Monday, August 30, 2010

The 'What Now' Syndrome

"Papa, when he was about my age. Taking a break from writing in Paris during the big war against Nazi aggression."

Do any of you writers feel a cold droplet of sweat run down the spine of your back when you complete a big a draft of a new novel? I know I do. I'll be a sad son of bitch but I just can't I explain it, other than I must be a little bit warped in the head. or so my ex-wives remind me on a daily basis.

Shouldn't the completion of a new book send me seeking out my cell phone to call my travel agent? Come to think of it, I just did that. But what I mean is, shouldn't I be looking forward to relaxing a little? You know, sleeping in a little, having a couple drinks? Take in some fishing? A movie or two? A couple of nice dinners out with my girlfriend? A trip to somewhere exotic?

I guess it all has to do with the "what now" syndrome. Like Hemingway once said, in this writing business chuck full of highly critical academic jerks, you're never judged on what you have done, but always what you are doing.

Therefore, while I have a long rewrite to look forward to on my new project The Dead Souls, I am now scrambling to work on something else first. The lucky winner will probably be the second in the, Dick Moonlight, Moonlight Falls, series, or Moonlight Rises.

Hey, I shouldn't be complaining. My new books, like The Remains, are bestsellers. I've just signed two new contracts for two more books with my new publisher. Plus I now have a movie scout. I remember when, not too long ago, I used to complete a novel and wait for the onslaught of the "big quiet."There was no money coming in and my wife use to hang me in effigy out on the front lawn (Course now that I'm just a tad more successful she's been on-again/off-again hinting about a reconciliation. I wonder how her boyfriend feels about that!).

Times have changed. I make my living as a full-time writer. But one thing hasn't changed. I want to always be working on something. Writing is who I am and what I'm all about as a human being. Some people might think this wrong. That I should be a father, a husband, a citizen, or what have you first. But I choose to be a writer first. I can't imagine myself living any other way.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

To MY Readers: Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not sure what it is about Sunday mornings that make people, or me anyway, reflect. Of course, I'm always thinking about what I have yet to accomplish and what I've already managed to accomplish, however successful or otherwise. But on Sunday mornings the whole process is that much more pronounced and in your face.

Some people go to church and think a lot there, and others like me go for a long run and hit the gym and in many ways that's like going to church. Still others just lie in bed and dread the coming week. I thank God I'm not included in the latter category.

This morning, while I sip coffee on the stone terrace outside my apartment, I thank God that I have a new publisher, a couple of new books that are doing great, new books in the works, old books being republished, new trips to look forward too, new friends to make, healthy kids and parents, my own health, and even now at 46, lots of hopes and dreams and goals.

I'm also grateful to the many fans and readers who have bought my books (especially The Remains which has been an Amazon bestseller and Hot New Release for weeks and weeks...) and gracefully, not to mention patiently, put up with my rather aggressive online marketing approach. I owe you guys my life and I won't forget that you deserve the best writing I can produce. Anything less than that would be like cheating on your spouse.

So, I'm about to go for a run, and soak in the sun on this beautiful Sunday in upstate New York. And once again to my readers:

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Remains Goes Hollywood? Well, Maybe...

An offer he should not have refused!

Maybe it's because me and the boys watched The Godfather last evening that this morning I'm thinking movies. It might also be because yesterday afternoon my agent called to tell me she's presently packaging my newest bestselling thriller, The Remains, into a major motion picture prospect (details should be posted on Publishers Marketplace soon, or so I'm told).

I've been down the movie route more than a few times, only to have had my foot just about through the door when said door slammed me in the face. My novel As Catch Can, had three back-to-back reads from DreamWorks, and looked like a sure sale, but in the end, the firm decided to punt. My other novels enjoy similar Hollywood success. But Hollywood is a funny place and an even funnier business and I never look at reads and interest other than with a huge bag of salt.

Sometimes however, I feel a kinship with Vito Corleone's Godson, the crooner dude with the good looks and the "olive oil" voice. If only there were a Godfather I could seek council with, ask him to help me score a Tinseltown buyer for my new book. Maybe all it would take is a few phone calls and perhaps a face-to-face with a producer on behalf of his counciliary, and just like that, I'd be the newest Hollywood sensation. Or, if the producer refuses to buy, he might just wake up with a bloody horse head in his bed.

Ok, back to reality.

My guess is that sooner or later I will have one of my books produced into a film. Not to blow my own horn but The Remains would indeed make a great movie. It boasts all the essential plot elements: strong female lead, pile driving tension, strong evil antagonist, feel-good-lovable supporting role in the form of an autistic savant painter turned hero, a great story, and much more. Good title too.

Like all novelists I often get the question: who do you see playing he roles of your characters in the movie? Just last evening I got this question from a fan who was having a beer in a bar in Cape Cod (he was also kind enough to buy me a beer...Oh the perks of being a writer!).

Ok, so here goes: here's who I picture starring in the movie version of The Remains (forgive me if I spell any of these names wrong. I never read People Magazine!:

--Angelina Jolie starring as Rebecca Underhill
--George Cloony starring at Michael Hoffman
--Danny Devito starring as Francis Scaramuzzi
--Robert Deniro starring as Joseph William Whalen

Ok, you sorta gotta kinda read the book to know what I'm talking about. But just giving you a visual sense of who might be look good in these roles might afford you some idea of what the book is all about.

Anyway, for all you producers out there who are considering taking a look into a good book by an Italian American author, I hope you think about perhaps optioning the novel. If not, then I'd better be going. Mr. Corleone prefers to receive bad news right away.