December 1, 2016

The Crime Writer in a Bubble.

“Holy shit,” I muttered, a little too loud for my NYPD minder, who held an index finger up to the stubble surrounding his mouth. To that […]
November 16, 2016

My View to a Kill.

It’s a doozy of a memory. It informs so much about my personal picture regarding Los Angeles crime. My city. My home. My view from above. […]
August 31, 2016

The Hollywood Ending.

I can’t think of a better way to end the summer than with this guest blog by Flipped author Wendelin Van Draanen. Hers is a true […]
August 24, 2016

The Slump.

It was a kid’s birthday party. Only showbiz style. The catered event was at a popular power couple’s house. But for a few non-pros in attendance […]
August 17, 2016

Reductive Reasoning.

What an asshole! He just shorthanded me! How’s this? What did he just do? Let me explain. Shorthanding is the oft-maddening Hollywood reduction of your effort […]
June 15, 2016

Don’t Fear the Reaper.

Picture this. Five uniformed Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies and yours truly seated around a pair of small tables at a Lebanese joint in a Compton […]
June 8, 2016

Eat Your Children.

Get ready to be angry. Hurt. Crushed at the thought. It’s time for a little reality check. Wait. Little? Okay. This is a big one. But […]
June 1, 2016

Action Speaks.

I’ve just returned from my umpteenth screenwriting conference and, once again, I was asked this question: “How do you write compelling action?” To which I usually […]
May 25, 2016

Is that a Script in Your Pocket?

Okay, ladies (and maybe some of you men). Get ready to start your anger engines with this annoying tidbit of writer reality. I’m about to describe […]
May 18, 2016

Do You Know Who I Am?

A girl friend of mine had been clothes shopping at a Ventura Boulevard boutique when she heard a woman screech: “Do you know who I am?” […]
May 11, 2016

Prince and Me.

After the very recent and tragic loss of Prince, I was moved by a powerful Facebook post penned by my friend and neighbor Annie Guidice. In […]
May 4, 2016

Baaad Dialogue.

Yeah. This post is about lousy dialogue. You know it when you hear it, see it, read it, sound it out on your own tongue, and […]
April 27, 2016

It’s My Pity Party.

Though I write from the love of what I’m writing—be it book, blog, or movie—it’s always with a slightly heavy load. And that would be the […]
April 20, 2016

Con Job, Part 1.

“I’m in!” I said with unreserved relish. “Can’t wait to start.” What I was so damned excited about was—of course—an opportunity to write something that was, […]
April 13, 2016

Con Job, Part 2.

After flying some six-thousand miles and going thirty-six hours without a lick of sleep, I’d just told famed con man, Christophe Rocancourt, that he was full […]
April 6, 2016

Con Job, Part 3.

All grinning aside, a stare down from famed con man, Christophe Rocancourt, was nothing short of unpleasant. (For more context, read Con Job, Part 1 and […]
March 30, 2016

Con Job, Part 4.

After all my research, including a week with Christophe Rocancourt in Paris, I’d learned only one thing for absolute certainty; the con man maintained a tenuous […]
March 23, 2016

Con Job, Part 5.

My adored French friend and film director (with whom I was developing a French film about famed French con man, Christophe Rocancourt) was asking me to […]
March 16, 2016

Sympathy for the Devil.

Who doesn’t love a bad guy? At least a good bad guy. And by good, I mean really bad. But not necessarily bad in an outright […]
March 9, 2016

Location is Everything.

“There’s a new draft in of Die Hard 2,” lamented producer Lloyd Levin over the phone. “Really?” I replied. “That was fast.” “De Souza is that […]
March 2, 2016

She Said; She Said.

There’s a producer who recently began tweeting under the name @femscriptintros. His or her posts consist of the descriptive introductions of lead female characters in the […]
February 24, 2016

Questions… And Answers from Scott Frank.

I’m not being lazy this week. I just thought for a change of pace I’d class up the joint and serve a guest blog from good […]
February 17, 2016

The Writer v. O. J. Simpson.

It’s all flooding back. Not for me alone. But for the entire nation and beyond as FX gives us another weekly hour of the very excellent […]
February 10, 2016

Pace or Play.

This is a love letter to a thing called pace. Believing in it. Letting it be your guide. I’m talking about having a flat-out affair with […]
January 27, 2016

What Happens in Calabasas, Part 1.

