Not since F. Scott Fitzgerald, John O’Hara and more recently Michael Tolkin and Bruce Wagner have knowledgeable writers tackled showbiz in short fiction or succeeded in getting paid for it. Now add my name to the list about to try that – and I invite Hollywood movie and TV writers, executives, journalists, critics and authors to join me.
I’m starting an innovative website called HollywoodDementia.com. (The teaser is there.) What is it? Here’s my definition: Hollywood Dementia: noun. Deterioration of intellectual faculties, such as memory, concentration, and judgment, sometimes accompanied by emotional disturbance and personality changes, resulting from an organic disease or a disorder of the brain acquired while working in the entertainment industry that causes someone to be unable to think clearly or to understand what is real and what is not real.
My website will present short stories, novellas and novel excerpts written by Hollywood insiders like myself. After 30 years as a journalist, I’m now going to expose the hard truths and gritty reality of showbiz through creative writing. In fiction, I can be more honest than just sticking to facts. The stories which I and others write won’t depict any actual Hollywood person or event. But they will marry artifice with verisimilitude into original content creation.
I don’t care if the site gets little traffic or The Powers That Be ever advertise. UPDATE: I’m setting up a TinyPass paywall to charge readers $1 to $3 for each post and paying writers from the proceeds once a month. END OF UPDATE I want to create a fiction forum not just for my own work but for all the creative writing talent which Hollywood attracts but rarely nurtures. I will run the website as well as write for it and market each fictional story to my 265,000+ Twitter followers.
I plan on starting HollywoodDementia.com by the end of June. If you would like to write fictional short stories about showbiz of 2,500 to 8,000 words each for my website, please send me an email as soon as possible with your credits and job history. I will accept submissions by invitation only because I first need to ensure you know enough about Hollywood to write intelligently about it. I’m also seeking great illustrators who can bring the Hollywood stories and their people and situations to life in color.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Come for the cynicism. Stay for the subversion. My new website is not for the easily offended or ridiculously naïve. Oh, and there will be unsanitized comments on it. I’ll tell you more about HollywoodDementia.com in coming weeks. (Nikki Finke photo by LA’s Jen Rosenstein copyrighted 2015.)