On my Facebook Author page that posts to Twitter, I might have five or six helpful links per day - check it out.
I still post to the Hollywood Writers group on Yahoo, but a lot more useless activity - as most of us know - takes place on Facebook, so I had to migrate over there.
And just because I have a goatee on this page doesn't mean I have one in real life. Just wanted to say that in case you're beautiful, single, and sane and think I'm kinda cute. (Ha! Who am I kidding?!)
To be a successful writer, you have to be a dreamer...
If you want an autographed copy of any of my books, contact me for details. I send them via Priority Mail and like being paid via Paypal.com because I can print out a label directly from that site. Meanwhile, did you come to my site looking for the free newsletter I promised in some books? I used to send out newsletters, until it got to be simply too time-consuming. So I started the Yahoo group instead.
I'm working on my own scripts and projects these days as I can. I'm not looking for projects from anyone else unless someone's willing to pay me to help.
After being interviewed by my friend Andrew Morton for his excellent book on Tom Cruise, I was happy to sign up when he started a Website. I've written articles about Hollywood adventures, but mostly about the scurrilous cult of $cientology, which I was fooled into being a part of for many years. I wrote about Lisa Marie Presley and not long after that, she left the cult. I wrote a three-part series about Ron Hubbard's anti-gay activities and his own probable homosexual escapades. As soon as I can, I'll tell the whole strange story. Let me know if you'd be interested in reading it.
To join "Skip's Hollywood Hangout" for friends and free advice, click on the button at right.
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My late friend Tim Casey and I worked on a screenplay called "Strayhorn" - the last one written by Oscar winner Bill Kelly, who wrote "Witness." It's a great story we hoped to bring to the screen and Jay Fernandez (then with the L.A. Times, now with the Hollywood Reporter) agreed it should be made. Go see why. (You might have to pay to read the whole article but it's a great story.) We worked on it with a director and almost got it to Clint Eastwood, then he did another movie with Matt Damon instead of reading our script. If you want to produce a great (and funny) Western, get in touch. Think about it, one of the best writers of early television's "Gunsmoke" wrote a fabulous Western after winning an Oscar, and you could be involved in making the movie!
In 2010, I set up a director's first feature, a horror movie set in Louisiana. Through me, he met a Hollywood vetreran who financed the picture. I read the script several times, gave him notes, made a phone call, and my "friend" took it from there, completely screwing me out of any money, credit, or compensation after promising everything repeatedly. That's Hollywood! Even I can get fooled. I had another supposed friend who was going to do a remake of a classic horror film, then the writer wanted more money, and the production company said no and pulled the plug. Enter my slimy "best friend" with a great model of a monster and a script he was willing to rewrite. So the disappointed producer "friend" got a new project, and that made me happy. Then they both screwed me out of anything.
The way the movie got made is the kind of scenario I've seen over and over in this town. Opportunity is met by preparedness and talent, and something that seems only a dream to some becomes a hard-won reality that millions can enjoy. That's why I work so hard to make sure people I refer to so-called professionals are truly prepared! My "friends" got kicked in the ass by karma - the Hollywood Reporter said the film had the lowest number of attendees per theater in history!
My daughter Holly and I at the Reagan Library in early 2009 for an event honoring Congressional Medal of Honor recipients. What an honor it was to meet some of these people and hear their stories of heroism, and to see Nancy Reagan in person.
At that annual event in 2010 I met people like Robert Duvall and Powers Boothe and thoroughly enjoyed seeing Duvall - a great actor who thrilled me as "Boo Radley" as a kid - accept an award and talk about his love for his country.
I was a big fan of Ronald Reagan and still am. I know a lot of like-minded people in Hollywood that attend events like this one. If I get to know you and you're interested, I'll tell you about it. I post about things like this on my Facebook page so if you're on Facebook come say hello.
I helped Yvonne Isaacs shape her book about her experiences as a nursing instructor and nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of hospitals. Raised in England, she ended up in Arkansas and made her mark quickly, including having friends in the Clinton White House.
We put together a book proposal and shopped it, and got an agent and some publishing interest, then Yvonne got tired of waiting, wrote this book, and got it published. Her initiative and persistence is admirable; I wish more beginning writers had as much.
There are some very touching stories in this book about families who have a "preemie" birth and I highly recommend reading it.
I loved the year I taught at UCLA Extension Writers Program. I had a student who was a gondolier in Venice, a psychiatrist in charge of the juvenile programs in L.A. County, and a somewhat irritated poet/actress who went on to become a star of the Aspen writing scene.
When Janna Plant became my student, she was still in high school and her mother brought her to class. I found her very bright and eager to get somewhere with her writing. I never forgot her, as I never forget memorable students and people.
17 years later I got an email from her telling me a little about where she'd been, what she'd done, and announcing that she'd "finally" written her book. I got a big smile, and a bigger one when she sent me a copy. Janna never gave up, which is the mark of a true writer.