The FilmBook
 

 

The Filmbook

   

As a college professor, I'm sorry to say that I too have become a digicrack addict.

My computer, my cell phone, my television set, video games, and a torrent of other sweet digicrack hammer away at my brain with over 30 gigabytes of information every day--entertaining me 24/7 with everything that’s tragic, shocking, hilarious, super sleazy and grotesque.

As a result, like most of my students, I crave such entertainment, have the attention span of a gnat, and I've become as jumpy and impatient as a man on a honeymoon with Megan Fox.

So how can I blame my students for wanting to watch a Jackass  film  instead of reading Wuthering Heights?

In short, some time ago I realized that I'd much rather watch a great movie than read a great novel, so I started writing novels that combine the best of two worlds--films and novels--with fresh, exciting plots, crackling dialogue, and unexpected, often shocking endings.

My formula is simple. First, no more 700-page novels. Filmbooks are much shorter. They also move along at lightning speed and are flavored with 100% Pure Action Concentrate. The paragraphs are concise and highly charged, often with  imagistic prose, thanks to my years of training under the masters--Shakespeare, Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Cummings, Nabokov, Joyce,  Vonnegut, Heller, Hemingway--and a host of other poets and madmen.

But the real key to my filmbook is the dialogue. In fact, every one of my novels starts out as a long screenplay, with every chapter a scene or multiple scenes. Then I go back and flesh out each scene with high-octane  prose, and this in turn leads to  the simplest definition of a filmbook: a prose screenplay.  

My love for clever, hard-hitting dialogue began years ago when I was drawn to classmates who carried the best weapons—a sharp wit that could inflict far greater damage on an evil classmate  than any fist in the face.

And as the years went by, I upgraded  my own arsenal by enjoying a wild range of sharpshooters like  Edward Albee, Neil Simon, Bob Hope, Jonathan Winters, Woody Allen, Robin Williams and many others--along with an endless number of hilarious sitcoms filled with irresistible oddball characters like Mash, Frazier, Monk, 30 Rock and Two and a Half Men.

(But you have to be very careful with these sharp weapons—some people will relish them, but others will stare at you like they've just been slapped in the face with a turd, and instantly hate you for being a smart ass.)

So there you have it—my first two filmbooks, Miles To Go Before You Sleep, that has a storyteller who is strongly reminiscent of an evil Holden Caulfield, something I didn't even realize until some readers  told me, and The Secret of the Lost Robber Baron Gold, which I also didn’t realize reminded me of National Treasure and Pulp Fiction until my last reading, only a few weeks ago.