I’ve been a writer for an embarrassingly long time. I’ve done television, screenwriting, fiction, advertising and public relations. I’ve taught screenwriting at UCLA’s Extension Program in order to “pay it forward” in the only way a writer really can. It’s frustrating to not be able to truly thank the people who taught you about writing, so the best response is to teach someone else.
I’m comparatively new to the world of “e books”, but my novel “The Space He Filled” was a good way of learning to swim by jumping into the pool. I’ve always loved the L.A. Mean Streets school of fiction, so setting the novel in Los Angeles amid hustlers, homeless, and those frazzled souls who try to keep people from killing each other seemed like a natural way to go. I first did this in a novel I wrote back in 1988, called “The Proving”, which featured many of the same types, just in a different stew. I like to throw characters into a desperate situation and find out what they’ll do while staying true to themselves. Sometimes it’s been surprising, and I enjoy the experience of letting events play out on the ol’ computer with a slightly improvisational quality. As a writer, of course, you’ve got to basically know where you’re going to wind up, but how you get there can be the most fun, especially when you don’t really know everything you’re going to do when you sit down to write. It’s kind of like jazz — and I don’t mean that to sound like I’m full of myself — insofar as the thing that occurs to the writer in that moment, under that special pressure, can be pretty special itself. Of course, it can stink, too, so the process of rewriting is REALLY important, particularly if you’re being a bit of an improv guy (or girl).
On my blog, I frequently don’t even remotely tread into the territory of my own fiction. I like to write about political things that annoy me, or events in my own life that have had an impact and made me want to express my feelings about them. The key for me is that people who read whatever I put out there enjoy it and maybe even find it entertaining. That’s why I like to hear back from you when you’ve read. Whether it’s critical or congratulatory, I still want to hear it.