Tuesday, November 08, 2005

News news news

Amusing/bemusing article in the Wall Street Journal today discussing the sorry fact that writers must use pen names once their own names fail to charm the computers of the chain stores.

These days, publishing veterans talk about "the death spiral" of authors' careers. A first novel generates terrific reviews and good sales, but with each succeeding book, sales get weaker and the chains cut their orders until they don't stock any at all.

And it doesn't matter how long you've been in the business: take William P. Kennedy, the author of many military thrillers, who changed direction completely:

William P. Kennedy went one step further. By the early 1990s, the military thrillers that had made his career were no longer selling well. Determined to reinvent himself, Mr. Kennedy sent his publisher a novel involving kidnapping and high finance called "The Trophy Wife." His editor at St. Martin's Press thought the book would appeal to women if it was written by a woman. He pressed Mr. Kennedy to change his name. An amused friend of the author suggested Diana Diamond.

The book, published in 2000, was a success. So was a subsequent title, "The Babysitter." The third, "The Good Sister," hit the best-seller lists. TV talk-show host Kelly Ripa invited the author to appear on "Live with Regis and Kelly." He wore, as a joke, a wavy, blond wig. Although Mr. Kennedy revealed his true identity during the program, it didn't hurt his sales. As Ms. Diamond, he has published six novels.

Mr. Kennedy has some regrets about becoming Diana Diamond, mostly because the literary career of William P. Kennedy appears to be over.

"I still submit books under my own name but it seems to be the consensus that they won't sell," says Mr. Kennedy. What irritates him most, he says, is that he's now acclaimed as the "Queen" of a genre known as the relational thriller. "If I was a sensitive person I'd be suicidal," he says.


The charming and erudite Elizabeth Foxwell has started her own blog at

Given her writing talent and her knowledge of mystery fiction past and present, this promises to be a good one.


Fianlly, looks like my novel The Poker Club will be turned into a movie

(From Variety this morning)

'Buick' getting in gear
Romero to helm King story for Chesapeake


George Romero will helm an adaptation of the Stephen King novel "From a Buick 8" for Chesapeake Films, which is ramping up its initial slate.

Shingle also has set Tim McCann to direct suspense thriller "The Poker Club" by suspense novelist Ed Gorman, a co-production with Infinity Media ("Capote") and Exile Films.

Both scripts were written by Chesapeake principals Johnathon Schaech and Richard Chizmar.

The duo's other projects include an adaptation of King and Peter Straub's bestselling novel "Black House" for Akiva Goldsman's Weed Road Prods. and a pic based on Douglas Clegg's "The Hour Before Dark" for Trilogy Entertainment and United Artists.

First up for the banner is "The Poker Club," based on the suspense thriller by crime scribe Ed Gorman. This tale of suburban violence focuses on four buddies who discover and accidentally kill a burglar -- who may not be alone -- in the kitchen during their weekly poker night. Their lives and the lives of their families are forever changed by the difficult choices they must make.

A January start date in Manitoba is planned for "Poker."

"From a Buick 8" is the story of a state trooper who is killed on the side of the road. The man's colleagues try to help his son cope, but when the boy discovers his father's dark secret in the barracks' back shed, things start to stir not only in the shed but in the hearts and minds of the veteran troopers who surround him.

"I'm very excited that George is interested in directing 'From a Buick 8,' " said King, has worked with Chizmar and Cemetery Dance for years.

Schaech stars in the indie dramas "Sea of Dreams," being released this month in Mexico, and next year's "Little Chenier," alongside Clifton Collins. He is in Louisiana filming "Roadhouse 2," on which he and Chizmar did a rewrite.

Romero most recently directed the summer horror pic "Land of the Dead."

McCann directed "Runaway," which nabbed the feature prize at the Austin Film Festival.

Chesapeake and Romero are repped by Gersh.

Date in print: Tue., Nov. 8, 2005, Los Angeles

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Blogger Bill said...

Congratulations on the movie. I hope it's a huge hit, since you deserve one.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Duane Swierczynski said...

Congrats, Ed. This sounds extremely promising.

7:45 PM  

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