CRADLE OF CRIME-A Daughter's Tribute

Luellen Smiley

Book Cover

GENRE

MEMOIR CRIME DRAMA BIOGRAPHICAL FAMILY

    Core Theme

    A MAFIA STORY THROUGH THE EYES OF A CLOSE FAMILY MEMBER.

    TIME PERIOD

    1960s & '70s,1940s & '50s

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    THE SOPRANOS, THE GODFATHER, CASINO, GOODFELLAS

    CHARACTER LIST

    • LUELLEN "LILLY" SMILEY: TEENAGER/50S. NEEDY, LOOKING FOR LOVE/ADMIRATION FROM HER FATHER; DILIGENT, STRONG MORAL CODE, CAN READ A ROOM.
    • ALLEN SMILEY: 65. LILLY’S FATHER, (IN)FAMOUS GANGSTER. CRIMINAL, AGGRESSIVE, CHARMING, BADASS, ENGAGING.

    Logline

    Luellen (Lily) is the daughter of Allen Smiley, Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel's best friend, and business partner. Smiley was seated next to Bugsy the night of his murder. Lily rips herself from comfort and innocence into confronting her father’s nefarious criminal life. When she breaks the mafia code of silence ten years after her father’s death, she is faced with an unexpected opponent.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    Los Angeles

    Based on a True Story

    Yes

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: CREATE SPACE

    Year Published: 2016

    Starting Description

    Luellen spent a lifetime trying to get an understanding of her mysterious father and she shares it with readers with great literary skill in her memoir. Smiley intersperses the facts of her father (and Siegel's) life with her own struggle to understand her heritage.

    Ending Description

    In 2010, Millicent Siegel (Ben’s daughter) and I reunite in Las Vegas at the Mob Attraction. She requested that I exhibit my father’s collection in Ben’s room. There I am reunited with my tribe, and go loud and public about my feelings on Ben Siegel and Dad.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    No

    ISBN

    Information not completed

    Mature Audience Themes

    Information not completed

    Plot - Other Elements

    Meaningful Message, Coming of Age, Happy Ending

    Plot - Premise

    Internal Journey/Rebirth

    Main Character Details

    Name: Lily Smiley

    Age: 40

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Sophisticated, Complex, Insecure, Naive, Perseverance, Secretive, Strong Moral Code,Naive,Obedient,Romantic,Secretive

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Allen Smiley, my father.

    Age: 65

    Gender: Male

    Role: Antagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous, Manipulative, Masculine, Secretive, Sophisticated, Complex, Confident, Criminal, Perseverance, Aggressive, Charming, Skillful, Desperate, Decisive, Underdog, Badass, Engaging, Patriotic,Badass,Charming,Confident,Criminal,Complex,Masculine,Outspoken,Funny,Skillful,Secretive,Strong Moral Code,Manipulative

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Rudy.. my best friend, bolsters support for my quest. He is rebellious, amusing, generous and admires the courage of gangsters to defy the government. I am living in his shed as I pursue research.

    Age: 45

    Gender: Male

    Role: logical

    Key Traits: Lone Wolf, Empathetic, Complex, Modest, Outspoken, Selfless, Badass, Adventurous, Funny,Adventurous,Engaging,Decisive,Masculine,Sexy,Skillful,Funny,Strong Moral Code

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Brief

    Luellen “Lilly” Smiley is the daughter of Allen Smiley, Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel's best friend, and
    business partner. She rips herself from innocence and confronts her father’s nefarious criminal life, as
    she breaks the mafia code of silence ten years after her father’s death.

    What We Liked

    - True story;
    - A period piece inside a period piece (‘40s and ‘70s);
    - 1940's Hollywood, with actual “appearances” by stars of that era;
    - The mafia and its members through another perspective;
    - The father/daughter relationship;
    - Episodic narrative, making it perfect for series;
    - Possibility of both a fiction piece, and a very rich documentary.

    Synopsis

    1940s Hollywood may seem like the Golden Era of Cinema; Clark Gable, Judy Garland, Lauren Bacall
    graced the screen, but behind the camera, there was a seedy underbelly ran by Bugsy Siegel and Allen
    Smiley.
    In the 1970s, Allen’s daughter Lilly Smiley gets a job at her uncle Jack's book store. There, she is
    constantly reminded and asked about her father from customers and other "uncles" who would come
    in. After answering with pleasantries, she realizes that people have a completely different view and
    opinion of her father than she does. Through research and help from her therapist, Lilly decides to
    unearth the real Allen Smiley.
    Each story is an episode; a look into the relationship Allen had with Lilly, Lilly had with Allen, Allen had
    with the Mafia, and Lilly had with the Mafia. All three of these dynamics weave a tapestry of an
    unstable, yet loving relationship. Some of the stories consist of:
    ● The day her dad died of Hepatitis C was an apparent hit on the Mafia;
    ● Meeting celebrities of the day and how they respected her father;
    ● The day her loving Uncle Bugsy died from a drive by that sent her dad into hiding;
    ● One incident where her father wouldn't let her into the apartment because she forgot the safe
    word. He forced her to go to another home to get the key, and wouldn't let her in;
    ● The day her parents got a divorce, yet her father came home for dinner every night;
    ● The relationship between Uncle Bugsy and her dad;
    ● The time her mother was diagnosed with cancer and spent the rest of her life in the Hospital.
    How her dad, even though divorced, never left her side;
    ● Dad coming from an immigrant family, and how that shaped how he approaches problems;
    ● Allen, disappearing for weeks or months at a time, and how hard it was on her and her
    mother. Once her mother died, it was even tougher on her.
    ● All the different "Uncles" that would stop by and look after the family.
    By the end of the series she has a journey of denial, curiosity, and disbelief. She eventually manages
    to find people who understand her history and accept her.

    About The Author

    Luellen's "Smiley's Dice" weekly columns appeared in San Diego newspapers and earned a Blue Ribbon award from the CA Newspaper Association. Her research led to TV, radio, and print interviews about her father and Bugsy Siegel.