Clare Scopes

Drawing The Line

Newly arrived in 1938 Los Angeles, Maggie Goodwin aims to bust down the doors at Harley Studios and become their very first lady-animator. But her iron-fisted boss can't abide the idea of a woman joining the ranks of his top-men and sends her off to the Paint and Ink Room to color-in with the rest of his girls.

There, Maggie befriends an eye-rolling agitator with an axe to grind, a bottle-blonde broad with a penchant for jewels, and sets about proving herself with a paintbrush— namely applying blue to a daily procession of twirling skirts. And after a chance encounter with Harley's trouble-making rather handsome lead-animator, Maggie hunts him down for advice on pencils, cartoon-critters and all things animation. If she can get her intrepid squirrel up and running the big-cheese just might take notice.

But the Paint and Ink girls are on strict orders to put in the hard-yards without a squeak of complaint. If The Little Orphan doesn't hit screens by Christmas it won't have a chance of being Harley's best selling film ever, or make capital-H-history for that matter.

And Maggie soon discovers the Harley behemoth isn't quite the family trade-papers would have her believe. Not everyone is happy about busting their guts to get the fairy-tale orphan in the can, especially Maggie's brand-new unionist pals. There are rumblings in the ranks, rumblings that can't be cured by privileges for the few or a Hollywood party serving as many coconut-rum concoctions a girl could possibly want.

And when a looming strike throws a great big spanner into the heart of Maggie's ambitions, she turns to a tongue-tied admirer with stellar connections for help, all the while hoping he won't get the wrong idea and think she plans on getting romantic.

Drawing The Line takes the reader back to a bygone era of animation when men drew the lines and women were expected to stay between them. A delightful, engaging, heart-warming debut novel about friendship, ambition, struggle and love.
210 printed pages
Original publication



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