Wednesday, December 09, 2009

One Of The Good Days

from Ridley

Here's the long and short of it -- which, I believe means, all of it: I'm still working on the outline. And by "working" I mean 8 to 12 hours a day. It is quite the process.

There have been complications: on Tuesday I was in St. Louis; on Wednesday, New York; on Thursday, back to St. Louis; on Friday, Phoenix Arizona; on Saturday Phoenix Arizona and St. Louis. One of those weeks. but thankfully, I work well on airplanes.

Since Naked Authors is ostensibly about the life of writing, I should mention that the trip to New York was unusual. It opened with a two-hour meeting with a website design company that is building a platform for a book series I'm writing. These guys are of course young and ambitious, creative and intuitive. Spending two hours in a room with them, it's like spending several days with most "business" people. They had come up with a prototype a week earlier, and honestly, didn't thrill me; but, and here's the thing, they had completely redesigned the contents by the time my publishers and I met with them: very impressive. It's interesting to watch the process. I left the meeting incredibly excited about what I might see next -- not that my opinion matters to anyone involved in the project, though they are kind to make me feel it does; I am basically a bystander, and grateful to be given a learning opportunity. These guys are brilliant, not a word to be thrown around lightly.

That meeting was followed by about a 60 minute video shoot where I'm out in front of hot lights speaking off-the-cuff one-liners to both promote and "tease" upcoming books. I'm not terribly good at it -- I required many takes for the simplest of lines -- but I did have a brainstorm while riding the elevator out of the building, and I then returned to the studio and shot for another 10 minutes, hopefully this time with better lines!

But, the highlight of that same day was a reception with film company executives. It was the kind of meeting you wouldn't see every day of the week: the chairman of the film division had flown out his chief executives to meet with 10 or 12 authors from the company's book group. Now normally, I'm not sure film divisions are even aware of the book group, much less embracing it. Yet, here were four serious movers-and-shakers taking time to meet the "creative side." It was an example of true synergy, a word that is bandied about but rarely practiced. The meeting itself, a lavish cocktail party, provided no sense of whether or not any of my particular titles will move forward as films -- but that wasn't the point. The point was for all of us to put a face on the name, to put a handshake in place of an e-mail, and to that purpose the meeting was a tremendous success. But what knocked me out, and still has me thinking, is that these executives would travel clear across the country just to meet 10 authors. As weird as it sounds, that may be a first. Who knows if it will mean anything at the Cineplex this year, but standing with my back against the wall, listening to the chatter, watching the smiles, I sensed -- right or wrong -- that something good was going to come of this. As a (big) fan of film, I can only hope.

It was one of the good days.


  1. Film execs traveling to see writers? Definitely a first, since usually writers can't get a studio's attention without calling in a bomb threat. Good luck on that.

    As the website project continues, tell us how these young lions intend to drive visitors to the site....always the hardest part of Internet sales.

  2. It all sounds so exciting. I get emotional (in a good way) being in the presence of talented people. Imagine how much fun those web people had doing their thing and then doing it over again. Just another opportunity to create.

    I don't know how you can write so many hours a day without a nap. What's your secret? Passion? Caffeine?