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#5 “And then I took the leap…”

So how did a writer who, at the time, had four successful novels – a murder mystery, an action/adventure novel, an occult/romance tome and a historical saga – under his belt end up writing for children’s entertainment?

I’d always liked writing novels. Still, only a fraction of people read novels compared to almost everyone who sees movies and watches television. Any episode I ever wrote of Care Bears had a monumentally larger audience than Shakespeare did at the time he wrote Macbeth. To put it another way, a novel that sold just 9,000 copies in a week in the 1980s would hit the New York Times bestseller list. In the same week, literally millions of viewers watched a Saturday morning episode of Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats.

Well, most writers want to reach as large an audience as possible. So, it seemed to me the way to reach the largest audience was through writing for motion pictures and television. And that was why, after MGM purchased the film rights to my first published novel in 1977, I left my parents’ clothing business, loaded up my white TR7 with all my worldly possessions and drove to L.A. where I was certain my golden fingers would lead to my becoming the next wildly successful screenwriter.

What I didn’t realize was that seven thousand, eight hundred and nineteen would-be-screenwriters were loading up their cars with all their worldly possessions and were moving to L.A. with the same notion of becoming the next wildly successful screenwriter.

I’d find out about that soon enough…


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