How to Break into Movies in Only 12 Years

An author takes a ride on Hollywood's Tilt-a-Whirl and gets a little dizzy

Some time ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that Tom Clancy had gone as ballistic as a Red October submarine-launched missile because the director who was turning one of Clancy's novels into a movie placed a reef in the middle of the (reefless) Chesapeake Bay for plot reasons. Thinking back on the account of this Sturm und Drang in a teacup, I thought, Dude, count your blessings. The movie version of one of my novels had just run aground again, not in the Chesapeake but somewhere in the middle of that reef and wreck-strewn seascape known as Hollywood.

It was a...

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