Friday, December 24, 2010

My Never Ending Story

It's not just a movie...

Becoming a writer, for me, wasn't really a decision as much as a vocation. I've written stories with fictional characters since I was eight years old. I started my first novel first at 10 and then 12 and finally 14. But writing, as far as my parents were concerned, wasn't much of a career plan. My family didn't know any writers. I didn't even consider writing as a possibility. So I did what a lot of people with a proclivity for words do: I went to law school.

After law school I first represented abused and neglected children for the County of Cook (Chicago) and then worked as a prosecutor in domestic violence in Denver. It wasn't until I'd been working in Denver for a while that I rekindled the idea of writing a book.

I joined a critique group. I finaled in a contest. I moved to Los Angeles.

In LA I promptly started at the bottom of the heap in the mail room of ICM where I eventually became a motion picture literary agent and it was there that I finally wrote a book and then another. The joke in my family is that I had to become an agent to get an agent.

Hollywood Girls Club, my first book club came out to great fanfare. PW review. Kirkus review. Book launch party. Radio interview tour. A few television interviews. I was excited, thrilled, knowing that I was destined for the best sellers list.

And then the numbers started coming in and they were good, for a first book, but the sales numbers didn't reflect the hype and my publisher quickly moved on to the next 'big book'. A year later the second book came out, Secrets of The Hollywood Girls Club. The sequel was under contract but there was no push by my publisher.

Along the way I wrote a couple scripts and some tv pilots. The Apology Expert is currently under option and the tv pilots have gotten me a slew of meetings. But the next book....

The market turned. The next book per my agent wouldn't even get to make the rounds. Too dark. Too dismal. Too bad. If our writing reflects our mental state then that one certainly reflected mine. The next book, was better. But it didn't sell. My confidence drained away.

Did I want to write? Did I have what it took? Was this complete insanity? I could agent. I could practice law. I could do a slew of other things...

But I continued to write. I now have another completed manuscript. One of my Beta readers has just returned the manuscript to me and once the holidays are finished I will slog through the notes making changes. Because after the first of the year, my hope is, that this manuscript will sell. That I will be back in the book game.
Because writing...well it is my never-ending story.

Merry Christmas! Let me know about your never-ending story. I will send a signed copy of Hollywood Girls Club to one of the commenters selected at the end of the day.

Maggie Marr is an attorney and former agent. She is the author of Hollywood Girls Club and Secrets of The Hollywood Girls Club. Her script The Apology Expert is currently under option. She also wrote; Sexology, Hart & Stone and The Invincible Maggie Malone. You can follow her career at


  1. Hi Maggie,

    Inspiring journey. BTW, If you need another Beta reader I'd be glad to help out.

  2. Another amazing story, so glad you hung in there, Maggie! Best of luck with your new ms!! Interesting, the how and why we all hang in there. Happy Holidays!

  3. Thank you Karin! I may take you up on your offer to be a Beta reader after this next pass.

  4. Laura
    Thank you! Writing, to me, often feels like less of a choice and more of a need. I get a bit kooky if I go too long without putting some words on the page.
    Happy Holidays!

  5. Miss you, Maggie! And of course love your story - ditto on the beta reader. See you when you get back and may '11 be the year of the book. xx

  6. Wow Maggie! I didn't know you were an attorney too! I interned at the Compton DA's office, but there was a hiring freeze when I graduated, so I couldn't continue with them. I love your story, and am glad you ended here in Los Angeles and with LARA. I love your books, and look forward to reading more of them. Happy Holidays and New Year to you and yours!

    Lilah Rune

  7. Maggie, this career is full of so many twists and turns... I'm glad you hung in there and kept writing. I've got my fingers crossed for you on this new project!! ;)

  8. Hi Maggie,

    What a great story . . . inspiring, honest and hopeful. I know only too well how twisty the writing journey is . . . keeping my fingers crossed your book will sell and we'll all celebrate with you!

  9. Thanks for the inspirational post, Maggie. So many people think that once you sell a book you're "in". In reality, it's just the beginning of the climb.

    Best of luck with the new manuscript!

  10. To think we were both in Denver dreaming of novel-writing at the same time. If only we could of hooked up then! Thanks for sharing your all-too-familiar story. :-)

  11. I'm hanging in there with you, Maggie. Keep on fighting the good fight. With words!

  12. I love this post, Maggie! Your path is so, so similar to mine.

    I second Karin's offer: if you need more Beta readers, you know who to call!!