunting Wives (photo courtesy of May Cobb)
May Cobb on set of The Hunting Wives (photo courtesy of May Cobb)

Lights! Camera! Action!

Cobb herself remains humble while being elated at having her work made into an eight-episode series for STARZ. The network picked up The Hunting Wives as their first new show after the writer’s strike. The news couldn’t have come at a better time for Cobb.

In her own words, she recalls, “Honestly? I was having one of those soul-crushing days where your faith in everything is rattled. Then, that evening, my phone rang and it was the producer of The Hunting Wives, the legendary Erwin Stoff, calling to say that the show was indeed going forward. I staggered out into the hallway and collapsed in my husband’s arms with the news in utter relief and glee.”

Cobb has been busy visiting the North Carolina film set. The project is executive produced by Cobb, “Hightown ” creator Rebecca Cutter, who wrote the adaptation and will serve as showrunner, and 3 Arts Entertainment’s Stoff. The series is produced by Lionsgate Television and 3 Arts Entertainment.

Ackerman and Snow lead the cast, with Mulroney, Metz, Jaime Ray Newman, Katie Lowes, Karen Rodriguez, Michael Aaron Milligan, Hunter Emery and George Ferrier filling out the cast. It should be a real hoot to see this cast embody Cobb’s rowdy, raunchy denizens of East Texas. Keep an eye on STARZ and on for when the series debuts. 

Is there anything up her sleeve for the near future that she can share with our readers? 

“The details are still under wraps, but I can say that I’ve returned to my beloved East Texas again with this latest one and like the others, it’s a juicy and salacious suspense story with people behaving badly left and right!”