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Making Wild Books, Movies, and Waves In the New Frontier

I’ve just been asked by my dear friend, author and Cenobite crush Barbie Wilde, to participate in this thing that’s going around. I answer these 10 little questions about my latest, and then ask 5 other writer friends to do the same. I post this week. They post next.

GOT IT? And away we go!

1. What is the working title of your next book?


2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

As I say in the book: I’ve lived in Hollywood long enough to have read some astonishing scripts that, for one reason or another, never got made. I’ve read others that wound up produced as shitty films that bear almost no resemblance to the scripts from which they sprang.

Through it all, I’ve found myself wishing that people who actually love to read – and who really love movies – could just get their hands on those wonderful scripts, and be presented with those best arguments for the films the screenwriters hoped you’d see.

SICK CHICK FLICKS contains three of my own favorites, all as-yet-unproduced, although one (“ROSE”) is in active pre-production.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Horror/thriller/screenplay/film studies. (The “Special Features” consist of a long interview, conducted by Cody Goodfellow, in which I discuss the rigors of transitioning from novelist to writer/director/producer.)

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Since these are screenplays I wrote to direct, in most cases I had friends/friendly acquaintances in mind. The roles of Honey Love and Delilah (in AFTERPARTY) were written for Emily Procter, late of CSI: MIAMI. AFTERPARTY also has a great part for John Hawkes. And the title character of ROSE will be played by Chase McKenna, a little-known actress you’ll be hearing lots about.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Since there are three different stories, let me give you one for each:

AFTERPARTY – She’s a caretaker for Hollywood’s brokenhearted, he’s a collector of artists and other lost souls, and Death is a party that never ends in this haunting bohemian L.A. ghost story.

THE LEGEND OF HONEY LOVE – The outrageous adventures of a beautiful barmaid who – in thwarting a psycho killing spree – becomes a national hero… and the target of every wanna-be psycho killer on Earth.

ROSE – Welcome to “Rose’s Place”: a crazed cable-access/internet puppet show, where the songs and rescue stations run all night long… or at least until the zombies get in!

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It has come out in trade paperback from Cemetery Dance Publications. Their first trade paper, as it turns out.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

AFTERPARTY was plotted in two furious days, and written in about three weeks. ROSE probably took six. And I’m pretty sure I spent four months on HONEY LOVE. (My first drafts are very close to my last drafts, in most cases, rewriting as I go along.)

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

The closest comparisons would be FOUR SCREENPLAYS and FIVE SCREENPLAYS, both by William Goldman. His volumes taught me how to write a “reading script”, formatted for maximum reading pleasure. And each contains anecdotal info on the process, which is great.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I was inspired to make these three crazy movies, which is something I fully intend to do. Publishing them was inspired by my desire to get these stories out there, so that others could share my enthusiasm for making these films a reality.

10. What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

These are three of my all-time favorite full-length original stories. I never turned them into novels because I’d rather just make the movies, and because the scripts themselves are so much fun to read.

For writers of prose with aspirations to film, I think this book will also be uniquely informative. The introduction alone is a crash-course on screenwriting vs. prose writing, and the writer’s relationship to directors, producers, and the rest of the colorful characters involved in moving a story from page to screen.

And finally, the book’s defining coolness for me is its cavalcade of fun, powerful, complex female characters. Writing great roles for women has become a crusade for me, as well as one of life’s great unbridled pleasures.

And here are the excellent writers I’ve tagged, who you’ll be hearing from next week! I love them so much that I’ve published them all, so you can love them as well. ENJOY!!!

Laura Lee Bahr is the author of the novel HAUNT from Fungasm Press; the short stories “Happy Hour” (published in the anthology DEMONS from Black Dog and Levanthal, winner of the 2012 Bram Stoker award for Best Anthology), and “The Liar” (published in the anthology PSYCHOS from Black Dog and Levanthal). She is also the screenwriter of the award winning movies JESUS FREAK and THE LITTLE DEATH. http://www.facebook.com/lauraleebahr

Jan Kozlowski is a freelance writer, editor and researcher. Her first novel DIE, YOU BASTARD! DIE! was published in 2012 by John Skipp's Ravenous Shadows imprint. Her short horror stories have appeared in HUNGRY FOR YOUR LOVE: An Anthology of Zombie Romance and FANGBANGERS: An Erotic Anthology of Fangs, Claws, Sex and Love, both edited by Lori Perkins, NECON EBOOKS FLASH FICTION ANTHOLOGY BEST OF 2011 and WEIRD NOIR edited by Kate Laity. http://www.jankozlowski.com and http://www.butshekeepsanicelawn.com

Violet LeVoit is a film critic, arts and culture journalist, and bizarro/erotica/horror fiction writer whose work has appeared in many publications in the US and UK. She is the author of the erotic novel HOTEL BUTTERFLY (Loose Id) and the bizarro short story collection I AM GENGHIS CUM (Fungasm Press). Born in Baltimore, she now lives in Philadelphia. http://www.facebook.com/violet.levoit

Eric Shapiro is the author of THE DEVOTED, STORIES FOR THE END OF THE WORLD, and SHORT OF A PICNIC. He directed the feature film RULE OF 3 and the short film MAIL ORDER, and is in pre-production on his second feature, LIVING THINGS. http://www.facebook.com/eric.shapiro.56

Scott Bradley & Peter Giglio's first collaborative novel, THE DARK, was edited by horror legend John Skipp and released through his Ravenous Shadows line in October of 2012. The duo have also written, under option, a feature-length screen adaptation of Joe R. Lansdale's "The Night They Missed the Horror Show." Their stories have appeared in anthologies edited by John Skipp, Alvaro Rodriguez, and Trent Zelazny. Scott is the co-editor of the Bram Stoker nominated THE BOOK OF LISTS HORROR. Peter is the author of three solo novels (ANON, BEYOND ANON, STEALING NIGHT) and three novellas (BALANCE, A SPARK IN THE DARKNESS, SUNFALL MANOR). Scott lives in Los Angeles. Peter lives in Lincoln, Nebraska. They met in the fourth grade. http://www.petergiglioauthor.blogspot.com