Monday, May 13, 2013

Original Sins

Trade Secrets of the Femme Fatale
By Kim Krizan

Book Review by Ann Baldwin

Kim Krizan is an Academy Award-nominated writer of the films Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. She appeared as an actress in the films Slacker, Dazed and Confused, and Waking Life. She wrote the critically-acclaimed graphic novel Zombie Tales: 2061. Kim earned a Master’s degree in literature and became an Anais Nin scholar. She teaches creative writing classes for UCLA Extension. In Kim’s new book, Original Sins: Trade Secrets of the Femme Fatale (Los Angeles 2013), she takes you into the mysterious world of one of the oldest and most fascinating archetypes, the Femme Fatale (the dangerous woman); through her humorous perspective, Kim sheds light into every dark corner of these women’s existence from the history pages to the silver screens of Hollywood.

These free-spirited and wildly engaging dames, broads, vixens, seductresses, vamps, tramps, hellcats, bombshells, bad girls, and sirens have graced every culture with their powerful and alluring ways since the dawn of time beginning with Eve in the Garden of Eden. They’re the women who break the rules, shatter the glass ceilings, take charge of their lives, live by their own standards, shake-up the status quo, and create their own future.

Original Sins is well-researched and a comprehensive examination of the inner and outer workings of these untamable man-eaters, from what kind of war paint she dons to highlight her captivating features, to the interior design of her lair, to the mode of transportation she sports for her quick get-aways; Kim uncovers their internal desires, motivations, and beliefs, and includes all of their modus operandi, styles, habits, hobbies, and mannerisms.

There are numerous examples, many with stunning photographs, of our ladies-in-question to include: Mamie Van Doren as Eve The Private Lives of Adam and Eve, Elizabeth Taylor Cleopatra, Lillie Langtry, Theda Bara, Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara Gone with the Wind, Gretta Garbo Mata Hari, Julie Newmar as Catwoman Batman, Angie Dickinson The Killers, Anne Bancroft The Graduate, Sharon Stone Basic Instinct, Faye Dunaway Network, Pam Grier Coffy, Michelle Pfeiffer Scarface, Theresa Russell Blackwidow, Joan Collins Dynasty, Ellen Barkin Sea of Love, Kathleen Turner Body Heat, Madonna, Britney Spears and many more.

Don’t fret the small stuff required to pull-off creating the most cunning master-of-disguise for Kim includes checklists for every occasion. By the time you’re through reading Original Sins, Kim will have you fully armed with everything you need to design the most intriguing Femme Fatale (and leave you in stitches to boot). I highly recommend for all writers interested in giving birth to female characters who are alluring, dangerous, mysterious, and unforgettable or anyone just plain interested in what makes these broads so very bold, daring, and intoxicating.

You can connect with Kim Krizan at and purchase a copy of Original Sins: Trade Secrets of the Femme Fatale at Amazon

Ann Baldwin is a screenwriter (The Power of Dreams, Scent of a Trail, Dream Catcher) with several spec scripts in development. She reviews books on screenwriting and filmmaking, writes articles, interviews, and has several books (fiction & non-fiction) in-progress. Prior to launching her writing career, she was a special event coordinator and manager in the hospitality and entertainment industries for over 25 years.



  1. I agree, Ann. Kim Krizan's book is fascinating, hilarious and genuinely educational; a terrific read, and a very handy 'how-to'.

  2. Diane Drake Thank you for taking the time to comment & for the introduction ~ Stay-tuned for my interview with Kim on Women and Hollywood ~