Michael Connelly, Elizabeth Cosin, and Terrill Lee Lankford were among the MWA many members who have showed up to walk alongside the striking screenwriters on picket line recently. Obviously, there are many authors who are also WGA members (like Paul Levine, Robert Crais, Andrew Klavan, Steve Cannell, Lawrence Block, Eric Garcia, Mark Haskell Smith, Seth Greenland, Elmore Leonard, Donald Westlake, Robert B. Parker, Larry McMurtry, George Pelecanos, and myself, to name just a few). But why should a non-screenwriting author give a damn about how the strike turns out?
The answer is simple. Because we are a community of writers…not just book writers or screen writers. We should be concerned about any efforts to limit the royalties that writers receive from the commercial exploitation of our creative work.
Many of the corporations that own the studios and networks also own many major publishing companies…if they succeed in limiting what screenwriters get from new media, they will only be encourage to seek similar "rollbacks" from authors and other artists who, incidentally, don’t have the benefit of being represented by a powerful union. The final deal struck between the corporations and the WGA in those emerging markets could create a template or how writers of books, computer games, and other media are treated.
SAG President Alan Rosenberg put it best: "This fight is for the rights of all creative artists and our collective future is at stake."