"KING CITY began as a TV series pitch that I took all over Hollywood four or five years ago," writes my nephew, Lee Goldberg, best-selling author of the MONK books, among others.
"It generated some interest but ultimately didn't lead to anything. So I put it in a drawer and moved on."
Now, years later, KING CITY is schedule for publication as a stand alone novel. Lee details the process of how King City went from discarded TV pitch to forthcoming novel in his latest blog post.
I got a special kick out of him sharing this process because I recently had a similar experience with my forthcoming, "Hidden Words: The Alaska Mail Bomb Conspiracy." It began as a non-fiction proposal more than ten years ago, then expanded into a full outline when sold to a publisher for release in hardcover. Showtime was planning a TV movie adaptation, and everything seemed perfect.
No such luck. The publisher went under in the midst of a financial scandal,and the book rights were considered part of the company's assets until liquidation. SHOWTIME used the core concept for a Baltimore crime drama starring Lou Gossett, Jr. By the time I had reversal of rights confirmation, the original crime was outside my new publisher's "time fence" for mass market paperback true crime books.
Last month I found the original proposal, notes and some of my interviews tucked away in a cardboard box. Yep, I started all over again. The new improved Hidden Words: The Alaska Mail Bomb Conspiracy will appear in the anthology, "MASTERS OF TRUE CRIME: Chilling Stories of Murder and the Macabre" (Prometheus Books, August 2012), edited by R. Barri Flowers who provided excellent guidance on re-crafting the story's narrative drive. I'm delighted that the story will finally see publication, and thrilled that I'm considered among the MASTERS OF TRUE CRIME!
I'm sure Lee Goldberg agrees that stitching together the pieces and remnants of projects presumed dead, giving them a jolt of current literary sensibilities, and seeing them rise from the slab of unfulfilled promise gives an author a feeling of elation best expressed by the actor Colin Clive :