Making of Slap Shot, Now Write Screenwriting

You know how bibliophiles always say “there’s just something about the feel of a book” when they lament the use of e-readers? I tend to agree with them most of the time (save for travel or teaching or researching, where the tomes can become cumbersome, and the e-reader search technology is incredibly helpful), but this past week I got the tiniest taste of something vastly more powerful — “there’s something about the feel of my book.”

But I haven’t written a book.  I do dream of it at times, and deeply admire all of the novelists and book-length non-fiction writers I’ve come to know, mostly for their stamina and tenacity. I have, however, been recently included in two books, and to hold them in my hands and read my name in print was incredibly intoxicating.

The first book is The Making of Slap Shot: Behind the Scenes of the Greatest Hockey Movie Every Made, by Jonathon Jackson. Jonathon requested an interview with me before The Junior League was released, and I must admit that I accepted with a great deal of trepidation . Slap Shot is a certifiable classic, one of the best sports movies ever made, and a film I revere. I knew I was treading on dangerous ground with my version, especially after the sequel bombed. As noted in my Past Projects page, a PG version of Slap Shot was not what I had in mind when I took the first meeting at Universal, but, studio economics and programming being what they are, if I wanted the job, the take had to be PG. I expected Jonathon to skewer me in his book. But alas, he speaks well of our effort to capture the spirit of the original and bring it to a younger audience. Most of one chapter in the appendix is spent on The Junior League, and I’m proud to be forever included, kindly in this instance, within the Slap Shot community. It’s a must-read for hockey fans and movie buffs. Jonathon can be found on twitter @jonathon1970. The book can be found here, and almost everywhere else books are sold.

My other brush with publication comes in next week’s release of Now WriteScreenwriting, a collection of screenwriting exercises used by some of the best writers and teachers in the business, and edited by Sherry Ellis and Laurie Lamson. I received an email out of the blue from them one day, and was thrilled to contribute one of the most fun and successful exercises I’ve ever used, both personally and in the classroom. Having scanned through the book over the past few days, I’m sure it will be an excellent tool for writers and teachers alike. Previous versions include exercises for fiction and nonfiction books. I’m thrilled to be anthologized in such company, and hope screenwriters everywhere find it useful.  NowWrite! Screenwriting is available here and everywhere else. This is the official website.

Holding each of these books in my hands makes me desperately want one of my own. Maybe someday I’ll discover 300 pages-worth of something to say, but as a screenwriter, right now I simply can’t imagine the vast open plains of a novel, and seemingly endless word count. I’m too accustomed to severe economy.


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