Warren Adler

Posted November 12, 2014 by The Book & Alcohol Girls in Interviews / 0 Comments

Warren Adler

by Warren Adler

I received this book for free from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Interview with Warren Adler Book Cover Interview with Warren Adler

World-renowned author Warren Adler is best known for The War of the Roses, his masterpiece fictionalization of a macabre divorce turned into the dark comedy box office hit starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. Adler quickly became the fountainhead of Hollywood screenplay adaptations, fueling an unprecedented bidding war in a Hollywood commission for his unpublished book Private Lies. The New York Post reported, “TriStar Pictures outbid Warner Bros and Columbia, and purchased the film rights to Private Lies for $1.2 million. …the highest sums yet paid in Hollywood for an unpublished manuscript.”

While The War of the Roses garnered outstanding box office and critical success with Golden GlobeBAFTA and multiple award nominations internationally, Adler went on to sell movie and film rights for 12 books, all noted for his character driven and masterful storytelling. Starring Harrison Ford and Kristin Scott Thomas, The New York Times described Random Hearts as having “stylistic polish and keenness of observation not often found in American films anymore” and the Washington Post said it had, “A stunning shocker of an opener.”

Produced by Linda Lavin for PBS’ American Playhouse series, Adler’s The Sunset Gang was adapted into a trilogy starring Uta Hagen, Harold Gould, Dori Brenner, Jerry Stiller and Ron Rifkin garnering Doris Roberts an Emmy nomination for ‘Best Supporting Actress in a Mini-Series’. Los Angeles Times called it “dramatically daring,” The Wall Street Journal said, “Those… stories… are in fact, pure drama – moving, comical, and most of all, sharply observed.” The musical version of The Sunset Gang received an Off-Broadway production with music scored by noted composer L. Russell Brown. The Broadway rights to the musical version of The War or the Roses were sold this spring and the dramatic version continues to be produced internationally, reaching a global audience in Italy, Germany, Denmark, Hungary, Prague, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, and elsewhere.

New York Times ‘Notable Book of the Year’, Adler’s American Quartet, featuring his crime fighting female protagonist Fiona Fitzgerald, has been optioned by NBC and Lifetime. Adler’s New York Echoes has also been released as an audio book with Emmy Award winning actress Cynthia Nixon narrating this collection of short stories. Adler’s own Select television appearances include The Today Show, Good Morning America, and Geraldo Rivera. 

An essayist, short-story writer, poet and playwright, Adler’s works have been translated into 25 languages and have received stellar reviews by all major publications including: The New York TimesLos Angeles TimesUSA TodayThe Wall Street Journal,Cosmopolitan, Newsweek, Variety, Publishers Weekly, Glamour, New York Daily News, Time, Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Gannett News Service, Chicago Tribune, The London Telegraph, and The Hollywood Reporter. Adler himself, regularly blogs for The Huffington Post, and lectures on creative writing, motion picture adaptation, and the future of e-books. Adler has taught novel writing honors seminars at NYU, and is the sponsor of the Warren Adler Visiting Writer series at NYU’s Creative Writing Program. Since 2005, Adler has sponsored the ‘Warren Adler Short Story Contest’ awarding cash prizes to winning submissions from the world over.

pioneer in electronic publishing, Adler introduced the first digital reader manufactured by SONY in 2007. After being published by such houses as Viking, Putnam and Warner Books, he re-acquired his complete backlist and converted his entire library to digital publishing formats, published now under his own company, Stonehouse Press. In 2011, he released five new e-books in an exclusive with Amazon.com. He is a member of the Authors Guild, PEN, the Century Association, and the Lotos Club.

Adler’s themes deal primarily with intimate human relationships—the mysterious nature of love and attraction, the fragile relationships between husbands and wives and parents and children, the corrupting power of money, the aging process, and how families cling together when challenged by the outside world. Readers and reviewers have cited his books for their insight and wisdom in presenting and deciphering the complexities of contemporary life. With the 2012 launch of The Serpent’s Bite, Adler unleashes the character of Courtney Temple, one of the most evil women in fiction alongside the likes of Lady Macbeth, and continues to establish himself as a “master fictioneer”.

A product of the New York public school system, Mr. Adler graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School and New York University, where he majored in English literature. Inspired by his freshman English Professor Don Wolfe, Adler went on to study creative writing with Dr. Wolfe when he taught at the New School. Here he also studied under Dr. Charles Glicksberg. Among his classmates were Mario PuzoWilliam Styron and many other talented writers. In 2009, Adler was the recipient of the “Alumni of the Year” honor at NYU’s College of Arts and Science.

“I wanted to be a novelist since I was fifteen years old…. Throughout my early career, I would write from five to ten in the morning every day before going to my office, a habit that has stayed with me since.” ~ Warren Adler

After graduating from New York University with a degree in English literature, Mr. Adler worked for theNew York Daily News before becoming Editor of theQueens Post, a prize winning weekly newspaper on Long Island. His column Pepper on the Side became a staple of a number of newspapers in the country.

