Today I went to a class on memoir writing at a local library. I didn’t learn anything new, but I think I finally have the confidence to release my memoir now. It’s called Fear & Self-Loathing in Los Angeles and it’s about the first year I lived in California. It’s about moving out there and being untreated with bipolar disorder and PTSD and being anorexic and having a girlfriend who was also anorexic. It might sound depressing, but it’s an endearing love story as much as anything else. So, it’s only partially what they call a “misery memoir” in the publishing industry. I wrote it just after I moved back to Massachusetts in 2006, which was just two years after it happened. Also, I had countless Livejournal entries from when it happened to refer to when I wrote it. I also keep notebook journals and wrote a lot during that period as well, so I also had those as a reference. So, if ever a memoir was accurate, it’s this one. That said, it’s from my point of view and different people can see things quite differently. And I do not want to get sued. So, I would have to spend some time distorting the facts so that people wouldn’t be easily identifiable. This means doing another series of revisions, which will take time, and right now my priority is Book of Shadows, which will be the next book I release. Book of Shadows is a young adult series, albeit an edgy one, about teenage witches. I’m editing it myself because, quite frankly, I couldn’t even afford to pay someone $100 to edit it for me, and that’s taking quite a bit of time. I also recently made some revisions after I edited it, so there are parts I have to edit again. Then I have to edit Book of Shadows 2, but I might start writing Book of Shadows 3 before I edit 2. I don’t think I could take editing two books back-to-back. You have to look at things from a technical point when you edit and that’s not the way my brain works, so I am despising the editing chore. Plus, I’m a writer and I thrive on writing and having my time all sucked up by editing and not being able to write just plain sucks. In any case, I do look forward to releasing Fear & Self-Loathing in Los Angeles at some point. I think it’s probably the best thing I’ve ever written.
Speaking of memoirs, in 1999 I spent 5 weeks in Paris and kept a daily journal and want to write a memoir about that at some point, too. Although I might just make the book a collection of journal entries. I would have to edit them, of course, but I think it might be more interesting to compile the journal entries than to write a memoir based on them. Then again, I haven’t looked at those journal entries since I wrote them, so it’s possible that they’re actually quite boring. Also, I was fortunate enough to also spend a couple weeks in Paris in 2000, 2001 and 2002, so I’ve thought about combining the best and worst experiences of all those trips into one book. I might write what they used to call a roman a clef. That’s how they categorized Jack Kerouac’s books. They were fiction, but based largely on reality. So, what was true and what was made up was often unclear. I kind of like the idea of writing a book like that based on my experiences in Paris. Combine the highlights from all four trips and make them even more interesting than they already were in one great book. I really have to make up my mind there.
I have ideas for several other books, too. I recently found myself struck with a few that I really like. I want to write screenplays again at some point, too. I’ve written 30 of those suckers and I enjoy the format. The downside to writing those is that people generally don’t read them. And the chances of them getting made into movies are slim, especially since I always write very indie-minded scripts. Definitely not big budget Hollywood fodder. And with indie movies, usually the same person writes and directs them. They’re usually involved in financing and producing the movies, too. So, unless by some miracle I become a best-selling indie author then I doubt I’d ever have the money to make one of my scripts into an actual movie.
I have thought about publishing my screenplays though. Some people do like to read scripts. I could throw a few of them up on Amazon for 99 cents each and they might sell some copies. Who knows, one of them might even make it into the hands of the right producer.
Speaking of my screenplays, there are several of those that I would like to turn into novels, too. So, there really aren’t enough hours in the day to write everything that I want to write. Sometimes, like all writers, I get frustrated when I can’t come up with any new ideas. But, really, I’m sitting on a treasure trove of stuff to draw inspiration from. That’s a nice position for a writer to be in.
Finally, I would like to say that you should subscribe to my mailing list if you haven’t already because I will be e-mailing my subscribers the cover for Book of Shadows soon. I might even show you the rejected covers that were made before the final cover. Stay tuned.