That day in 1984, after Lori Crawford told me I was going to be the story editor for twenty-one episodes of Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats, which would air on television in 1985, and after I had read four scripts and viewed episodes from the series, I had mixed emotions. I sat in my DIC Entertainment office and took stock. I’d been a professional writer for nine years. It was how I earned my living. Through good years, lean years and in between years, writing was what I did; it was all I did.
I’m a fast writer and I like to think I’m a really good writer. But writing non-stop, literally seven days a week for almost a decade is a challenge. I’d written and published five novels. The first draft of my historical saga, The Young Dragons, was eleven hundred pages.
Signet, my publisher, made me cut it to six hundred pages. It was like performing surgery on myself, but it taught me a lot about editing.
I’d written business manuals for Entrepreneur Magazine and over a hundred commercials for the Armed Forces Radio & Television Service. Now I am writing as many scripts as I can handle, in addition to story editing outside writers’ scripts.
I’d never tell anyone that I was tired. But the truth is this television business can eat you up, and after all those novels I’d published, all those commercials I’d written, the scripts I’d written for The Littles and The Care Bears, flying off to Cleveland to meet with television execs and handling DIC studio politics, it was starting to be a bit much.
I wanted a break; not a complete pause, but just to be able to back off a little and catch my breath. I came to the conclusion that being the story editor of Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats but not also writing original episodes for the series, was the answer.