After reading Josh Getlin‘s profile of Delaune Michel – best known in LA circles for launching the Spoken Interludes salon, now transplanted to Westchester County – I scratched my head as to why the Warren Beatty connection hadn’t been divulged in a big way last year, when Michel’s novel THE AFTERMATH OF DREAMING was first released by William Morrow. One would think it could be a news peg, especially as the book has a character modelled pretty strongly after him.

So instead, we find out now, when the novel is released in paperback: When she was 18, Michel left Baton Rouge, La., and moved to New York, hoping to launch a modeling career. Although her runway dreams fizzled, she met Beatty in 1987 while working as a hostess at the posh Four Seasons restaurant in Manhattan. The two instantly became very close friends, Michel said, and the story of their up-and-down relationship is central to her novel. “I was green as a pea,” she said, recalling the night she met Beatty. “And he was nothing but a wonderful, kind and supportive person. Being able to call him on the phone and tell him what was going on, to hear his take on it, was truly everything. He was an emotionally generous friend.”

Beatty doesn’t say his side of the story as he elected not to respond to repeated requests to be interviewed for Getlin’s piece. “It’s not like we’re in touch,” she said of Beatty. “He’s happily married. And this novel is not a hatchet job. [The relationship] was a very sweet, poignant thing, and was part of my growth.”