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The L Word BOOK chronicles the groundbreaking series
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The L Word BOOK chronicles the groundbreaking series

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Staff Writer

Jennifer Beals, the actress who played Ivy League-educated Lesbian Bette Porter on Showtime's The L Word, announced that The L Word BOOK is now available. The book is a photographic journal by Beals that takes you behind the scenes of the groundbreaking Showtime series and is sure to be a hit with fans that miss the popular drama, which enjoyed critical success and high viewership from 2004 until the last episode aired in March of this year. Beals, who got her start in showbusiness as a teen model and lead actress in the 1980s classic Flashdance, said the proceeds of the book would go to several charities.

For six seasons, The L Word dramatized the lives of a group of women - mostly Lesbian characters - and their friends, family and lovers in West Hollywood, California. The groundbreaking series dealt with issues such as coming out, childrearing, promiscuity and monogamy, depression, and a slew of other topics, in and out of the mainstream.

"During the six years we were shooting The L Word, I kept a photographic journal of the cast and crew, born out of a profound desire to create a bulwark against my rapidly eroding memory," Beals said. "It was an era of my life I was eager to preserve; I wanted to remember the cast, the readthroughs, the dinners, the rehearsals - everything."

Beals says she began to take photos, save scripts, callsheets and memos, and began to organize them according to year. The actress said she used them for reference as each season moved on, although "frankly, I held onto them because I knew I would get a kick out of looking at them as the years passed."

"Years ago, I started a tradition of making a photo book to give as a gift to the cast and crew after completing projects that were near and dear to my heart," Beals said. "As I started working on my cast and crew present for The L Word, I realized this wouldn't be like the others."

The L Word was about storytelling, she said. "It was particularly unique because there were two sets of stories being told. Clearly we were telling your [the LGBT community] stories, but in some way we were telling our stories - the story of a group of colleagues who became friends while endeavoring to make something worthwhile."

Somewhere along the line, she says, underneath the plotlines of The L Word ran the stories of their own friendship and struggles. These photographs evoke the various bonds and battles the cast endured.

Beals says she wanted to make the book available to fans because the show, at its core, is about the LGBT community, which made "our collective journey possible."

The charities that will benefit from the book's proceeds include the Matthew Shepard Foundation, Mia Kirshner's (a lead character on the show) I Live Here, Project of Operation USA and the Pablove Foundation. "I want to give back to the organizations that have meant so much to me," Beals said of the charities she chose.

Fans of the show have an opportunity to be a part of the book. When you order a copy, you can add your photos, as well. This way, says Beals, everyone can have their own specialized, personalized L Word volume. In addition, a series of large-format prints and limited-edition prints will be available of select photos from the book.

The L Word BOOK is not yet available in stores. You can order a copy on the project's official website, www.lwordbook.com.

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