"Affection is the last and final and most precious reward than any man can win, whether by character or achievement." -- Mark Twain
(NOTE: All my book pictures are clickable; order and I'll autograph a bookplate and mail it to you.)
By dictionary definition, I'm a best-selling author and editor. Meanwhile, teaching and helping others is a path God chose for me while I made other plans. My favorite client success in 2010 at the midpoint is hearing from former student Barry Cowan in Canada that he got a green light on his action feature "Deadly Cargo" which will shoot in late August 2010. Barry has had many successes. I got this from him in 2009:
I just wanted to send you another “thanks”, not only for your book but for your online group as well. After having one children’s fantasy/adventure feature produced, I have three contracted assignments for some low budget direct to video flicks – but at least they all have green lights and distribution deals already. As I said before, I just wanted to thank you not only for your comprehensive book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Screenwriting which is how I got into writing screenplays in the first place, but for your time and effort that you put into the group. So… Thanks, Skip!!!
In September, 2010 he wrote to say his script "Ricky Lazio Jr., F.B.I." had started shooting in Canada. It's now finished and he has more going. Go, Barry!
Here's one in July 2010 from Heather Mojica:
I'm so glad I listened to you about "Ballad of the Fireflies." My script is now better than ever and I am getting some fantastic reviews and people are responding very well to the new version and It is all because of your expert consultant work on the script.
Recently, I consulted a friend on his first TV script (a pilot) and he ended up with a development deal with a legendary producer at CBS and offers to write for two shows - Epix (Paramount, MGM) and for Bob Papazian (producer of "Rome"). With help, a talented novice can break into Hollywood.
It's always thrilling to hear of people's first big success. At the 2008 Austin Film Festival screenplay competition one client came in second, and the winner, Anita Skibski, said this about my help:
I was thinking about you on the plane home last night... remembering how you were the FIRST professional I sent the script to for coverage, and how much you helped me. Your comments were right on the money, and I can honestly say that MINE hasn't changed much since that first, post-Skip rewrite. :) ... When I come to LA again, I'll take you to lunch. Pick somewhere swanky.
I got this from Tony Ducklow in 2009 after coaching him on writing a novel and getting an agent:
They picked up my manuscript! If it wasn't for you, there would be no Summer of the Crows, you gave me the correct input to turn my short story into a children's novel. Now, I have to find a publisher, but at least I'm part of the way there.
I helped Gleb Kaminer with his fine script "Profile 21" and he became a semi-finalist in the Academy's Nicholl contest (the reader called him to thank him for writing such a great script). Sometimes I don't even know about results until much later. In April 2010, Joanne Wannan wrote to tell me about her script "Obituary" being made into a Lifetime movie starring Josie Bissett - in 2006!
I began teaching at UCLA Extension Writers Program in 1992 with "How To Write What You Want & Sell What You Write" - that became my first writing book. The latest edition is published by Barnes & Noble Books. It's helped a lot of people get book deals.
Three editions of my "Writer's Guide to Hollywood Producers, Directors and Screenwriters' Agents" put me in touch with aspiring writers all over the world. A better book called "The Ultimate Writer's Guide to Hollywood" debuted November 2004 from Barnes & Noble Books. My "Complete Idiot's Guide to Screenwriting" became a best-seller also available in Russian, and in 2008 the English language third edition debuted.
Giving Hollywood advice led to being asked to create my "Your Screenwriting Career" course taken by thousands of students. I have other courses also available (see the Services page). I believe everyone should be able to write well. Literate people tend to be more sane. If you need my help let me know. Good writing and good times with good people floats my boat.
My prices are explained on the Services page. I'm 20 years as a full-time writer, editor, and media entrepreneur. I've made money with plays, books, novels, articles, videos, scripts and just about any other kind of creative writing you can name. I've put on conventions, spoken all over the U.S.
I've used PayPal for years to accept money from all over the world, with never a snag on my end. The site is owned by eBay. The only catch is you might not be able to pay more than $2000 at any one time without being a member. On Paypal you can pay with any credit card or debit card. If you've never used it I can send you an invoice and you just click through and pay. I'm also old-fashioned; I'll take a check or even an occasional barter!
Need a ghostwriter or someone to edit your manuscript and help market your work? I ghost-wrote Joe Brown's "How a Shy Guy Like Me Earned Over $1 Million in Network Marketing" and it rose to #1 in its category on Amazon.com. My latest book is the autobiography of legendary singer Patti Page, covering her 80 years of life (so far) and 65-year amazing career that's still going strong. It takes a professional approach to get a book, novel, or screenplay in shape. I have to like the project and the person; but I generally like most people, so get in touch.
2008 I had three original television shows in play with major people, a script I helped rewrite that was the last project of an Oscar winner, and the biographies of three music legends (one published in 2009, another sold, and the other up for sale). 2009, I had three books come out, and had former students come out with a first book, got agents and managers for people, and got a sleeping vacation last week of December with the kids out of town.
In 2010 so far, I set up someone to direct his first movie, edited a book about making movies, edited a screenwriting book, got more book deals going, and started moving into the arena of doing only my work. The best is yet to come. Make a big leap of faith toward a great dream of yours, whether being published, selling a script, or anything else! I help dreams come true - so get in touch.
Never give up on your greatest dreams
I found this quote one day in the Wall Street Journal:
"Heaven, when it is about to place a great responsibility on a man, always first tests his resolution, wears out his sinews and bones with toil, exposes his body to starvation, subjects him to extreme poverty, frustrates his efforts so as to stimulate his mind, toughens his nature and makes good his deficiencies. Men for the most part can mend their ways only after they make mistakes. Only when they are frustrated in mind and in their deliberations can they stand up anew. Only when their intentions become visible on their countenances and audible in their voices can they be understood by others. As a rule, a state without law–abiding families and trustworthy Gentlemen on the one hand, and, on the other, without the threat of external aggression, will perish. Only then do we realize that anxiety and distress lead to life and that ease and comfort end in death."
Chinese philosopher Mencius, Book VI Kao Tzu, Part II, 15