New Book: Now Write! Mysteries

The latest ADDITION TO the Now Write! series is AVAILABLE NOW!

Now Write! Mysteries is the fourth volume in the acclaimed Now Write! series, due out December 29, 2011 from series publisher Tarcher/Penguin and available for pre-order now.

Now Write! Mysteries  is an essential handbook of suspense, crime, thriller and other mystery exercises covering topics from research and “detective work” to creating a compelling detective character and keeping a series going.

Now Write! Mysteries contributors include many New York Times-bestselling authors and Edgar, Shamus and Hugo Award recipients and nominees.

Now Write! Mysteries was edited by series originator Sherry Ellis, who was working on the book when she passed away earlier this year.  Her niece, Laurie Lamson, took over putting the book together after the untimely death of her aunt.  As the co-editor of Now Write! Screenwriting, Laurie was the logical choice for the job.  Please contact Laurie with any questions or comments.

Available for preorder at: Penguin Books, Barnes & Nobles and Amazon.

Check out Now Write! Fiction, Now Write! Nonfiction and Now Write! Screenwriting.



New Work by Now Write! Fiction Contributors

Found seven new books released in 2010 and 2011 written by Now Write! Fiction contributors and I wanted to let you know about them.  Could make great holiday gifts.  – Laurie

Short Fiction

Where the God of Love Hangs Out by Amy Bloom
Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2011
 Love, in its many forms and complexities, weaves through this collection by Amy Bloom, the New York Times bestselling author of Away.  Propelled by Bloom’s unmistakable voice and generous wit, Where the God of Love Hangs Out takes us to the margins and the centers of people’s emotional lives, exploring the changes that come with love and loss.


Birds of Paradise by Diana Abu-Jaber
W. W. Norton & Company, 2011
 A multilayered, textured novel about family and self, self-indulgence and generosity, against the vivid backdrop of contemporary Miami. Avis and Brian Muir are still haunted by the disappearance of their ineffably beautiful daughter, Felice, who ran away when she was thirteen. Now, after five years her family members will each be forced to confront their anguish, loss, and sense of betrayal.

A Small Hotel by Robert Olen Butler
Grove Press, 2011
 Set in contemporary New Orleans but working its way back in time, A Small Hotel chronicles the relationship between Michael and Kelly Hays, who have decided to separate after twenty-four years of marriage. An intelligent, deeply moving, and remarkably written portrait of a relationship that reads as a cross between a romance novel and a literary page-turner.

 Await Your Reply by Don Chaon
Random House Reader’s Circle, 2010
The lives of three strangers interconnect in unforeseen ways–and with unexpected consequences.  Await Your Reply has the momentum of a thriller in which pasts are invented and reinvented and the future is both seductively uncharted and perilously unmoored.

Young Adult NOVEL

Every Little Thing In The World by Nina de Gramont
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2011Sixteen-year-old Sydney Biggs is a ‘good kid’. Smart, pretty, self-aware…and pregnant. But she’s only told Natalia, her best friend, and when the police escort the pair home after they ‘borrow’ a car, they’re sent to a wilderness camp for the summer.


 Sanctificum by Chris Albani
Copper Canyon Press, 2010
A self-described “zealot of optimism,” Chris Abani investigates complex personal history, family, and romantic love using religious ritual, the Nigerian Igbo language, and reggae rhythms, Abani creates a post-racial, liturgical love song that covers the globe from Abuja to Los Angeles.

A History of Yearning by Kathleen Spivak
The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, 2010
Most of these poems begin with paintings and photographs, and rise from them as fragrance rises from spring flowers after a hard winter, a gift to us from language that survives and blooms and brings us pleasures we hardly know how to name.


New Work by Now Write! Nonfiction Contributors

Found four diverse nonfiction books released in the last couple of years and one novel written by Now Write! Nonfiction contributors.  Pretty fascinating lineup here.  – Laurie

Kingdom Under Glass: A Tale of Obsession, Adventure, and One Man’s Quest to Preserve the World’s Great Animals by Jay Kirk
Henry Holt and Co., 2010
A sweeping historical narrative of the life of Carl Akeley, the famed explorer and taxidermist who changed the way Americans viewed the conservation of the natural world. During the golden age of safaris in the early twentieth century, one man set out to preserve Africa’s great beasts. In this epic account of an extraordinary life lived during remarkable times, Jay Kirk follows the adventures of the brooding genius who revolutionized taxidermy and created the famed African Hall we visit today at New York’s Museum of Natural History.

The Secret of Chanel No. 5: The Intimate History of the World’s Most Famous Perfume by Tilar J. Mazzeo
Harper, 2010
The unauthorized biography of the world’s most famous, seductive, and successful perfume.  A blend of evocative history and thoughtful research, here is a glittering account of where art and sensuality mingle with dazzling entrepreneurship and desire.

The Secret Lives of Boys: Inside the Raw Emotional World of Male Teens by Malina Saval (you can download her Now Write! Nonfiction exercise here)
Basic Books, 2009
This unprecedented look into the lives and social groups of boys across America is a parent and teacher’s key to understanding the hidden hopes, fears, pains, and passions of their sons and students. This book asks the pertinent questions: Who are these boys? What do they think of themselves? How can we advise them properly in a way that they will not resist? Saval digs deep to uncover what binds these boys, what makes them different, what they want you to know.

