Some exciting news today out of the literary department at Maximum Z HQ:
My new book GO AHEAD AND ASK! INTERVIEWS ABOUT SCREENWRITING (AND PIE) VOLUME 3 is officially released – in both paperback and e-book.
Putting all three volumes together has been quite an effort, and definitely a long time in coming, but they’re all set and ready for purchase here or here.
It was always my intent to have these books be about more than just writing a script; it’s about providing the writer with the tools to help them improve. This is why each volume is chock-full of helpful information, tips, and guidance from a wide variety of writing professionals to not only guide you in developing your craft, but how to potentially make your script better. Definitely a win-win scenario.
Not only that, but if you like what somebody has to say and are interested in asking them about helping you with your material, their contact information (email and/or website, and the occasional social media handle) is right there on the page for you.
Plus, numerous types of pie, along with a few other assorted desserts, being mentioned, which is always a good thing.
For those who’ve already purchased volumes 1 and 2, I offer a heartfelt thank you, while also hoping you feel the need to complete the set and get volume 3. Or if there’s a special screenwriter in your life who you think might benefit from, or at least enjoy these books, I’ll just casually mention that the holidays will be here before you know it, and that books always make for an excellent gift.
My third book – GO AHEAD AND ASK! INTERVIEWS ABOUT SCREENWRITING (AND PIE) VOLUME 3 is in the final preparation stages, and an official release date of October 7th.
This is the last collection of interviews done for this blog over the years, including helpful and insightful comments from script consultants, writers of TV and film, playwrights, and writers in other mediums.
Responses to the first two books have been overwhelmingly positive, and fingers are firmly crossed for this one. They’re available here and here.
While a lot of other screenwriting books are more of a “here’s how you write a script”, these are geared more towards “how can I make my script better?” The advice from the experts within can help with that.
Plus, lots and lots of pie suggestions, which is always a good thing.
Bonus – the holidays will be here before you know it, and the complete set of three books makes for an excellent gift. A great resource for any screenwriter’s library.
A few of my writing colleagues got in touch with me this week, each seeking input on a few assorted topics.
One was asking for my thoughts on their short script.
Another asked for my advice regarding how to approach some business and legal issues of working with a director.
I offered what guidance I could for both, and both expressed their gratitude.
Similarly, I met with another writer friend who offered up some great suggestions and guidance for potential ideas regarding other avenues for my scripts.
I’m definitely not the type to go around saying “Got a problem? I’ve got the perfect solution!”; maybe more “Don’t know how much I can help, but I’m certainly willing to give it a try.” Most of the time it works out, along with the occasional totally unexpected but still positive results.
A lot of this wouldn’t be possible if I hadn’t taken the time to establish and maintain a professional relationship with each of these writers. It’s how I operate overall, and a practice I heartily recommend every writer do.
Although writing is primarily a solitary activity, that doesn’t mean you have to stay isolated. Connecting and interacting with other writers is beneficial on several levels. Any help or boost you can offer another writer is always appreciated.
Same thing for when the situation is reversed and I ask another writer for help. Got time to read my latest draft? Could you look over this query letter? You’ve worked with this person before – how did that go?
A hashtag I frequently use in social media is #WritingCommunity, because that’s exactly what it is. I may not be the most active or vocal member, and sometimes it takes me a little longer to respond than I like, but I take part or help out when possible.
I’ve enjoyed it, look forward to continuing to do so, and hope you do too.
-A friendly reminder that my book GO AHEAD AND ASK!, INTERVIEWS ABOUT SCREENWRITING (AND PIE) VOLUME ONE is now available in both print and ebook formats.
It contains 42 interviews with script consultants, and offers a wide variety of helpful advice that could benefit any screenwriter, no matter how much or how little experience they have, as well as each person’s contact info (where applicable), and of course, their favorite kind of pie.
And as the title indicates, this is the first volume. The second and third, featuring interviews with not only more consultants, but also screenwriters, filmmakers, and writers in other mediums, are slated for release in the late June/early July and mid-September timeframes, respectively.
In the meantime, I hope you’ll be interested enough in wanting to take a look at this one.
Thanks for reading, enjoy the book, and have a piece of pie with my compliments.
Author’s note: got some other stuff that requires my attention, and a recent discussion about pineapple upside-down cake reminded me I did a post involving it a few years ago, so hope you enjoy this blast from the past from July 2016.
“Before we get to the gist of today’s post, let’s address the elephant in the room: my western did not advance to the quarterfinals of the PAGE contest.
Honestly, I was a little surprised; I thought it would have done better. After a brief wallow in disappointment, I shrugged my shoulders and moved on. It’s just another one of those things over which I have no control. I still have a ton of confidence in this script and might submit again next year. Also waiting to see how it fares in Austin and the Nicholl.
True, it was a rather lousy way to start the weekend, but over the next couple of days, I managed to redirect my focus, which included a nice long run that involved traversing the Golden Gate Bridge, and attempting something I’ve always wanted to try:
Making a pineapple upside-down cake (from scratch, naturally).
Guests were coming over for dinner, and I’d made pies for them before. But this time, I wanted to try something entirely new and preferably a little challenging. I’d say this falls into both categories.
I scoured the internet for an ideal recipe, found one to my satisfaction, and followed the directions to the letter. The result? It looked like it was supposed to, and that’s where the similarities end. A little too sweet and the center was still kind of goopy. Nevertheless, my guests still liked it, and K & I split the last piece after they left. Not bad for a first attempt.
Why did it not turn out the way I expected? A lot of reasons. The oven’s a piece of junk. It didn’t bake long enough. The ingredients and the amount of them probably need to be tweaked. No matter what, I know now that I can adjust all of these next time and get closer to the results I seek.
Except for the oven. It will forever remain a piece of junk until it dies. Which can’t happen soon enough. But I digress.
Notice all of the comparisons you could make between baking and writing a script? Trying something new and long-sought-after. Seeking advice and guidance. Following the guidelines. Doing what I was supposed to. An okay-but-was-hoping-for-better initial result. Planning ahead on what to fix/adjust for next time.
If a less-than-determined baker ended up with the cake I made, they’d probably denounce the whole process, give up entirely and probably buy pre-made stuff at the supermarket. But we’re made of sterner stuff. We hit a snag or some kind of unforeseen development, and we compensate as best we can. We learn what not to do next time. Sometimes you end up with something jaw-droppingly amazing, and sometimes you end up with something totally inedible.
With this whole experience behind me, I can now focus on projects of the immediate future, which includes another round of editing and revising a script, and making a pie or two for a dinner party this coming weekend.
It’s my intention to have the results of both of these undertakings be totally and utterly irresistible when they’re done and ready to serve.”