Screamplays Arrives

My copy of Screamplays came on Friday.  What a great day!  And what a nice looking book.

Screamplays is huge (why I had Miriam hold it, just for  perspective.)  The cover and interior art are also nicely done. The book itself is first drafts of various screen plays by famous authors.

Table of Contents:"Introduction" by Dean Koontz
"General" by Stephen King
"The Legend of Hell House" by Richard Matheson
"Moonlighting" by Harlan Ellison
"Killing Bernstein" by Harlan Ellison
"Dead in the West" by Joe R. Lansdale
"Track Down" by Ed Gorman
"The Hunted" by Richard Laymon
The driving force behind Screamplays is Cemetery Dance's editor, Richard Chizmar.  By the way, just look at that lineup of writers.  I'm excited anytime Matheson, Laymon and King are all in the same book!

The plays themselves are well done.  I hesitated to read them because I was afraid it was going to be like trying to read Shakespeare in High School.  Who wants to read a play?  Just dialogue, right?  Well, these gifted writers get a lot done with dialogue!  And no, it's not like trying to read the Bard.

The book has been out for a while, but this over sized special edition is new to the scene.  I think I bought the book before the kid holding it in the picture was born.  I'm not kidding.  After buying it, I checked the mail every day.  Finally called CD, and was told that the book had been a "pre-order." Then years went by.   Years!  I actually thought they'd forgotten about it.  Then one day, notice came to my email that they were sending me the book.

By far, my favorite part of the book is Dean Koontz's introduction.  It is hilarious! Koontz discusses the absolute joy of writing a first draft of a screen play.  He explains that unlike a novel, a screen play is easy to play with, to add new plot lines and to keep things moving.  He is definitely a fan -- of the FIRST draft.  But then the work gets sent off to Hollywood producers, directors and the pain begins.  Koontz describes an incident with a confused, muttering director that he ultimately refused to work with.  It's great stuff!

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