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3 Days

You’ve probably heard that Sylvester Stallone wrote the script for Rocky in three days.

Guess who started that story? Stallone.

Why? Because he’s a writer—he’s one of us and we lie. Professionally.

Saying that the script was written in three days is a fantastic story and audiences eat it up. Fans want to believe in magic. They want to believe that the heavens opened up and gifted Stallone with this incredible tale of a man who rises from the depths, faces a powerful foe and reclaims his dignity.

But if you’re paying attention, you’ll hear Stallone admit that the first draft was written in three days. He revised for ages, and only 10% of the original manuscript remains in the story. And by the way, Rocky was his eighth script. The first seven were duds.

The truth isn’t as much fun, is it? The truth sounds an awful lot like work.

If you want to be a pro, you’ve got to be prepared to work for years on a project … but you can always tell your fans you did it in a weekend.

Valerie Francis

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

Well, you’re not going to believe this. Reece Witherspoon and I picked the same book for our February book clubs. Sort of.  Late last year, I came across THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE by Marie Benedict and was fascinated by the premise. Benedict writes historical fiction, much like Philippa Gregory,

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Valerie Francis

A Girl Named Howard

This month, rather than recommend one book to read, I’m recommending the entire body of work of one author because Anne Rice, who passed away December 11, 2021, single-handedly revolutionized the role of vampires in literature.  Yes, vampires.  And the impact she’s had is more significant than you might realize.

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Valerie Francis

The Christmas Bookshop

If you’ve had it up to your eyes with holiday preparations and are looking for a light-hearted story to escape into, The Christmas Bookshop, by Jenny Colgan, might be just the ticket. The title is a bit misleading, in my opinion. Yes, there’s a bookstore. Yes, the plot unfolds in

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