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Tag Archives | authors

Writers Guild of America, West logo

Writers Guild announces nominees for 2012 screen awards

The Writers Guild of America has put out the rest of its list of nominees for 2012 awards. Yesterday, the WGA West and East, revealed the nominations for outstanding achievement in writing for the big screen during 2011. ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY 50/50, Written by Will Reiser; Summit Entertainment Bridesmaids, Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig; Universal Pictures Midnight in Paris, Written by Woody Allen; Sony Pictures Classics Win Win, Screenplay by Tom McCarthy; Story by Tom McCarthy & Joe Tiboni; Fox Searchlight... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Author Sue Ann Jaffarian reacts with a smile to while chatting with writers after a workshop at the Buena Vista libarary in Burbank September 17, 2011

A Look back: A writer’s workshop on how to get an agent

Multi-talented author and Media City Groove guest blogger, Sue Ann Jaffarian, conducted a very informative writer’s workshop called, “Turning Agent Woes Into Agent Wows,” at the Buena Vista library here in Burbank last month. Forty-to-fifty writers showed up for the September 17 workshop. Many spent most of the time scribbling notes as Sue Ann covered the agent search from manuscript preparation to how to write the kind of e-mail query that will catch an agent’s attention. Also, Sue Ann shared some tips on where to find agents on the Internet and what to ask... Read More →

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Photo courtesy Guest Blogger Sue Ann Jaffarian

How to snag an agent to shop your literary project

For a lot of writers getting an agent is harder than the writing.  Media City Groove Guest Blogger, Sue Ann Jaffarian, has leaped that hurdle to become a best-selling author of three mystery series.  Jaffarian, a paralegal for a Los Angeles firm, started off in self-publishing, and along her writer’s journey picked up a thing or two about making that agent hook-up. Jaffarian is going to share some of her tips in a writer’s workshop called, “Turning Agent Woes Into Agent Wows,” this Saturday, September 17, 2 p.m. at the Buena Vista... Read More →

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Photo: Cover fof new short story, "Where's Your Daddy?" by Sue Ann Jaffarian

A Writer’s View: Short stories a hot writer’s market

Since I was a kid, I have loved short stories.  Amongst my favorites were “The Ransom of Red Chief” and “The Gift of the Magi,” both by O. Henry, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, and “The Telltale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe. They packed fun, poignancy and terror in just a few short pages, providing word for word a powerful punch. Short fiction has always been with us, but in the past few years it has been enjoying a resurgence in popularity.  When print magazines and online e-zines, always a... Read More →

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"The Help" movie poster

“The Help” gets promoted to top spot at box office

“The Help” got a boost to number one at the domestic box office with a weekend estimate of $20 million. The comedy-drama is about a young southern white woman and her relationship with the black “help” during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Emma Stone, Viola Davis, and Octavia Spencer star. “The Help” is based on the 2009 bestselling novel of the same title by Kathryn Stockett. The film’s budget, $25 million. In two weeks, it has made around $71 million and is getting some Oscar buzz as... Read More →

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Photo courtesy author Cheryl Holt

A Writer’s View: “New York Times bestselling author dishes on the dramatic changes in the publishing industry”

New York Times bestselling author dishes on the dramatic changes in  the publishing industry I always considered myself to be the walking, talking success story of American publishing.  I’m a lawyer, and at age 40, I had two babies back to back.  Suddenly, I was a stay-at-home mom and trying to figure out how to replace the income I relinquished due to this life change. I decided to start writing novels.  I didn’t know anything about writing books or about the publishing industry.  I simply forged ahead, armed with a steely... Read More →

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Rebecca Forster's latest novel, "Beyond Malice," is a digital release only.

A Writer’s View: Am I An Author Idiot?

Am I An Author Idiot?  Working with a freelance editor I face each new project with a combination of angst and self pity, positive I will never write a decent book again much less publish one. After 23 published novels, one indie and two scripts (one in development) you’d think I’d be over all that. I’m not. Enter, my freelance editor Jenny Jensen*. I work with her because she is in my corner and because I sell more often when I do. Still, I have to wonder, why can’t I edit myself?... Read More →

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Photo: Cover of "Bound by Blood" by Amanda Ashley due to hit book stores in October 2011

A Writer’s View: Why are we so in love with vampires?