Warning: The following blog post contains both porn actresses and golf. If either porn actresses or golf offends you, I strongly suggest you stop reading now. […]
January 27, 2016

What Happens in Calabasas, Part 2.

Again, this disclaimer. This post contains porn actresses and golf. Be warned. If either offends you, turn back now. We’d played the charity golf tourney, scored […]
January 20, 2016

One-Fingered Gesture, Part 1.

First of all, let’s start this one by getting your mind out of the gutter. We have four fingers and only one of them is reserved […]
January 18, 2016

One-Fingered Gesture, Part 2.

  In retrospect, it might’ve been the slightest official revision I’d ever penned: a single line of dialogue accompanied by a line of action containing a […]
January 7, 2016

Confessions of a Teenage Fangirl.

  In the spirit of New Years, I thought I’d share this “only in Hollywood” moment. Firstly, I’m not a big fan of New Year’s partying. […]
December 16, 2015

’Tis the Season to be Easily Offended.

Okay. So it doesn’t require a season for the easily offended to be, well, you know. They’re out there, feelings fully exposed like hot electrical wires […]
December 9, 2015

Who You (Don’t) Know.

  “I got so friggin’ tired of trying to climb the hill,” claimed the preschool dad. “But it’s such a who-you-know business. Without the connections, guys […]
December 2, 2015

On the Outside Looking In.

I was still outside those unscalable gates. Pushing my mostly unread screenplays up that very steep hill called a future movie career. I was mere millimeters […]
November 18, 2015
Doug Richardson, Smoking Gun


It was one of those lunch meetings. Less business and more of a casual catch-up. The producer, a fellow I’ll call Shep, had picked an Italian […]
November 11, 2015

Hope in the Mail.

For ten years, she’d stuff the manila envelopes, address them to agents or publishers, plaster them with postage, then step outside the door of the four-hundred-square-foot […]
November 4, 2015

Saved by the Al.

As an artist, I both understand and live with an age-old axiom. My natural highs will be higher and more thrilling than most. As well, my […]
October 28, 2015


Last week it was announced that a sixth installment of the Die Hard series was in development. I discovered this factoid by both reading about it […]
October 21, 2015

Asked and Answered.

I’ve done pallet-loads of interviews. As a general rule, they’re useful for promoting my books and the blog. The hardest part is making the answers to […]
October 14, 2015


I was trying to keep from getting fired. Now, this was obviously before I discovered my full magical powers. Otherwise, I would’ve just waved a wand […]
October 7, 2015

Lie to Me.

“You mind if I ask you something?” asked the middle-aged man. Uninvited, he had already lowered himself into the seat across from me. Before I could […]
September 30, 2015

Arbitration Octagon.

“Hello?” I said answering the “unknown number” on my cell phone. “Hi, it’s Kelly from the Writer’s Guild Credits Department,” said the perky voice. “I’m calling […]
September 23, 2015

Land Mines with Love.

  INT. A MULTI-TIERED CLASSROOM – CENTRAL COAST WRITER’S CONFERENCE – SAN LUIS OBISPO – DAY Here’s the scene. I was standing before a classroom theater […]
September 16, 2015

Producer Pig Pile.

Here’s an amusing time killer. As well it’s educational. Let’s call it a self-teaching moment. It happens sometimes when I’m connecting with an old pal who […]
September 9, 2015

Sex Traffic Jammed.

Three-plus weeks into the release of my newest thriller 99 PERCENT KILL and I’m gobsmacked by two unexpected results: One. The reader reviews have been both […]
September 2, 2015

Low Blows Below the Line.

I’m taking the week off. So here’s a tale of ups and downs and all arounds from The War Department: Unlike my husband, I didn’t  know […]
August 26, 2015

Feeding Frenzy.

With the launch of 99 PERCENT KILL, I’ve been doing a fair amount of promotion. This has included a number of interviews. And I might say […]
August 19, 2015

To Noir or not to Noir.

I never planned to become a purveyor of LA Noir. Sure, there was an undertow in some of my unproduced scripts. But mostly, in my movies […]
August 12, 2015

Published, Produced, Punked.

There are some landmark moments writers wish for, wait for, and forever remember once they’ve materialized. Some of mine are as follows: The first time I […]
August 5, 2015

Feeling Lucky? Part 1.

“Bring me a franchise character,” urged my book agent. “Someone you can pin a series on.” I’d just published my first novel. I had a zillion […]