Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Story Thus Far

The Story Thus Far

(Apologies to WriterAction members - I couldn't resist)

Yes, I finally have a website for my upcoming debut novel, The Harrowing - and the requisite accompanying blog. Now - what exactly to do with it? Luckily, since I have not yet officially launched this website or blog, I can blather on without repercussions, and possibly find my blog voice before anyone actually reads any of this. Anyone who happens on this space by mistake, please bear with me!

I guess the point is to try to be honest and useful to people who are interested in doing this writing/publishing/producing thing themselves. And since experience has shown I can be useful in that arena (see I'll just start and hope for the best.

Having worked as a screenwriter for ten years I find it a little unnerving to be an actual author now and to have attention suddenly shift to me, instead of me having to be constantly as charming but self-effacing as possible while servicing the (endless, bottomless, insatiable....) needs of the producers, director, star, or all of the above of whatever film project I happen to be working on. I was at the fun and fabulous LA Times Festival of Books last weekend and people kept asking me to autograph the postcards of The Harrowing and even asked to take pictures with me. And the book isn't even out until September.

Amazing, really - you become an author as opposed to a writer and people suddenly care what you think.

(But as a producer told me in a meeting last week - "Hey, don't get used to that." Right. Sigh.)

Anyway, right, the story thus far:

As my website bio details, I started in musical theater at a very young age. In fact, I was just about seven when I did a Civic Light Opera production of Rumpelstiltskin with Billy Barty. Now I have to say that's strange, to be seven, barely aware of reality, and find yourself in a full-scale, balls-out musical with a real celebrity Little Person. Mythic, really. Jung would have been proud.

I did musicals through high school, improvisational theater through and after college; moved into script reading, then professional film writing (that is, after a brief stint in video writing and production that I left out of that website bio); and proceeded to work as a screenwriter for really, far, far, FAR too long for sanity.

The last three or four years of my screenwriting career I became so revolted by "The Process" that I started quietly but systematically getting the rights back to all my original work that was sold or optioned to various studios. More on that later, I'm sure. And, oh yes, because I'm from Berkeley and thus everything is political, I also ran for the Board of Directors of the Writers Guild of America, west, the union of professional screenwriters, and won a seat, where I am working to increase screenwriters' political power in the industry. Dorothy Parker did it - I can only hope to follow in her footsteps in some small way.

As part of this epiphany of mine that the film business as currently constituted is death to writers (Exaggeration? Perhaps...) I wrote The Harrowing as a novel from one of my original scripts, sold the book to St. Martin's Press in fall of last year in a two-book deal (an incredibly fast and painless process, thank God, or I probably would have killed myself, seriously) and now find myself a complete naive in the wonderful world of publishing.

My book agent is Scott Miller, of Trident Media Group.
My editor is Ben Sevier, at St. Martin's Press.

(Which all makes me the evil twin of Robert Gregory Browne - or him the evil twin of me, we'll have to see which!)

The Harrowing debuts August 22, 2006

And it will all unfold right here, for anyone who's interested.

Love, Alex