Guest blogger today is Amanda Ashley/Madeline Baker. A California author in love with writing historical romance, time travel, fantasy romance, vampire romance and whatever strikes her fancy. She has written over 70 books since selling her first novel,”Reckless Heart”, after getting 31 rejections. Her books have appeared on various bestseller lists, including The New York Times and USA Today. Why are we so in love with vampires? I think the answer is obvious! Think Damon and Stefan Salvatore from “The Vampires Diaries”. I am totally mesmerized by Damon, who has the most beautiful,... Read More →

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book cover for "Produced by Faith"

Movie studio executive-turned-author gives advice to script writers

Columbia Pictures Vice-President, DeVon Franklin, leads a double life and he’s proud of it. Franklin is a devote Christian and a minister as well as studio executive.  Franklin has incorporated his faith into a business model, which he talks about in his new book “Produced by Faith: Enjoy Real Success without Compromising Your True Self.” Franklin is the executive who brought the low-budget, but very successful script project, “Jumping the Broom,” to Columbia. Produced for less than $7 million, the romantic comedy has made over $30 million at the box office in about three... Read More →

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movie poster "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Strange Tides"

“Pirates 4” captures huge haul at box office

“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Strange Tides” sailed right to the top of the box office on its opening weekend. The fourth installment in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie series earned an estimated $90.1 million to easily become the number one flick in the country. This bountiful debut clearly shows movie audiences are willing to throw down some money at theaters to see sequels. “Pirates 4” stars Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz,  Ian McShane, and Geoffrey Rush in a plot based on the book, “On... Read More →

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movie poster "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Strange Tides"

“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Strange Tides” opening tomorrow

The big summer movies are rolling into theaters. Tomorrow, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Strange Tides,” opens in the U.S.  The fantasy adventure is the fourth installment in the “Pirates of the Caribbean”  film series. The movie is based on the book from 1987, “On Strange Tides,” by Tim Powers. Today over on the publishing site Galleycat, Powers talks about his fantasy  book, how it got optioned by Disney, and more here.

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movie poster for "Thor"

“Thor” thunders to the top of the box office

“Thor” hammered the competition into submission at the box office this weekend. The superhero action flick debuted with an estimated $66 million to become the number one film in the country. “Thor” is based on the Marvel comic book hero who is punished for his arrogance by being banished from his mythical homeland of Asgard and sent to Earth. The cast includes Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins. Last week’s top movie, “Fast Five,” put the pedal to the metal, but managed only second place this time. “Fast Five” generated around $32.5... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Producer Chuck Fries signed copies of his new book at the Buena Vista Library in Burbank 2011

Photo Gallery: Chuck Fries, Hollywood movie maker turned book author

Prolific television producer, Chuck Fries, was in the spotlight recently at the Burbank public library sponsored “An Evening with Hollywood Movers & Shaker.” The event on March 22, drew a crowd to the Buena Vista Library. Fries was introduced by popular radio personality and disc jockey, Rick Dees, who has the #1 rated internationally syndicated radio show, “Rick Dees Weekly Top 40.” Chuck Fries has produced over 100 movies for television. His credits include a wide variety of films like, “She Waits” (1972), “The Secret Night Caller” (1975),”Cat People” (1982), “Sins of... Read More →

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stack of screenplays

ShowBiz Bits:Tom Hanks, John Wayne, and spec script sales

 Tom Hanks takes on real-life hero role  The high-seas drama of cargo ship Captain Richard Phillips and the Somali pirates is headed to the big screen. Actor Tom Hanks is reportedly on board to play Phillips, according to Back in April of 2009, Captain Phillips traded himself as a hostage to the pirates to save his crew. Phillips was later freed in a daring rescue by U.S. Navy Seals. More on Hanks and this project on Deadline. John Wayne photo book coming soon The... Read More →

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Battle:Los Angeles movie poster

