BIO: Marilyn Ida Horowitz is a producer, writing coach, and award-winning professor of screenwriting at New York University. From her books on her trademarked writing system—now standard reading at NYU—to her appearances at Screenwriters World and The Great American Screenwriting Conference & PitchFest, Marilyn has guided the careers of literally hundreds of writers. She is currently featured in the Now Write! Screenwriting Anthology (Tarcher/Penguin) and in the upcoming The Expert Success Solution (Morgan James). Her production credits include And Then Came Love (2007), starring Vanessa Williams.
Follow Marilyn at her website, http://www.marilynhorowitz.com
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Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Marilyn. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?
A: This is my first published novel but I have self-published my non-fiction books on screenwriting for over fifteen years. Two of these books are textbooks at New York University where I teach.
Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?
A: I wrote a thriller entitled, The Cold Room, which was optioned before it was ever published.
Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?
A: I was very fortunate that after eight months and many rejections, I found a home at Koehler Books.
Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?
A: I didn’t take it personally. Rather, I used the feedback to improve the book. It’s important to remember that something that is original hasn’t been seen before, and people need time to get used to it.
Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?
A: I self-published my books on screenwriting because I had an audience and could make more money that way.
Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
A: I’m a writer. I was relieved not celebratory. I was immediately worried about the next one.
Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?
A: As I said, I had a built in audience, but I did expand my website and got on Facebook and twitter.
Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?
A: No, I believe everything works out for the best.
Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?
A: My new book, The Book of Zev, is coming out in December, and I am in the middle of a new one. I hope my writing is improving every day.
Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up? What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?
A: I would have written better, and I would not have relied on agents etc.
Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?
A: The book isn’t out so I will keep you posted, but hopefully the answer will be the newest book.
Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?
A: “Heiress” would have been good.
Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?
A: Even if I ever get that lucky, I would never stop writing.
Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?
A: Prolific, happy, healthy, successful, respected and financially secure.
Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
A: Don’t get it right, get it written – then get it right!
The Book of Zev Synopsis
The Book of Zev is a psychological thriller that tells the story of two gentle people who change the course of history. Zev Bronfman, a strapping 32-year old-virgin, angry atheist, refugee from a religious Jewish life, and former engineer for the U.S. Patent Office in Alexandria, Virginia, drives a cab and sleeps around in New York City. After a bitter divorce, Sarah Hirshbaum, a beautiful, redheaded, depressed, God-hating kosher chef, seesaws between yoga and too much red wine. Independently, the two consult the same psychic who inadvertently sends Sarah Zev’s session tape. When Sarah contacts Zev to pick up the recording, a series of events forces them to connect with a powerful terrorist in order to thwart his plans to destroy the UN and Israel.
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About the Book
• Paperback: 298 pages
• Publisher: Koehler Books (December 1, 2014)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 1940192781
• ISBN-13: 978-1940192789
• Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
The Book of Zev Book Excerpt
What a fool she had been to fall in love with a man, any man. For a brief time the way Michael had made her feel thwarted her chronic nihilism. He had filled her with that most evil thing— hope. Michael resembled Clark Kent from Superman. He was tall and muscular. Dark, curly hair fell forward on his high forehead, framing an intelligent face with a cleft chin. Horn-rimmed glasses topped off his profile. Sarah had hoped the marriage vows would be kept, and furthermore that the two of them would always inhabit that euphoric state known as “being in love.” It had lasted for a year or two, and then somehow, the connection had slipped away. Sarah found herself living with a man who would do anything for her except the one thing she needed.
In short, he had stopped making love to her for over a year before the end. Once she saw that the magic was gone forever, she ended the marriage although her married friends all seemed to have accepted that it was natural for the romance to end, and that a descent into a comfortable sort of brother-sister arrangement was fine. They didn’t understand why she would give up such a good and decent man and risk being alone. Was it “good and decent” not to try to meet the other half of a relationship halfway? She wanted a life filled with romance—and she had never felt as alone as she did on those sexless mornings. The worst was knowing that he hadn’t wanted to try. He kept saying that he couldn’t, but a book she read to try to understand his behavior stated bluntly that “couldn’t” meant “wouldn’t.” She keenly remembered the dreadful recognition when she’d read those words.
Today was the worst so far. Well, it was a Sunday. She felt like the Little Match Girl in the fairytale, who is not allowed to come in out of the snowstorm until all of her matches are sold. The child dies, unloved and unnoticed. Sarah felt the Little Match Girl’s pain and could not comfort herself. She just had to wait it out, and usually this agony would pass into her unconscious because she was too busy prepping a new cooking job. Thanksgiving was the beginning of one of her busy seasons.