Hey, all my old friends -- hopefully, some of you remember me, but it's been years since three of my spec scripts were optioned and appeared in a full-page ad in the Hollywood Reporter. Sadly, they went into turnaround -- along with a script-for-hire based on a famous person's book. A few weeks before the start of production the said VIP got into a scandal and our funding dried up. C'est la vie!
I recovered and started a radio program: JOY ON PAPER, which I'm happy to report has been a great success. In just four years it has been my joy to interview many of my favorite authors: David Baldacci, Mary Higgins Clark, Lee Child, , Sara Paretsky, Jojo Moyes, Nelson DeMille, Margaret George, Brad Meltzer, Amor Toweles and many more. And I must mention my friend, the late Sue Grafton, who did her own stint in Hollywood. We enjoyed commiserating over the fate of our words which were so often cut, cut, cut!
I'm sure you're already looking at many famous authors -- but I would like to suggest a few authors you might have missed. I recommend each of these books because I have already 'seen' them in my head...
Click through to an author's website and hopefully you will be as inspired by their books as I am.
A docu-drama in development....
My project for one of the networks
PatZi's Joy on Paper, a syndicated radio program for writers and those who dream of writing -- and for everyone who wants to know the story behind the book.
Ghosts of Manhattan - Douglas Brunt
Just a few pages into this book and I saw myself dancing down the streets of Manhattan with Doug's main character, Nick Farmer, to the magical voice of Ella Fitzgerald singing Manhattan.
There is so much in this book that is cinematic! Nick Farmer is a role that any actor will love (kill) to play - if the script is written with the passion that Doug puts into this book. It would be tempting for a lesser writer to turn this into a story of greed on Wall Street during that horrible year: 2008. But it is so much more. There are elements of F. Scott Fitzgerald in this book: Nick is aching for something better, something that he is in danger of losing -- you can almost here him scream: "There must be some goodness in this world."
Nick Farmer is an iconic name: Nick conjures up the sophistication of Nick Charles, while Farmer is quintessentially innocent American.
A few of
Witch City Mysteries - Carol J. Perry
I know a dozen cozy mystery writers whose books would make for great television. I've picked Carol J. Perry because her books not only have the usual line-up of interesting characters -- starting with Lee Barrett, a television producer -- but a few extra characters tossed into the mix. A sort of spicy New England chowder:
Aunt Ibby, the de rigeur old lady is a pip. A former librarian Ibby is tech savvy and I predict that some nice old -- oops, seasoned -- actress will steal the show with this juicy roll. (Think of that golden oldie, Estelle Getty).
Next is O'Ryan, the cat, whose name in a previous life was Orion -- for a reason. He has more to do than just shed all over the furniture. Cat lovers will love him.
Then there is Salem -- a character in and of itself. Carol was born in Salem on Halloween Eve so as you can imagine she has tossed in a soupçon of paranormal to the mix. All in all, a fun series.
Mystery Writer of America Grand Masters
Lawrence Block 
Mary Higgins Clark 
Marcia Muller 
Bill Pronzini 
Sue Grrafton 
Sara Paretsky 
Margaret Maron 
Carolyn Hart 
Robert Crais 
The Truth About Parallel Lines - Jill Block
Jill has written one of the best opening sentences ever! It will be used in writing classes for centuries as an example of a brilliant sentence that reader's will never forget:
Holy Shit. You're having sex with Mr. Peanut!
How much fun it would be to film that great line uttered in the Waldorf Astoria's Peacock Alley, where three girls, Jenna, Beth and Kristen, are celebrating their 18th birthdays with their first legal drinks. (Oh, how I loved that restaurant. They knew how to make a perfect cup of Earl Grey tea...)
There is a depth in Jill's writing that would make writing the script for The Truth About Parallel Lines lots of fun. It has been compared to The Group (a hit film based on Mary McCarthy's hit book). There is the sophistication of New York City young women coming of age in the 1980's -- with all the angst and complicated family relationships. So much rich material: art galleries, penthouses, cocktail parties, literary people..atmosphere!
What I love about the book is Jill's other character: New York City. For audiences who love NYC movies this is a perfect vehicle to race down the streets that lead to Broadway. In fact, this book could be turned into a great play -- but I want to see it on film.
US Poet Laureate
Publishing World VIPs
and many more...
Last Exit to Montauk - Phillip Vega
Another coming of age story set in the '80s -- but with some nice twists. First, we never know the name of the blonde...
It’s the late 1980s, summertime, on the North Shore of Long Island. The air stirs with possibilities as it often does during this time of year. And so begins the romance between one Hispanic seventeen-year-old male, on the verge of manhood and ready to conquer the world, and one beautiful and intelligent young woman named B. It is much more than romance, though. B will forever become a part of this young man’s soul. He will never forget her.
What lifts this story above your average ethnic story is that the writing is so good. Phillip Vega has a keen eye for details and place. By the end of the book I could visualize the North Shore.
This book is an example of what a writer can do in just a page of clever writing. Who would imagine that a touching love story could start in the bulk section of Whole Foods among the garbanzos and Forbidden Rice? Yep, Forbidden Rice! I guarantee that you will never walk through a supermarket again without thinking about this book...and turning around to look for the person of your dreams.
Check back soon...I will be adding more of my favorite books that will be perfect for television,
feature films or streaming video. We need new and interesting subjects and characters! Get creative!