Author Visits Santa Barbara High School, Inspiration for First Novel Driving out of Santa Barbara on the last leg of his honeymoon, then-unpublished writer Tom Leveen suddenly shouted, “Write this down!” His new wife, Joy, already accustomed to such outbursts of inspiration, pulled a pen and notebook out of her bag. Tom dictated a carefully…

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In early 1989, a friend of mine and I were staying up all night, smoking cigarettes and downing Coke, like we frequently did on weekend nights. We’d recently seen Russian glam-rock band Gorky Park on MTV, something that would have been impossible even a year prior. The Russians, as everyone knew, were Our Mortal Enemy!…

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“I wrote this song in history class. And I failed the motherfuckin’ class. …But we made a record, so, what the fuck.” ~ Mike Ness, lead singer/songwriter of Social Distortion, on the song “1945” “As a society, we actually have not yet come around to the very sobering fact that getting a college degree, no matter the…

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I knew this guy. When he found out his best friend’s father had a sweet video camera, he immediately got permission to borrow it. Then, with the help of two friends, he made his first horror movie, using this borrowed camera, borrowed editing system, and zero budget. They had no script, and improvised the entire…

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This isn’t actually going to be a writing-craft post. This is a post about you doing the thing you need to do. Some of you may have heard or read in various interviews that when SICK came out, I found it amusing that people kept referring to me “branching out into a new genre.” That’s…

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