Hold the phone!
Posts Tagged ‘hollywood’
Posted in 30 Second Interview With...., tagged author, bruce willis, Donna Newton, fiction, hollywood, interview, keanu reeves, knowing, mercury rising, nicholas cage, paranormal, roger ebert, ryne douglas pearson, screenwriter, simple simon, thriller, writer on December 14, 2011 | 17 Comments »
Hold the phone!
Posted in Book Reviews, tagged antagonists, author, Blitz, books, characters, cinema, cops, Donna Newton, donnanewton, famous, fiction, film, flaws, hero, hollywood, Jason Statham, Ken Bruen, killing, movie, mystery, novel, police, protagonists, psychopath, reading, thriller, writer, writing on July 29, 2011 | 4 Comments »
I had never heard of the author, Ken Bruen. Perhaps not the best of starts, but I honestly don’t know where to begin with reviewing this book.
I picked ‘Blitz’ from the book shelf purely because it had Jason Statham on the cover. Okay, so I’m shallow, but Statham’s rugged stance was too persuasive and I buckled in a moment of weakness. It would appear this 2002 book was picked up by Hollywood and hit our screens in June of this year. I confess I totally slept though this period, but the promo on YouTube looks pretty good.
So, what’s this book about?
Basically, a tough cop has to find and stop a psychpath from killing police officers. It’s neat and it’s simple.
Then, I turned to Chapter One. The first paragraph reads:
THE PSYCHIATRIST STARED at Brant. All round the office were signs that thanked you for not smoking.
The psychiatrist wore a tweed jacket with patches on the sleeves. He had limp, fair hair that fell into his eyes, thus causing him to flick it back every few seconds. This doctor was convinced he had Brant’s measure.
So, nothing wrong with that. Then it continued –
He was wrong.
‘Now, Sergeant, I’d like you to tell me again about your violent urges.’
‘Huh?’ I had to back up and re-read. I’d never seen a layout like this before and it threw me. In fact, for the first thirty pages it kept throwing me. Eventually, I came around to Bruen’s way but it wasn’t without a fight.
So, what kept me interested?
The story. There are three stories going on here. Well, actually there are four if you count the killer. And each story lets its character have its own point of view. There is Brant, who I thought would be the main character given the picture on the cover and the blurb on the back. How wrong was I! It’s a bit like Tarantion’s Pulp Fiction and, fortunately, I like this format. Plus the stories drew me in.
What I didn’t like was the ending. I won’t reveal what happens, but I felt very let down.
Would I read another Ken Bruen book? I would have to say ‘yes’. The strange layout aside, I found the story engaging, fast paced and the characters very real. I just hope the next Bruen novel I choose finishes with more of a bang.
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Have you read any other Ken Bruen novels? Have you seen the movie version? Let me know.
Posted in Writing, tagged actor, agent, antagonists, author, blog, blogging, books, characters, DFW writers convention, Donna Newton, donnanewton, entertainment lawyer, facebook, fiction, hollywood, hook, imagination, inspiration, killing, L.A., luck, manager, meetings, mystery, novel, pitch, producer, psychopath, reading, romance, screenwriter, screenwriting, script, social media, solicited, Supernatural, synopses, synopsis, talent, tv, TV pilot, tweet, twitter, unsolicited, USA, VIP, voice, warrior writers, writer, writing, wwbc on March 14, 2011 | 5 Comments »
Well, speaking on behalf of my own experiences, I know it has a little to do with both; talent cannot function without luck and vice versa.
Recently, I co-wrote a Supernatural TV pilot, called ‘The Legend’. I had never written a script before, knew nothing about layout and formatting, but dug in, worked hard, and voila, a pilot was born.
At the end of February, my co-writer friend and I were attending the DFW Writer’s Conference in Texas. Now, I class myself as a thrill seeker, but my co-writer went a step further and thought it would be an excellent opportunity to stop by L.A. and ‘pitch’ the TV idea to some Hollywood bodies. Laughingly, and if not just to humour her, I agreed.
We queried everyone we could think of and arranged some meetings. One meeting in particular surprised me. It was with an entertainment lawyer. I asked my friend why she had contacted an entertainment lawyer, to which she simply replied, “why not?”
That entertainment lawyer read our script and loved it. At around the same time a manager contacted this lawyer, and at the end of their telephone conversation asked if he knew of any ‘new’ writers. He looked at our script and emailed it over to her. She read it, loved it, and promptly contacted us.
Two new script-writers left her office a week later with several projects and ideas to write; she wanted to see anything and everything we wrote.
In essence – we had a manager.
All that came from querying a lawyer. Now I’m not telling you email every lawyer you can think of; we also met with an actor and a producer – both of which have attached to the project. But with each person we met, we were recommended to someone else, and each contact is now a person we have met with personally and can email ideas and projects without the need of a query letter. Hence we have a VIP backdoor where only solicited work is allowed to enter.
So yes, I believe your career is made with a mixture of luck and talent:
Luck – Maybe we didn’t go about querying in the correct manner, but we did it politely and professionally…..and we got the face to face meetings we wanted.
Luck – We happened to be liked, and first impressions seem to be everything in this business.
Talent – That all important synopsis were our hook, and led our readers into wanting the script.
Talent – The script is why wanted people to meet us.
Without these key ingredients, I would not be sitting here now, blogging about my experiences. I walked away from L.A. a very busy girl, but having my writing described as very well written and with strong voice was a boost to an area of writing I am very new at, and being praised as audacious was fun – I mean, me, audacious? Honestly
So, tell me if a mixture of luck and talent has led to any of your successes.
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