It was one of those lunch meetings. Less business and more of a casual catch-up. The producer, a fellow I’ll call Shep, had picked an Italian eatery on Larchmont. For those of you who are not Angelenos, Larchmont is a tony little two-block walk of businesses, restaurants, and coffee bars in historic Hancock Park. Upscale and hip. It was a nice chance for me to get out of the Valley.

Shep was in the middle of telling me a recent story. The best kind. A production tale gone absolutely haywire. This one involved the usual cast of egos clashing with the immovable wall of time and money and an oncoming start date.

“Wait,” he said, suddenly putting the brakes on his anecdote. “This isn’t gonna end up in your fucking blog, is it?”

“You read my blog?” I asked, truly surprised.

“Of course I do,” he answered.

“You signed up for the email alerts?”

“Naw. I just check it out every so often. Catch up on your stuff.”

“Flattered,” I said.

“Seriously,” he repeated. “This isn’t…”

“It’s not exactly blogworthy,” I answered. “Most of what I write usually happened to me.”

“So if I like did something to you that you didn’t like?”

“Might end up a blog,” I said. “But I’d probably change your name.”

We laughed, all the while I’m quietly shocked that he’d take the time to read my posts. That’s mostly because the majority of my readers are certifiably outside the Hollywood bubble and sometimes as far away as Mumbai.

Weird, huh? To find it easier to imagine some stranger reading this in Sun City, South Africa than someone I might actually know, browsing the blog while sitting at his desk in Santa Monica. Perhaps it’s because the blog isn’t written for insiders. I mean, they live this stuff. For them, my blog should play out as just another day in the life. Snore. Best move on to what’s clicking on TMZ.

No. This blog is meant for those outside the candy store, face pressed up against the window, working and longing for a seat at the counter. My rocky voyage is for your entertainment and edification. By consuming, I’m hoping the reader might learn how to navigate his own path. Much like I did so many years ago by reading William Goldman’s Adventures in the Screen Trade.

That day on Larchmont. It wasn’t the first time I’d been asked by a colleague if I was going to make him the subject of my blog. More than a few have fired broadsides at me like, “Hey! This better not show up in your blog,” or “Please! Don’t put this on your site!”

“All the better reason to stay on my good side,” I usually joke, knowing that the worry for telling tales out of school is more on me than anyone else. I’m more careful than people think. Yet, all the same, I have a thing for transparency and truth. Information is not so much power as it is so wonderfully illuminating.

This blogging foolishness began four plus years ago. I’d been given (horrible) advice by a throng of publishing and Internet (not) geniuses that I needed to build a social media presence. Oh, they all said. And you must start a weekly blog.

Sure, I replied. Of course, that was before I queried myself with a dumbfounding blog about what?

I knew what kind of time it took for me to bleed out a thousand or so words. And weekly? Sheesh! I couldn’t imagine carving out that much time out of my real writing budget. I needed to something that required less creativity and more experience. Ergo some old stories. My own Hollywood tales. The crap I’ve been involved in and how much of it actually stuck to me.

That’s how the blog was born. And I’m still at it.

Now, if there was ever a nexus betwixt this blog and voracious readers of the flavor of crime fiction I’m peddling, I haven’t yet hit it. Surely—and happily for me—many of you have tasted my LA Noir novels. And I’m forever grateful. But a weekly blog about writing in and around showbiz is hardly the place to build a crime novel readership.

I know. Like duh.

But guess what? Over the course of authoring this blog I’ve discovered another voice. My first, of course, was as a screenwriter. Second, as a novelist. And most recently, as a journeyman word jockey willing to share both his successes and, more often than not, the tragic-slash-comic-unbelievable shortcomings that come with a career in the Hollywood trenches.

And your feedback has been nothing less than inspiring. So if I haven’t expressed my gratitude enough, well, here it is again. Thanks.

Now what? After more than four years and a hundred and eighty or so blogs in the bank, I’ve culled some of my best and most popular posts into a published collection called THE SMOKING GUN–TRUE TALES FROM THE HOLLYWOOD TRENCHES. It’ll soon be available in both softcover and eBook and will make an outstanding Christmas-Chanukah-Kwanzaa gift for someone you love… or maybe loathe… depending on your perspective or predilection.

More to come, folks. Stay tuned. And don’t forget to wear your steel jockstraps.

You can preorder the paperback at The Writers Store or buy the eBook now at Amazon. Click, click, boom!

Doug Richardson
Doug Richardson
Author and screenwriter. Books: THE LUCKY DEY THRILLERS: BLOOD MONEY, 99 PERCENT KILL, AND REAPER, THE SAFETY EXPERT, AND THE SMOKING GUN. Movies: HOSTAGE, BAD BOYS, DIE HARD 2.
  • Dave

    Well, sir, I ‘discovered’ you on Twitter, which led me to your blog, which led me to your books. No doubt there are 1 or 2 other entertainment business junkies out there who have similar experience.

    😄👊

  • I came to your blog for the Hollywood Glitz and Glamour and stayed for the real life of a writer!

    Thank you for putting the time and effort into sharing your life inside the bubble.

    At the end of the day and one day when you’re done writing entries into this blog, the stories will remain (just make sure your provider is long-term viable ;-))

    The real cool thing to think about is that if humanity manages to make it 10,000 years from now and these words are still hanging around on the Internet, humanity will really have a connection to the past and WE will have a real connection to the future!

    Keep the stories coming!

  • George T

    Awesome! I’m excited to read the collection (even if I have read them all before). Thanks for your posts!

  • Fred

    I have Script Magazine’s Jeanne Bowerman to thank for turning me on to your film credits, as well as your blog. As I’ve stated in the past, I’ve always considered your blog an essential tool for any aspiring screenwriter hoping get a first-hand glimpse into the real world of a successful screenwriter. As for “The Smoking Gun,” you’ve got another winner, there, Doug. Another five-star must-read. Many thanks for taking us all along on (your) adventures in the screen trade.

  • Rob

    Thank you for the nice blog and reminding me about my hardened jockstrap.

  • Ben Trebilcook

    Big Doug,
    It was only a matter of time for the Smoking Gun to reveal itself. Brilliant stuff. You are among a select few, which can be counted on one hand. I don’t really have to say how much you’ve inspired me, as you know already, however from your early scripts, to your blogs, thank you for flying my flag and encouraging me on my own work.

    From across the pond, cheers to you and the War Dept.
    Ben

  • Bryan Walsh

    i too originally found your site through Jeanne Bowerman and her article about spending time with you to get an understanding of your writing process. Then I realized you wrote Bad Boys, one of my favorite action flicks of all time. Then I started reading the blog from the earliest entry. Then when I got caught up I read your script about the cult with the lighter gimmick (great script, but can’t remember the name; True Believer?). Recently I bought 99% Kill, which I enjoyed tremendously (Lucky is kinda based on a version of yourself, no? Same cadence and short, smart-ass wit). So yeah, I guess you can say I’m a fan. 😄