During the Korean War, Adler was recruited by Armed Forces Press Service to serve in the Pentagon as the only Washington Correspondent for the service. His Washington by-line went all over the world and was published in every publication put out by the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard.

Prior to his success as a novelist, Mr. Adler had a distinguished business career. He has owned four radio stations and a TV station, has run his own advertising and public relations agency in Washington, D.C. and was one of the founders with his wife Sonia and son David of theWashington Dossier magazine. Adler is the founder of the Jackson Hole Writer’s Conferenceand has been Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Jackson Hole Public Library. He is married to Sonia Adler nee Kline, a former magazine editor, and lives in New York City.

Our interview with world renowned writer Warren Adler, author of War of the Roses, American Quartet, Sunset Gang, Trans-Siberian Express and so much more! We thank you for your time, Sir.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first published book, Undertow, was about politics and the lies and deceit that went with it. It was premised on the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, the young girl who was driving with Senator Ted Kennedy after a party in The Chappaquiddick section of Martha’s Vineyard in Cape Cod and, in particular, the way he constructed his public apology – it inspired me to expose the chicanery required to acquire power in America.

 

What books have most influenced your life?

The Red and the Black by Stendhal, Dutch by Edmund Morris, Ten North Frederick by John O’Hara, and The David Story By Robert Alter to name a few.

 

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Actually I read only classics but I am sure there are many talented authors around.

 

What are your current projects?

 

I’ve got a lot of exciting things going on. To name a few: The sequel to The War of the Roses is being produced by Permut Presentations and Grey Eagle Films. Permut produced “Richard Pryor: Live in Concert” (the first theatrical live comedy concert) along with the critically acclaimed “Prayers for Bobby” (2009) starring Sigourney Weaver for Lifetime Television Network, “The Color of Rain” (2013) for Hallmark based on the New York Times Bestseller and “Match” which just premiered at Tribeca Film Festival, starring Patrick Stewart); so we’re excited about that. My Fiona Fitzgerald Mysteries are currently being optioned as a TV series. The newest addition to the Fiona Fitzgerald Mystery Series, Red Herring, is being released this year so keep an eye out for that.

 

If there was any one author you could meet, living or dead, who would it be?

 

One author: Georges Simenon

 

You mentor so many aspiring writers, what drives you to do this?

 

I believe strongly in giving back. I am the founder of the Jackson Hole Writers Conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming which is now entering its 22nd year. I consider myself a bona fide entrepreneur and it is natural for me to find ways of guiding others through the labyrinth that writing and publishing can often be, in the process I get to experiment and keep abreast with new trends.

 

Was the character Fiona Fitzgerald inspired by anyone you know?

 

Yes, and it’s a good story. In the early eighties I wanted to try my hand at the mystery genre and at that time I was living in the metropolitan Washington area and used it as an opportunity to conduct some thorough research on the police department that covered the nation’s capital. I wanted a strong female protagonist who would represent the kind of transitioning that was taking place during the eighties in terms of gender equality, especially in the workplace; occupations like cop, firefighter, construction worker, and soldier were no longer being seen as exclusively male turf and I was lucky enough to meet Judy Roberts, a knowledgeable female who could give me some insight into the inner workings

of the department and her own psyche. She was an experienced female homicide

detective who led me deep into the entrails of the mindset and procedure of

police work as seen through the female perspective.

 

Where did the concept for Cult originate?

 The cult phenomenon is unbelievably active in the world today. I lived through the era of the sixties and seventies when cults were media fodder and a number of my friends and relatives had lost adult children to this phenomenon. The media once feasted on such stories, although I always felt that they never delved deeply enough into the phenomenon to increase the public’s understanding of the subtle ways cynical and power-hungry people use phony spiritualism, alienation, and communes run by guru pretenders for power and profit. In Cult I wanted to explore different methods of brainwashing while also zooming in on the process of deprogramming, something which can be difficult and, in some cases, brutal.

 

What has been the most exciting point or points in your career?

Getting my second novel, Banquet Before Dawn, published and seeing The War of the Roses on the big screen.

 

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one book and one drink, what would they be? (And the Books & Alcohol Girls do not accept water as an answer!)

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy and a bottle of aged McCallen Scotch

 

There is so much subject detail in your writing… How much research do you do to write a novel?

Thank you for recognizing that. I always do an intense, thorough amount of research when I am writing a novel to make sure that the subject I’m writing about is as authentic and vivid as possible. If you really want to know the kinds of research I commit myself to then you should read my Publishing Perspectives article on the process of writing Trans-Siberian Express. The amount of research that went into that novel was a journey in itself.

 

What subject would you like to cover that you have not had the chance to yet?

I would like to cover how the rapid revolutionary changes in our modern world are affecting human behavior.

 

We are humbled and honored to have been given the opportunity to work with Mr. Adler and his fantastic team this week. We have learned, laughed and read a lot! It has become a great start to a beautiful relationship.

Thank you Team Adler! Cheers!

Buy Warren Adler’s Books:

War of the Roses

Random Hearts

American Quartet (Fiona Fitzgerald Series)

Funny Boys

The Serpent’s Bite

Target Churchill

Cult

Housewife Blues

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