On the Fast Track

The big presentation at the network in Munich went very well. My department heads all did a great job presenting their parts of the FAST TRACK world and the network loved what they saw. Now it’s up to us to deliver on what we’ve promised. Immediately after the meeting, my line producer Heiko Schmidt and I took an Air Berlin flight to Paris. We ended up not being seated together. I got stuck in a very cramped middle seat. I tried working on my MONK book on the flight but I couldn’t get comfortable and I couldn’t focus. The guys on either side of me were ogling the centerfolds in their German editions of Playboy. I still haven’t gotten used to the stewardesses handing out Playboys to the passengers. Everywhere you look its boobs and crotches.

Paris was another adventure. We arrived in the late evening. Our hotel was a dump (don’t believe the pictures you see on the web)…I’ve never stayed someplace where you get a bottle opener attached to your room key. But it was only one night and the hotel was around-the-corner from our casting agent…so we decided to live with it. We went out to dinner and my French got a work-out. I even chatted with the couple at the next table. Afterwards, Heiko and I did th

Style and Substance

Tomorrow I am off to Munich with my line producer and department heads to make a big presentation to the network on the look, feel, and cast of FAST TRACK. I am really looking forward to showing them everything we have in mind so they will be as energized and enthusiastic as we are.  I’m also eager to get the network approval on our American actors so we can get them on planes to Germany next week. I will also be meeting with the network’s marketing, public relations, and merchandising people to talk about those aspects of the show as well. Then it’s off to Paris on a late afternoon flight to make a  casting session on Thursday for one of our remaining, principal roles…and then I go to London on Thursday night for a casting session on Friday…and then it’s back to Berlin for one, final casting session on Saturday for the remaining, supporting parts. We start shooting on May 30th.

I’ve been here for a week now and I am still exhausted. The problem with the long hours and all this jetting around is that I can’t seem to get my jet lag under control…so I’ve given up. I’ve accepted that I will be going to bed at 10 and waking up at 5. The nice thing is that I am getting a lot of writing done between 5 and 8 am on the MONK book…

Getting Tough II

I’ve had lots of emails from people asking me what the new requirements are for publishers to be recognized by the Mystery Writers of America. They will be posted soon, but here are a some of the new additions/changes:

1. If you are a writer seeking Active Status membership, your publisher must have been in business for at least two years, except for new imprints by an established publisher.

2. Your publisher, within the past five years, may not have charged a fee to consider, read, submit, or comment on manuscripts; nor may the publisher, or any of the executives or editors under its employ, have offered you or any other authors self-publishing services, literary representation, paid editorial services, or paid promotional services.

3. Your publisher, if also an author, must publish at least five other authors per year, none of whom may be an employee of the company, a business partner, or a relative of the publisher.

4. Your publisher must not be engaged in the practice of wrongfully withholding or delaying the payment of royalties to authors. 

Mr. Meeting

I arrived in Berlin on Monday night and spent much of Tuesday, a holiday here, working on my MONK book and taking naps. Victoria Beckham was on my Sunday night  British Airways flight from L.A. to London…she was  looking for homes in Southern California in the $40 million range, or so the stewardesses told me. I was standing behind her on the way out of the plane. She has two of the fakest, hardest-looking breasts I have ever seen…not that I spend my time leering at boobs all day. But hers stood out. Literally. I could have hung my jacket on her nipples. Apparently the media noticed, too.

Yesterday was  the first day at work…I arrived  at 8:30 am and didn’t leave the office until almost 11 . The day was packed with meetings. My line producer, business affairs exec and I were on the phone to L.A. at 9 pm  to negotiate with agents for some of our lead cast (I almost fell asleep twice during the day, thank God for Diet Coke). I have more meetings today, casting on Friday, and then the weekend will be spent in my room working on production rewrite of the script (to incorporate changes  for the budget, locations, shooting schedule, etc.)  and my MONK book. On Monday, more casting and, at the end of the week, a trip to Munich with my department heads to make a presentation to the network on the look/feel of the show. And then on to Paris for more casting for one particular role.