Thursday, November 09, 2006

Back From Cali!

Well, I'm back ; ). Actually, I've been back since Monday night and have just now found the time to write about my trip to LA. All I can say is, I know why people go to LA and never want to come back. That city has everything and I mean everything! Great weather, dining, shopping, nightlife, not that I got to take advantage of a lot of it because they kept us so busy. I was exhausted at the end of each day. But I did get to walk around Rodeo, and even bought something. Okay, it was only a pair of sunglasses. But, hey, sunglasses from Rodeo are sunglasses from Rodeo. No one has to know they only cost $15. Anyway, I was in LA to attend the Sisters in Crime Hollywood Conference, not to be confused with the Crime Sistahs. The conference was awesome and I got to meet some fellow Sisters in Crime, some who came from as far away as Europe, as well as fellow Crime Sistah Pamela Samuels-Young. Pamela and I along with another author, L.C. Hayden, had a booksigning at a Border's Bookstore in Glendale. I wish I could say we had tons for people who showed up. But, we didn't ; (. In fact, no one came. But, we had a good time talking amongst ourselves.

The conference also included a tour of Sony Studios where we saw the set for Jeopardy and got to watch some filming for the upcoming Disney Channel movie, In Case of Emergency. We also saw sets for the new series Big Day and the upcoming thriller Vacancy, which according to this bit of gossip from Page Six is turning out to be not such a thrilling experience. We also got a screening of the pilot episode of Showtime's new series Dexter, afterwhich there was a Q & A with the series producers. The main portion of the conference consisted of panel discussions with the movers and shakers of Hollywood: the producers, writers, and agents who turn books into movie for the big and small screen. The culmination of the conference was a one-on-one meeting with a producer to pitch them our book. I've never seen so many nervous writers in one place before. We were all practicing our pitches to each other and trying to cut them down to the allotted time, which was five minutes, three really if you take time for questions. The biggest piece of knowlege I got from the conference is that it takes a lot to get an author's book to the screen and the money that authors get for movie options has decreased greatly over the years. So, basically even if my book were to be optioned for a movie, I probably wouldn't make much money UNLESS the movie actually gets made and that's a very big long shot. But, I'm still glad I went and here are a few of my observations on LA:

1. If you live in LA you spend half your life in a car. With LA traffic it seemed like it took at least an hour or more to get just about anywhere.

2. Because residents of LA spend so much time in their cars, I hardly saw any old junky cars. Most of what I saw was new and expensive. I also saw a lot of beautifully restored classic cars.

3. Everyone knows someone who has some kind of connection to the movie biz. I'm not exaggerating. Every conversation I overheard in public consisted of someone taking about an audition or a meeting with a producer.

4. If you want some excellent Italian food in LA. Go to this restaurant. The calimari was really good!

5. As much as I enjoyed myself in LA. I could never live there for a variety of reasons, the main one being that the average home in Los Angeles is half a million dollars. Yikes!!



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