“Battle: LA” wins shootout at box office

The new gritty sci-fi action flick, “Battle: Los Angeles,” fought its way to the top of the box office this weekend.  “Battled: LA” debuted with an estimated $36 million to become the number one movie in the country. Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriquez, and pop singer Ne-Yo are in the cast of  “Battle: LA,” which is about a marine platoon that goes up against invading aliens in the City of Angels.  Last week’s top film, Johnny Depp’s computer-animated western-comedy, “Rango,” slipped to second place with around $23 million. ‘ The new... Read More →

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logo for TV show "Two and a Half Men"

ShowBiz Bits: Charlie Sheen files $100 million lawsuit, book deal for Bill Cosby, and Hollywood script news

Another twist in the Charlie Sheen saga There are more strange twists in the real-life saga of troubled-outspoken actor, Charlie Sheen, than most TV shows. This morning, Sheen’s attorney filed a $100 million lawsuit against Warner Bros. and “Two and a Half Men” co-creator/executive producer, Chuck Lorre. The suit comes days after Warner Bros. fired Sheen from the highly rated TV sitcom. The Wrap has the termination letter, a copy of Sheen’s complaint, and more here. Book deal for actor/comedian/author, Bill Cosby Entertainer Bill... Read More →

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Book cover for "Never in my Wildest Dreams A Black Woman

Pioneer journalist Belva Davis brings book tour to Southland

Award-winning journalist/author, Belva Davis, is in the Southland this weekend for a number of meet-and-greet-and-book signing events. As Black History month draws to a close, this is an incredible opportunity to meet a trailblazer, Davis, the first African American female reporter/anchor in the West, who covered some of the most significant news stories of the past few decades while fighting racism and sexism. In her memoir, “Never in My Wildest Dreams: A Black Woman’s Life in Journalism,” Davis describes her fascinating journey, from a difficult childhood to a broken... Read More →

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Book cover for "Never in my Wildest Dreams A Black Woman's Life in Journalism

New book out today by television trailblazer Belva Davis

 It’s not easy being the first to break through social and professional barriers, especially back in the turbulent sixties. Nevertheless, someone has to step up, take the risks, suffer the insults and the rejections, and Belva Davis did that to become the first black female television journalist/anchor in the western United States. Davis tells her incredible story of rising from the projects of Oakland to become an award winning television reporter, known around the world, in her new book out today. “Never in My Wildest Dreams: A Black Woman’s Life in Journalism,” was... Read More →

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movie projector clipart

ShowBiz Bits:More awards nominations, Oprah’s new TV network & holiday Box Office

The 2011 WGA screen award nominees The Writers Guild of America today announced its nominees for outstanding achievement in writing for the screen in 2010. Here are some of the big screen nominees: Original Screenplay Black Swan, Screenplay by Mark Heyman and Andres Heinz and John McLaughlin; Story by Andres Heinz; Fox Searchlight The Fighter, Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson; Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson; Paramount Pictures Inception, Written by Christopher Nolan; Warner Bros. The Kids Are All... Read More →

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Photo: Pete Souza/White House -- First Lady Michelle Obama reads "Twas the Night Before Christmas" in Washington DC on December 9, 2010

Holiday Highlights: “Twas the Night Before Christmas”

 “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” also called “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” has become a holiday tradition for young and old. There is some debate over — was it Clement Clarke Moore or Henry Livingston, Jr. who originally wrote the poem back in the 1800s. No matter, the wonderful words are timeless and conjure up the magic and hope of Christmas Eve. There are many variations of the famous poem. Here’s one version: Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung... Read More →

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cover of Montana Hearts. The book is by Charlotte Carter

Living it up with Author Charlotte Carter

Author Charlotte Carter is a mother of two and grandmother of five, but you’d never say she’s over the hill. Not with the activities Carter is involved in. The talented SoCal writer and ardent volunteer, has had more than 50 romance, mystery, and inspirational novels published. A few years back, I was the moderator for a writers/authors group in Burbank and Carter was a guest speaker a couple of times. An experienced workshop facilitator, Carter has  participated in writers’ events at the Burbank library as well. Carter’s newest book, “Montana Hearts,” hits store shelves today. It’s... Read More →

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