An article I wrote back in the day, for the Los Angeles Times, is included in David Morrell’s 2016 limited edition of his novelization of “Rambo: First Blood Part II” (originally published in 1985). Very flattering! The character John Rambo debuted in Morrell’s 1972 novel “First Blood,” which became a 1982 film. My piece traces the 10-year battle to bring the book to the screen, including the eventual casting of Sylvester Stallone.
The multi-award winning Morrell (he’s got an Anthony, a Macavity, was an Edgar finalist, etc.) is today celebrated for his mystery thrillers. But it was John Rambo who put Morrell on the map. Thus, this signed, numbered hardcover edition (from Borderlands Press/Gauntlet Press) which includes special features including Yours Truly’s “The Curious Evolution of John Rambo.” Who, thanks to this latest book, continues to evolve. Thank you, David Morrell!
The December issue of BookPage includes my review roundup of the latest, nifty Hollywood-themed books – perfect for gift giving. Fab crazy man Mel Brooks reminisces about “Young Frankenstein”; Natalie Wood and Audrey Hepburn are celebrated in lavish coffee table tributes; there’s a massive study of director Oliver Stone; and, how about a look at TV’s greatest series? (One of our faves, “Breaking Bad,” is in the Top Ten. Yayyy!) Feeling bookish? The piece is at: http://bookpage.com/features/20700-tinseltown-treats-to-put-under-tree#.WEE5ameQzcs
In the November issue of Orange Coast, I examine the literary legacy of mystery maestro Dashiell Hammett, and the granddaughter who’s on the case, representing his work. Sam Spade, anyone? The Thin Man? I first met Hammett family member Julie M. Rivett at an event sponsored by So Cal Mystery Writers of America. When I learned she was a “local,” I knew I wanted to write a piece about her for Orange County’s favorite magazine. Check out www.orangecoast.com/features/dashiell-hammett-julie-rivett/.
For the current (October) issue of Orange Coast, I interview interior designer Kelli Ellis, who’s been a featured designer for TV series including TLC’s “Clean Sweep” and HGTV’s “Takeover My Makeover.” The O.C. gal is a ubiquitous presence at design trade shows; in fact, she’s impossible to miss since trading in what she calls her “soccer mom look” for something decidedly edgier. Check out Kelli, and my piece, at: http://www.orangecoast.com/features/interior-designer-kelli-ellis/
Excited to be joining the Saddleback College Emeritus Institute, located in the south Orange County community of Laguna Woods. As a part-time faculty member, I’ll be teaching “Writing Non-Fiction” and “Film as Literature.” Classes begin the week of August 22. I’m doin’ my homework, readying for the first day of school! Hope my film students like my movie picks, which include Hitchcock’s “Shadow of a Doubt,” that 1970s exercise in paranoia, “The Conversation,” and the final film made by John Wayne (who famously made his home in O.C.), “The Shootist.”