I’ve been writing and producing television since the Jurassic Period. That’s an exaggeration since they didn’t have television in the Jurassic Period. Just radio.
Maybe I meant to say I’ve been writing since Fourth Period, but that wouldn’t be accurate, either, since “Fourth Period” was Algebra II, and I never wrote in Algebra II. I doodled. A lot. Which is why today I’m a first-rate doodler but can’t solve for x.
If you Google me, you’ll find me represented more or less accurately here and there, but you won’t find me represented comprehensively. A surprising amount of shows I’ve written and/or produced are not Google-able. If I were ambitious and certainly less lazy, I’d find out why not. But I’m not the former and am too much the latter, and worse, my interest in my past shows seems to be as evanescent as the shows themselves.
The important thing is that I’ve been around long enough in the TV game to amass an incredible number of oddball, poignant, funny, and hair-raising stories from days in the field, on set, and in corporate conference rooms.
I’ll share some of these stories with you as time goes on, though I’ll be changing the names of the participants, because in some cases it’d be rude to name names, and in other cases I might get sued—and who has time for a lawsuit?
IN THE MEANTIME…and this is very important…I have always been writing my own narrative stuff on the side. Every time a show I was working on went on hiatus, or got cancelled, or was just plain glacial in production speed, I availed myself of whatever time I could to practice novel writing. Though hired to write scripts, my ardor has always been for narrative.
I’ve now got several soon-to-be-unpublished books stashed away and moldering in various drawers in my house. I love these books. Their creation taught me much about writing and life, and how one might best pursue both.
I’ve also got one book completed that’s actually quite good, and so I’m bravely stepping out into the marketplace with it. You can find it by visiting my books page.
The Story of the Book
I used to work for Cosgrove/Meurer Productions (real names in this instance). They were and remain excellent people who taught me a lot about production. I worked for them on the last hurrah of “Unsolved Mysteries,” and then on a series called “Proof Positive,” which was a cousin to it.
Every Monday morning, we’d have pitch meetings, wherein we’d pitch the execs various stories we thought would make for great television; stories about UFO’s and other unexplained phenomena. One day, one of my colleagues, a wonderful soul who nevertheless absolutely droned her way through her pitches, began pitching a story about Willow Creek, California, which bills itself as the Bigfoot Capital of the World. As she started in on why this particular Bigfoot iteration would appeal to viewers, I checked out. Her voice was getting to me more than it usually did because I was hung over and really needed a little quiet and a lot of coffee.
HOWEVER…while I’m feeling very sorry for myself and staring out the window, the big WHAT IF that could only have come from pondering the lives of the people of Willow Creek, fell into my head wholly formed.
So thank you Delores the Drone (made up name, but I like the alliteration).
I turned the idea into a script, which I tried to sell for many years and couldn’t. (“Too expensive, kid. You’ll need a lot of CGI to make this work…” “Not right for us, son.” Etc.) Then I heard that Kevin Costner had told a friend of his who’d written a script called “Dances With Wolves” that he should turn it into a novel first—and come from a place of power with Hollywood execs.
So I wrote the novel, The Secret of Alpine Valley.
It’s a novel for Young Adult readers, but it definitely has adult crossover appeal. So if you are a young adult, or have young adults in your life, or find YA fiction appealing, I’m confident that you’ll be glad you picked up my first novel. It’s funny, poignant, meditative, and devotes several pages to what I think is the best fart joke ever written.
Well, that was my first post. As I’m new to my own website, I’m not really sure what I should do with it next.
Certainly I’ll post an excellent story about something that happened to me, or that I witnessed, while I’ve been on the front lines in Hollywood, but beyond that, not really sure what to do.
But I’ll figure it out as time goes on. Perhaps you’ll have some suggestions…?
If so, please leave a comment in the Comments section.
And please—be cordial and supportive—and I promise to be the same. There’s enough unmannered behavior and spite out there in cyberspace. Let those of us who choose to come together here be good to—and for—one another.
“Seek the Good and Praise It.”
Thank you, friend, for stopping by! Let us together see what the future might bring!