The Silent Season of a Hero: The Sports Writing of Gay Talese
 Walker & Company, reprint edition, 2010
Chronicling Talese’s writing over more than six decades, from high school and college columns to his signature adult journalism and including several never-before-published pieces (such as one on sports anthropology), a new introduction by the author, and notes on the background of each piece.

Habit of a Foreign Sky a novel by XuXi
Haven Books, 2010
Somewhere between Hong Kong and New York, life does an abrupt shift for Gail Szeto when her last family member is killed in an accident. For Gail, a mixed-race, single mother who had buried her young son less than two years prior, all she has left is a hard-won career at a global investment bank. Life rapidly goes into free fall for this woman with a complicated past, who was once so sure of her direction in life. An international cast of characters in New York, Hong Kong and Shanghai.


New Work by Now Write! Screenwriting Contributors

Six tomes for every screenwriter’s library, a novel-writing guide and two novels written by Now Write! Screenwriting contributors in the last few years.   – Laurie


The Screenwriter’s Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script, 5th Edition, Expanded & Updated by David Trottier
Silman-James Press, 2010
 One of the most popular, authoritative, and useful books on screenwriting, this is a friendly guide through the Hollywood morass. The new edition offers expanded coverage of dialogue writing and character development, the latest in proper screenplay format, a new section on jumpstarting your career, new advice on creating and delivering pitches and much more.

 Mind Your Business: A Hollywood Literary Agent’s Guide To Your Writing Career byMichele Wallerstein
Michael Wiese Productions, 2010
A former Hollywood literary agent explains the secrets of maneuvering in the world of Hollywood screenwriters. This book includes chapters on the agent-client relationship, how to network successfully, how to write the right query letter, and more.

 Story Maps: How To Create a Great Screenplay and Story Maps Booster Pack #1 by Daniel Calvisi
 Act Four Screenplays, 2011
Learn the secrets to writing a great screenplay from a major movie studio Story Analyst. Master the structure and principles used by 95% of commercial movies by studying detailed breakdowns or “Story Maps” of several recent and classic hits in all different genres.

 Rewrite: A Step-by-Step Guide to Strengthen Structure, Characters, and Drama in your Screenplay by Paul Chitlik
Michael Wiese Productions, 2008
Professional screenwriters know that the rewriting process is what separates the money-makers from the neophytes. This illustrated, step-by-step guide shows the process of re-writing and why it is so essential.

 Your Screenplay Sucks!: 100 Ways to Make It Great by Will Akers
Michael Wiese Productions, 2008
A lifetime member of the Writer’s Guild of America who has had three feature films produced from his screenplays, Akers offers beginning writers the tools they need to get their screenplay noticed.

Novel Writing

The 90 Day Novel: Unlock the Story Within, 2nd edition by Alan Watt
The 90-Day Novel Press, 2010
Get the first draft down quickly! The 90-Day Novel is a day-by-day guide through the process of getting the first draft of your novel onto the page. The 90-Day Novel was workshopped at LA Writers’ Lab over three years and has helped hundreds of writers complete their work. Some of Watt’s students have gone on to become bestselling authors and win major literary awards.


Death by Sunshine by Allison Burnett
Writers Tribe Books*, 2011 (*Alan Watt’s new micropublishing company)

B.K. Troop is an aging, erudite, chemically imbalanced, gay, alcoholic novelist living in Manhattan. His life is turned upside down when he is invited to Los Angeles to adapt one of his novels into a screenplay. Soon after his arrival, B.K. is thrust into the heart of a mystery that only he can solve.

Whirly Bird byWesley Strick
 Amazon Kindle edition, 2009
Spring, 1980. A fugitive from justice flees L.A. for Europe. As Duncan Hull tries to stay one step ahead of Interpol, a pair of CIA operatives comes to suspect he’s an opposition agent, sent abroad to disrupt the imminent Delta Force rescue of U.S. hostages from our Tehran embassy. What follows is a blackly comic collision of cultures, motives, secrets and lies.

My Breakfast With Aditya Pt. 1 & 2

I recently had the opportunity to interview Aditya Ezhuthachan, Head of Development for Palomar Pictures.

Aditya works for Sigurjon Sighvatsson, a veteran producer with over 40 feature films and television series to his credit, including BROTHERS, ARLINGTON ROAD, WILD AT HEART, KALIFORNIA and BASQUIAT.

Offering rare insight for aspiring screenwriters, Aditya was kind enough to share his honest perspective and advice.

In Part 1 of the interview we discuss the craft of screenwriting from a development exec’s point of view. In Part 2 we discuss the business side of screenwriting, some of the ‘dos and don’ts’ and what to expect if your script is accepted by an independent movie producer.

Part 1 and Part 2 are now both available on  Talentville is a resource and on-line community for screenwriters and the brainchild of Final Draft co-creator, Ben Cahan.

To read My Breakfast With Aditya, Parts 1 & 2, join (it’s free), go to the University and search for professor: Now Write. – Laurie Lamson