Mark Terry

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Show Business

March 29, 2007

I'm bored with writing about literary agents and since nobody had any comments, maybe you are, too. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me. I'll do my best to answer.

My agent asked me on Monday to put together a pitch for THE SERPENT'S KISS that she was going to send to a movie guy. I did, and the response already was something along the lines of: "I'm in. I'm absolutely in unless the book is totally boring."

So now the movie guy is reading the novel and we'll see.

I told my agent that I was optimistic but wildly skeptical, which strikes me as being a healthy attitude when dealing with movie people. As Jody Picoult wrote in a recent Writers Digest piece on her experience with film, the biggest difference she's discovered between publishing and the movie business is that in publishing they tell you they hate you for years and years and then grudgingly allow you in, while the movie business tells you they love you and then do nothing.

Still, it's exciting. This has happened before--not quite so quickly or enthusiastically and it's the first time I've written the pitch--so experience suggests that my skepticism is reasonable. It's hard not to wander off into daydreams of buckets of money, hit movies starring George Clooney or Matt Damon, a franchise, opening night, trips to California, a chance to write a screenplay (I said this was a daydream, okay?), blah, blah, blah, blah...

So I'll just sit here for a moment and savor the moment.


Mark Terry



Anonymous Robert Kuntz said...


I say you should enjoy every single one of those fantasies. Hell, give yourself an evening to just wallow in them. Take your wife out to dinner and pretend you have to dodge the paparazzi.

As for who plays Derek in the movie, I think you need someone who can credibly be a both action hero and academic. So not Clooney or Damon. Is Ed Harris too old? Russell Crowe?

Seems to me the very best thing that can happen is for someone to option the movie, pay you tons of money, then NOT make the movie, so someone else can option the movie and pay you tons of money.

7:33 AM  
Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

Good luck. You never know...

As for problem with you writing about them but I'm thinking I'd best just refrain from talking about them for reasons you can no doubt guess.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

I think that's a good evaluation of Derek. Harrison Ford would be great if he were about 15 years younger. Tom Hanks, if you can imagine him actually doing an action role, would be really interesting because he always comes off as so bright. Russell Crowe? Interesting. He can do damn near anything. I still have a hard time equating that he's the same guy in "Gladiator" and "The Insider" and "Mystery Alaska." Talk about a chameleon.

Of course, watch, they'll get Whoopie Goldberg to do it. Can anyone say "Burglar"?

9:21 AM  
Blogger Ron Estrada said...

I was interested in the agent blogs but too busy to reply. I especially like Jodi's story about the screenwriter who said he just had to work on her screenplay because his brother committed suicide, and she found out months later that he had no brother.

First clue: Hollywood is ALL fiction, especially when they're speaking.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous gregory huffstutter said...

There's an old adage about working with Hollywood (I think from William Goldman) that the only way to keep your sanity is to drop your manuscript at their door, take their money, and never look back. Good luck!

11:56 AM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

Wow, that's a nice of you to offer, Mark. I did save your Literary Agents, Part 1 post in my feed reader, and I'll be referring to it very soon! I'm suffering from exhaustion, burn-out and spring fever, all at once; that's the only reason I didn't thank you for the great info!

I've got my fingers crossed about the movie man, though!

3:08 PM  
Blogger Aimless Writer said...

WhooHooooo!!!! That they'll even give it a read is a big deal!
Sending positive vibes your way!!!

5:04 PM  
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