Authors Anonymous

Welcome to the Distress Signals Blogging Bonanza! What’s that, you’re wondering? Well, you can either go and read this post or read the next sentence. In a nutshell: Distress Signals was out in paperback in the UK and Ireland on January 5 and hits the U.S.A. on February 2, and every day in between I’m going to blog as per the schedule at the bottom of this post.

Remember: there’s a super sexy hardcover edition of Distress Signals (the American one, out February 2) up for grabs, signed to you from me. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post or any post published here between January 5 and February 2. One entry per post, so comment on more than one and increase your chances. Open globally. Good luck! 

So, Tuesday. Time for a tiny (read: short) post…

Have you seen a movie called Authors Anonymous?

It’s a mockumentary that follows the fortunes of various members of a LA writers’ group. They include Henry, who dreams of emulating his writing heroes (Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck) but his third attempt at a novel, Pizza to Go, is stuck. He has a huge crush on the beautiful Hannah, the sweetheart of the group who is genuinely supportive of the other members – but can’t name her favourite writer and struggles to explain how the moon in her novel’s title isn’t actually, like, literally a moon, but like… You know… One of those… (‘Metaphor,’ her mother supplies.) Yes, that.

Then there’s John, several incarnations of which I’ve had the, ahem, pleasure of meeting in real life. Everything he’s learned about writing can be boiled down to two words – Tom and Clancy – and ‘there’s a certain neighbour who has a cousin who has an in with Clint Eastwood’ so he’s convinced his novel, Roaring Lion, will be hitting the big screen as well as the book shelf soon. Any time anyone else in the group even murmurs about having some good writing news, he clears his throat loudly and announces that some agent somewhere is reading his manuscript and is very interested in it. He ends up in the hands of a vanity press, U R The Publisher, who publish Roaring Lion with a dog on the front cover and the last page printed in Chinese. Things take a turn when Hannah becomes the first one to sign with an agent.

It’s not the best movie – I’m not sure it’s even a good movie – but if you write, it’s quite funny to watch situations unfold that you’ll undoubtedly recognise. I mean, how often do you hear the phrases ‘print on demand’ and ‘Amazon sales rank’ in a Hollywood movie? And it’s hard not to commiserate with the other members of the group when they struggle to deal with the fact that Hannah, who doesn’t seem to read, not only gets an agent but a book deal, movie rights and a coffee date with a handsome famous author. (In fairness though, she’s the one who seems to actually write.)

Have you seen it? What did you think? What other movies about writers would you recommend?

Remember: there’s a super sexy hardcover edition of Distress Signals (the American one, out February 2) up for grabs, signed to you from me. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post or any post published here between January 5 and February 2. One entry per post, so comment on more than one and increase your chances. Open globally. Good luck!

dsbb

Your 732nd reminder: Distress Signals is out in paperback in Ireland and the UK now! If you’ve read it already, hunt down someone you know who likes thrillers and tell them that my rent is very, very high. (Or that you liked it, if you did. You know, whatever works.) If you have no idea what I’m talking about and you’re not quite done with your procrastination yet today, you can find out more about Distress Signals here.

The UK/Ireland Kindle edition is just 99p for a limited time! 

6 thoughts on “Authors Anonymous

  1. ofglassandbooks says:

    Great post! I’ll look out for the film – sounds hilarious. Well done for posting every day…you must not get a lot of sleep these days!!
    I read a simply stunning little book about a writers’ course….but in Italian! It’s by Stefania Bertola, who deserves translation. Full stop.
    All the best,
    Of glass and books

  2. Jon Mills says:

    Oh my god i love the cover on that, Catherine. Will pick up a copy for sure. Sounds exciting. Congrats. And yeah, I’m gonna check out that movie, looks good.

  3. Joel D Canfield says:

    Sounds fun. I’m glad to suspend my fussy opinions for a fun watch.

    Finding Forrester might be the top of my list of movies about writers. Hard to top watching Rob Brown steal scenes from Sean “He’s Sean Connery fer cryin’ out loud” Connery. A masterwork which just happens to be about a writer (and has a brilliant cameo by Matt Damon.)

    Stranger Than Fiction needs to be on the list because, y’know, Will Ferrell acting. And surreal. And Emma Thompson. Funny, smart, very well written and acted.

    I’d love to see Midnight in Paris. And then, though it’s not a major plot point, Jack N’s character in As Good As It Gets is a writer. Any of those three, Nicholson, Helen Hunt, or Greg Kinnear, I’d watch film of them napping on the sofa and they’d make it brilliant.

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